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Federal and State Tax Returns

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. federal agency in charge of taxes. All students and dependents in F-1 or J-1 status are required to file Federal Tax Returns with the IRS each year, even if they have not earned any income.  It is your individual responsibility to understand and meet your tax obligations. Federal/State Tax Returns are based on earnings from the previous calendar year.

Filing forms with detailed instructions are available at most banks or the post office.  Due to the complexity of income tax laws, it is advisable to have questions answered by the IRS or a reliable tax consultant. The  Graduate Student Organization (GSO) hosts an annual Tax Clinic in which tax advice is provided by a professional accountant for graduate students and postdocs. Tax preparation services can also be arranged privately with the accountant for a fee. Visit the GSO website for times and locations.

  • Not filing could affect eligibility for future immigration statuses and/or benefits (i.e. H-1B, PR, etc.)
  • Fines, penalties, and interest can accrue if the IRS is owed money.
  • You might miss out on a refund!


NOTE: Visa and Immigration Services staff cannot answer detailed questions pertaining to your Income Tax Return, nor has the material presented on this page been approved by the IRS or U.S. Treasury, and therefore we strongly recommend you consult the  IRS or a reliable tax consultant directly.


If you need guidance through the tax preparation process,  Sprintax is an easy-to-use tax preparation tool that will  to guide you through the process, prepare the necessary documents and even check if you are due a refund.

All you need to do is: 

  1. Register and follow the simple instructions
  2. Complete the online questionnaire
  3. Enter the unique discount code Spx2018SUNYSBF5 in the box on the ‘Review your order’ page. Note, the discount code will only work if you earned an income in the 2018 calendar year and are filing the Form 1040NR.
  4. Sprintax will prepare your tax return.
  5. You MUST  print, sign and mail your documents once you complete the preparation process in Sprintax.

Additional Resources:

  • Click here to view Sprintax's March 27, 2019 Presentation
  • Click here to access to our Sprintax YouTube Videos.

IMPORTANT: Sprintax is a tax resource and not affiliated with Stony Brook University. Visa and Immigration Services is not qualified to assist in the preparation and submission of tax filings, but we are happy to provide this information in hopes of assisting with your filing.

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