International Admissions and ServicesInternational Admissions and Services assists international students and scholars in their academic, research, cultural, and recreational experiences while working and living within the campus community and the Southwest Michigan community-at-large.
International Top Story
|Tulip festival showcases Michigan Dutch communityWMU international students with festival dancers
The explosion of beauty that makes Holland, Michigan's Tulip Time one of the largest flower festivals in the United States was enjoyed by 21 WMU international students on Saturday, May 11, 2013.
The annual festival is a day trip offered by WMU's International Student Activities Office to introduce students to Michigan's Dutch community and to see the hundreds of thousands of tulips growing in Holland, with a history extending back to 1929.
A highlight of the day was viewing the festival parade and watching presentations of traditional Dutch dancing in wooden shoes. The students also enjoyed shopping in the Dutch village and in Downtown Holland.
New IRS guidelines for international students and scholars
Important U.S. tax filing information New IRS guidelines require original documentation for W-7 form
for international students and scholars
With very few exceptions, all individuals who receive income from U.S. sources are required to file a U.S. tax return. To file a U.S. tax return (Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ), an individual must possess either a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). In June 2012, the IRS implemented significant changes in its procedures for issuing new ITINs.
- Individuals receiving income from U.S. sources are required to file a U.S.Tax Return
- A Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) will be required to file the tax return.
- Form W-7 needs to be completed to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
- Original documentation, such as passports and birth certificates, or certified copies will be required with the filing of the W-7 form.
- The process will take some time so it is key to act immediately to meet April 15, 2013 deadlines for filing the U.S. Tax Return.
Under its new guidelines, the IRS will only issue ITINs when the Form W-7 application includes original documentation, such as passports and birth certificates, or certified copies of these documents from the issuing agency. ITINs will not be issued based on applications (I) supported by notarized copies of documents, or (2) submitted through certified acceptance agents unless the agent attaches original documentation or copies of original documents certified by the issuing agency. We do not recommend that original passports or birth certificates be sent into the Internal Revenue Service.
Due to the amount of time necessary to obtain a certified copy of your passport or birth certificate and an ITIN number, we recommend you start the process immediately so that you will have an ITIN number in time to file your U.S. tax return for 2012, if required, by April 15, 2013.
An international student who works as an employee in the U.S. must obtain a Social Security Number. International persons who have U.S. sources of income other than wages need to apply for an ITIN if a U.S. income tax return will be filed. Examples of other sources of U.S. income include scholarships and fellowships. A U.S. tax return is required even if the income is nontaxable in the U.S. as the filing is required to claim an exemption.
Application for an ITIN is made by filing Form W-7 with the Internal Revenue Service. These new procedures will apply through December 31, 2012. The IRS said that it expects to issue new procedures later in the year which will be effective for 2013.
Form W-7 and instructions can be downloaded from the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf.
Please note the following issues that may be applicable to your situation:
Nonresident alien individuals in the U.S. under an F, J, M or Q immigration status who receive no income from U.S. sources are not required to file a U.S. income tax return. However, such individuals are required to file Form 8843, which does not require an SSN or ITIN.
Individuals from Canada, Mexico, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Korea and students from India who are eligible to claim a spouse/dependent exemption on their U.S. tax return can only do so IF the spouse/dependent has an SSN or ITIN or the spouse/dependent applies for an ITIN in connection with the filing of the tax return. In such case, the spouse/dependent must have a certified copy of the passport (or must send the original passport with the tax return, which isn’t recommended) in order to file the tax return.
For more information on U.S. taxation of aliens, please see IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p519.pdf.