Amending a Tax Return to Fix Improper Resident Filing.
The following question comes up often: Can an F-1 Student (who is not married to a US resident and who has not been in the US more than 5 years) file a resident US tax return? The answer is no. Unfortunately, students sometimes find an unknowing or unscrupulous tax preparer that will improperly prepare resident returns and get them big refunds that they are not lawfully entitled to. Sometimes the students mistakenly or intentionally file as residents using one of the online or store purchased tax software programs. When the IRS discovers the misfiling, sometimes after one year, they will impose severe penalties and require repayment of the misbegotten refunds plus interest. If the IRS finds tax fraud has been committed, criminal charges can be brought. A finding of tax fraud can also negatively impact the students’ nonimmigrant status.
Here is substantial documentation of these facts:
The USCIS website page for Students and Exchange visitors at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=704e2f8b69583210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=704e2f8b69583210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD notes “US Federal Tax Information” at the bottom of the page and links directly with “special rules with respect to the taxation of their income” to the IRS page for “Foreign Students and Scholars” at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=96431,00.html where the “Green Card and the Substantial Presence Test” link http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/The-Green-Card-Test-and-the-Substantial-Presence-Test “Definition of Exempt Individual” (halfway down the page) clearly states a “Student on F, J, M or Q visa” … must wait 5 calendar years before counting 183 days.
How We Can Help
What can the student do if they find they have improperly filed a 2016 Resident Tax Return? They can file an amended tax return. We can help them with this process. Our fee for filing the amended form is $100 ($250 after March 31) plus our regular fee for preparing the needed tax returns which can be seen at the bottom of my “How to Order Page” at www.englercpa.com/page9.html. The student should follow these instructions:
1) Follow ALL the instructions (including payment) at the How to Order Page at www.englercpa.com/page9.html.
2) Send an email to Gary@englercpa.com requesting a Paypal Invoice for $100 to prepare the amended tax form.
3) Also Upload to my File Share the original US & State Tax Return(s) you filed that now need amending.