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Your international employees can access U.S. tax filing help

The U.S. tax filing deadline is quickly approaching, and your international employees have unique tax obligations. The filing requirements for international employees and students depend on a thorough analysis of their immigration status and history which results in a determination of tax residency status for the calendar year. This important designation is discussed with international employees and stipend recipients at their mandatory new employee appointment with an International Tax Specialist.

Make sure your staff and faculty know that Employee Services’ International Tax Office has resources to help with their needs.

Departments: Please consult with the International Tax office before hiring any non-U.S. person who will work from outside the U.S. Reach out at

Licenses are now available for free nonresident tax preparation

Once again, the International Tax Office has contracted with Sprintax Returns to offer discount codes for free federal tax filing for nonresident filers. This service is available for nonresident employees and for nonresident F or J students who had an active SEVIS record with CU in 2022. Eligible employees and students will be provided a discount code for their free license for Sprintax Returns tax preparation platform in a series of emails over the coming weeks.

Sprintax Returns helps nonresident alien taxpayers:

  • Determine resident or nonresident U.S. tax residency status and filing requirements.
  • Prepare necessary tax return documents including forms 1040-NR and 8843 which can then be printed, signed and mailed for filing. (Some users may be able to file electronically.)
  • Ensure all applicable tax treaties are applied.
  • Find assistance and information with an available FAQ, blog, YouTube channel and email access to Sprintax tax professionals.

In addition, Sprintax Returns offers state tax filing options for a fee. 

The discount code for the upcoming tax season has already been emailed to eligible employees and students. This information will be sent twice more — on Feb. 21 and March 7 — so please remind your international staff and faculty to keep an eye on their email inbox.

Employees and students can also visit the International Tax website anytime throughout the year to learn more about their filing obligations. The International Tax Office recently created two new video courses to help familiarize them with the U.S. tax system.

Remind new hires to meet with an international tax specialist

The most crucial step in a successful filing season is to encourage all new international hires to schedule their mandatory new employee appointment with the International Tax Office as soon as possible after their arrival in the U.S. Specialists in the International Tax Office will work with them to identify their U.S. tax residency status, facilitate any available tax treaty benefits and clarify their personal tax filing requirements well in advance of the looming deadline.

Employees who started in 2022 and haven’t yet completed their initial appointment must still meet with an international tax specialist as soon as possible. Delayed appointment availability will not affect their ability to begin working or negatively affect their pay, but timeliness will have an impact on their correct tax withholding.

The tax office will guide new employees in how to correctly complete Form W-4, which helps calculate the amount of income tax CU needs to withhold from an employee’s pay. Please note that international stipend recipients are also subject to special withholding rules and are required to meet with the International Tax Office.

Because restrictions may apply to international employees, they should complete the W-4 form only after consulting with an international tax specialist. As with all new employees, until a valid W-4 has been submitted, international employees will be treated as a single filer with no withholding adjustments.

Appointment availability can be two to four weeks out on the calendar, so please direct your new international employees to schedule an appointment with the International Tax Office as soon as possible

How to prepare your employees

To prepare for their virtual appointment, employees should:

  • Be prepared to submit electronic copies of their passport, I-94 and immigration documents via secure upload. A Social Security number is not required for the appointment but if one has been issued it should also be brought to the appointment.
  • Plan to review their entire history of presence in the United States, including previous visits in different immigration statuses.

Please verify correct Tax ID numbers

Like with all employees, it’s critical that international employees have a valid Social Security number (SSN) in HCM.  Please encourage employees to apply for their SSN timely and then monitor and follow up with those awaiting their SSN to ensure this critical data is available and accurate in HCM.

Refer to the Social Security Number Procedural Statement for guidance on how to manage your international employees who may not yet have been issued an SSN at the time of hire. With the exception of CU Denver and CU Anschutz Medical Campus, who should follow campus-specific instructions, please do not enter ‘placeholder’ SSN data in HCM.

Learn more

For more information and to schedule an appointment, direct your international employees and students to visit the International Tax Office webpage.

For questions regarding international employees' employment eligibility, please contact your campus I-9 office.

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