Off-Campus Email Process
Why do we provide such a process?
The following are groups of persons not on-campus during the normal tax return preparation season:
- Notre Dame international students studying abroad.
- Notre Dame students graduating in the tax year and not on campus during the tax season relating to their year of graduation.
- Visiting faculty, scholars, researchers, or those in U.S. work-study programs that generate income for the participants and who no longer reside in the U.S. during the tax season.
When are your returns prepared?
Due to the increasing demand for returns prepared on campus, the TAP's ability to prepare returns early for off-campus tax clients is severely reduced. It is not that we are unwilling to prepare such returns early, it is just that we have very limited resources and most waking hours are taken by those who are in residence. Also, it usually takes those off-campus longer to provide the information needed than it does those on-campus.
We mention this condition so that off-campus return clients are properly advised to expect their returns to be prepared later in the season or after it. To off-set that delay we do prepare requests to extend the return filing dates from April 15 to October 15. If you are thinking of this extension for your case, do realize that tax payment date remains at April 15. Paying later results in late payment fees and interest. To avoid those fees and interest you should make and deposit in a proper bank the additional amount you estimate is needed to avoid such penalties.
The Process Described
With the understanding that the requested information will be provided, forms completed, and employer financial reports received, the TAP commits (subject to the TAP's income limit ) to prepare, sign, copy, and mail the required tax returns to the government taxing authorities and send the required copies of same to the tax payer. To participate in this service the tax payer should follow the steps below.
- When you desire tax help and you know you will not be on campus during the tax season, send an email requesting this service. The email must describe the applicant by indicating full name, connection to Notre Dame during the tax year, and the tax year(s) for which help is requested. The email must also provide an email address that will be active thru October of the year following the tax year for which help is requested.
- Follow all the instructions given in the file of instructions sent back to the requestor.
- Access the online Tax Profile and answer its questions; your answers provide the information needed for completing your tax returns.
- Provide copies of the prior year tax returns that were filed, providing the tax year is not your first tax year you are filing. The TAP is not allowed to keep copies of tax returns, so the taxpayer must send the required copies.
- Provide copies of all employer income earned reports (Forms W-2, 1042-S, 1099-MISC, etc) for any income earned anywhere in the U.S. during the tax year. Form 1042-S usually is issued due to either scholarship, award, or treaty benefit. Form W-2 must be sent to you by each employer for whom you worked during the tax year. It is your responsibility to obtain the form(s). [Usually if a form is not received, the employer does not have your current mailing address. In such case you must contact the employer, supply a current address, and request a replacement W-2.] Note: form 1099-MISC has tax payment risks associated with it. Rarely are federal and state income taxes withheld by the person issuing this form. It is your responsibility to withhold and deposit into the proper bank for use by the federal and state governments amounts sufficient to cover the taxes owed. To avoid penalties, you need to do this prior to April 15 of the year following the tax year.
- Provide copies of other evidence of income received if applicable, such as broker statements of stock transactions, bank reports of interest earned, state government statements of refunds sent to the taxpayer during the tax year, prizes, awards, lottery proceeds received, etc. Note: the US taxes all scholarships that exceed your tuition obligation. You must report all such scholarships. You are not taxed on tuition scholarships; do not report tuition scholarships. Example: total scholarship is $35,000; tuition is $30,000; taxable living expense scholarship is $5,000; you report just $5,000 as taxable living expense scholarship.
- Complete federal forms 2848 and 8821 and Indiana form POA-1 exactly as directed in the instructions sent to you, the taxpayer. Those signed and dated forms must be sent back to TAP before work on the tax returns can begin. Send just the forms, not the instructions that accompany the forms.
- Tax returns deal with highly sensitive data. In order to protect the privacy and integrity of the data, secure procedures must be used to make that data available to the tax return preparers. Please follow the procedures at this link to assure that the secure procedures are used to transmit the data.
- Sometimes tax client responses to the forms sent may be insufficient to complete a return. This lack causes the TAP to ask additional questions. All such need to be answered in order for proper and complete returns to be filed.
For those who may exceed the TAP's income limit, please go to this link and review Case 3. You may then send an email to Ken Milani requesting a review of your case.