IIE: Celebrating 95 years of opening minds to the world

GRANTAX

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I lost my password and when I click on 'Forget Password,' nothing is sent to me. What should I do?

A: E-mail GRANTAX at grantax@iie.org with your grantee number so we can reset your password.

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Q: Where do I find my grantee number?

A: It can be found on your Terms of Appointment (letter detailing your IIE scholarship or fellowship) or on a check stub from an IIE payment. If you can't find it, contact your program representative for your grantee number.

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Q: I can't save my online questionnaire. What should I do?

A: Please make sure that you ONLY have whole numbers (123456789) and do not use any symbols such as: \/<>)(*&^%@!?+.$,;:"# etc in the US income section.

Remember to scroll down all the way to the bottom of the page and click "save and continue." Also, it might be tedious but you can click on the "save and continue" button each time you input a field. Use the comment box at the end of the online questionnaire if you have a lot of information—this will also make it easier for you to save your data.

If you continue to have problems, e-mail Grantax at grantax@iie.org the data that you were trying to save and we will save the data for you. Remember to provide your grantee number when sending the email.

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Q: I made a mistake and typed a wrong grantee ID number. How can I correct it?

A: E-mail GRANTAX at grantax@iie.org the incorrect ID # you used and the correct ID #.

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Q: I had no U.S. income last year. Do I need to file a return?

A: If you did not receive any US scholarship or US employment income, you are ONLY required to complete Form 8843-(Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition)

This form must be filed in order to maintain your exempt status from U.S. residency for tax purposes as a J-1 or F-1 visa holder. It is usually attached to your income tax return (form 1040NR).

If you would like Grantax to complete the Form 8843 on your behalf, complete the Online Grantax Questionnaire, but skip the entire US income section.

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Q: All of my funding comes from my home country (the Fulbright Commission in my country). Why do I need to file a U.S. income tax return?

A: Under the present U.S. tax law, foreign-source income is not taxable for nonresident aliens. However, describe the foreign-source income in the questionnaire in order for GRANTAX to verify your information. In addition, all nonresidents that are J-1 or F-1 visa holders are required to complete form 8843.

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Q: My school is offering a tax service (CINTAX or GLACIER) to file my return. Is it okay if I do not use GRANTAX?

A: If you are a Fulbright, IFP or HHH grantee and you received IIE income, you are required to use GRANTAX. Please refer to the Foreign Grantees That Received IIE Income and Other U.S. Income section. But if you are 100% certain you did not receive any IIE income you do not have to use Grantax.

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Q: I've enrolled in GRANTAX, but now my school advisor is telling me to file a tax return and gave me many blank tax forms. What should I do?

A: Your school advisor may not be familiar with GRANTAX and is trying to make sure you comply with the U.S. tax law. Under no circumstance should you enroll in GRANTAX and also file a tax return yourself. If more than one tax return is filed for the same tax year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cannot process your return properly. E-mail GRANTAX at grantax@iie.org if you have any questions.

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Q: I received IIE funding for only a part of last year and I'm currently supporting myself through practical training and university scholarships. Am I still eligible for GRANTAX?

A: Yes, if you are a Fulbright student, Laspau, HHH or IFP grantee you are still eligible to use GRANTAX and as required by the IRS we will combine ALL your income for the previous year to file your federal tax return and determine your share of any tax due or refund. Please read "Tax Equalization" in the Foreign Grantees That Received IIE Income and Other U.S. Income section.


Q: I didn't receive any IIE funding and my sponsorship with IIE ended last year. Can I still use the GRANTAX service to file my tax return?

A: Yes, as long as you were an active grantee in the Fulbright student, Laspau, HHH or IFP programs you are eligible to use the GRANTAX service. You can e-mail GRANTAX at grantax@iie.org if you were in another IIE program.

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Q: If I worked and I'm entitled to a partial refund, when will I receive it?

A: It depends on the time the IRS takes to process your tax return. You should not plan on receiving any refund by a certain date. It may take several months for the IRS to process your tax return and issue a refund. If you are due a refund and have gone home, it will be mailed to you overseas. It is extremely important that you always update your mailing and email addresses should they differ from the addresses on your questionnaire.

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Q: What information do I report in the questionnaire? Don't you have this information already?

A: The questionnaire is used to collect data not directly available to GRANTAX and to confirm existing information in IIE records because the completed tax forms must be as accurate as possible. You will be asked to describe your status, income and expenses for the previous calendar year (January 1 through December 31). For example, if you receive a university tuition waiver for an academic year, you will be asked to describe what portion was waived last year. You do not need to describe the IIE grant. GRANTAX will receive this information directly from IIE.

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Q: The questionnaire looks very complicated. Wouldn't it just be easier to file my own return?

A: We ask many questions so that one questionnaire will cover every possible situation for every Grantax enrollee. You may be able to prepare and file your own return if you are familiar with U.S. tax regulations on scholarship/grant income and U.S. tax treaties with various countries. You may, from time to time, receive a notice from the IRS regarding your return and you are required to respond to it in a timely manner. The notice could be just a request for additional information or it could be a major adjustment that may result in an additional tax liability with interest and penalties.

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Q: I've completed the questionnaire and mailed it to GRANTAX. Now what should I do?

A: Grantax will contact you by email if we have questions or need additional information. If you had personal, non IIE-income such as wages or a taxable scholarship, you may be asked to pay additional taxes or you may receive a tax refund. Please keep your email or mailing address updated so GRANTAX can contact you easily.

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Q: I'm married - can I claim exemptions for my spouse and children or file a joint return?

A: The U.S. tax law is very strict and only residents of Canada, Mexico or Republic of Korea whose spouse and children have obtained a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) and had no U.S. income are allowed to claim additional exemptions on their nonresident alien tax returns. In addition, special laws apply to citizens of India.

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Q: Must I complete these forms if there is a tax agreement between my country and the U.S.?

A: Yes, tax treaty benefits can only be claimed on a properly filed income tax return. You need to report your income to claim the tax treaty benefits.

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Q: I purchased a computer for use in my studies. Is this expense tax-deductible?

A: The computer is not deductible unless its purchase was required by your school (not merely "recommended"). If so, you must provide a letter from the school which describes this requirement explicitly.

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Q: What about medical expenses or health insurance for me or my family?

A: Medical expenses including insurance are not deductible by nonresident aliens.

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Q: What happens next year?

A: Enrollment in GRANTAX is effective for only one calendar year (January - December). If you are eligible for GRANTAX next year, you will be sent another announcement from your program representative. Please make sure that both GRANTAX and your IIE program representatives have your most current email address.

Please contact Grantax at grantax@iie.org if you do not receive an announcement email by the 1st week in February from your IIE program representative and you are a Fulbright, IFP or HHH grantee who received IIE income for part or all of the previous year.

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PLEASE COMPLETE THE QUESTIONNAIRE CAREFULLY. YOU MAY LEAVE SOME SECTIONS OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE BLANK ONLY IF THEY DO NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Contact

Always include your IIE/Laspau grantee number in all e-mails to GRANTAX

Wendy Lau
Tax Manager
Institute of International Education
809 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Fax: +1 212.984.5553
E-mail: grantax@iie.org