my taxes

Apr. 10th, 2013 02:13 pm
gusl: (Default)
[personal profile] gusl
I file taxes as a Resident Alien, which makes my tax situation pretty much identical to most American PhD students at Columbia. And yet, because of legal liability, the only qualified people who are willing to give us advice are tax professionals (whose time will cost at least $100).

So here's the basic calculations I do, before I start working on my tax forms. This is not tax advice. This is not legal advice.

Add up the income:
* TA Wages, see W2 form
* Stipend: look through bank account or MyColumbia, and add all the checks issued in 2012.
* Interest income: Chase sent me a form ("in lieu of 1099-INT"), informing me that I made $4.58 in interest, of which $0.00 was withheld. However, Chase charged an "Agent Admin Fee" $4.58, which means that I'm going to pay tax on money that I never saw... So let's be thankful that Savings accounts have such crappy interest!


Add up the withholdings:
* TA Wages, see W2 form
* Stipend: look through checks at MyColumbia. Check whether they withheld anything. In my case, they didn't.


Confusing things:
* My scholarship exactly cancels out tuition+fees. This means I don't need to look at the 1098-T, even though the university is obligated to send it to me. I think this form concerns the university's taxes wrt me, not my taxes.
* Unlike most international students, I should not receive a 1042-S (it's only for Non-Resident Aliens)


Outcome
Since no money is being withheld from my stipend checks, I expect to owe money to the IRS, on the order of a few thousand per year.


My stipend is taxable
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