ISSS-BU News 16 January 2012 ISSS-BU News


An electronic news service for international students and scholars, owned by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services atBinghamtonUniversity, State University of New York

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Editor’s Note: Monday’s edition of ISSS-BU News did not publish due to technical issues. It is being published today. Our apologies for any inconvenience.

Monday, January 16, 2012 is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Most university offices, including the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, are closed.

Are you assisting new international students? Many new students have begun to arrive at Binghamton. New international students who have not yet visited the ISSS should come to the ISSS beginning Tuesday of this week to pick up an early arrival packet. New Student Orientation begins Wednesday, January 25, 2012.

CONTENTS:
1. University Resumes Academic Year Operational Hours on January 23
2. Employment and Health Insurance Walk-In Appointments in the ISSS for January 24
3. Spring 2012 Orientation For New Students Begins Wednesday, January 25
4. Confusion About Off Campus Work Authorization and Social Security Cards
5. Five Years of Comparative International Student Data Now Available on the ISSS Website
6. ISSS Tax Web Pages Will be Updated and Glacier Tax Prep Income Tax Preparation Software Available Soon
7. Tax Information: Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements
8. Income Tax Information: Form 1099-INT

1. University Resumes Academic Year Operational Hours on January 23

The University returns to its standard academic year operational hours beginning Monday, January 23 through May 18. For the ISSS, that means beginning Monday, our hours to the public resume as 10:00am to 4:30pm Monday – Friday except Thursdays, when we are open from 11:30am to 4:30pm. The ISSS answers its phones from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

2. Employment and Health Insurance Walk-In Appointments in the ISSS for January 24

There will be no walk-in hours for health insurance or employment questions on Tuesday, January 24, due to a University-wide event and new student arrivals. Health Insurance walk-in hours will resume on Tuesday, January 31 from 10:15am to Noon. Employment Walk-In Hours will resume on Tuesday, January 31, from 1:30-3:15pm. Students should check in at the ISSS front desk in Room G-1 for walk-in appointments. Students who need to meet with a member of the ISSS staff that week can request an individual appointment. Please note that staff may be unavailable for appointments during portions of New Student Orientation.

3. Spring 2012 Orientation For New Students Begins Wednesday, January 25

International Student Orientation activities begin Wednesday, January 25, and orientation packets will be distributed during orientation check-in, Wednesday January 25 from 9:00am to 11:30am in the University Union Tillman Lobby (in front of the Mandela Room).

Orientation information may be viewed at: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/orientation/index.html

4. Confusion About Off Campus Work Authorization and Social Security Cards

Most international students in F-1 status know that they cannot work off campus without advance authorization, and that federal regulations greatly limit the kinds of off campus employment that can be authorized. Students in J-1 status must have all employment authorized in advance, whether it is on campus or off campus.

For F-1 students, the authorization for off-campus employment may be printed on page 3 of the I-20 (Curricular Practical Training) or it may be on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security-issued Employment Authorization Card (Optional Practical Training, Off Campus Employment Due to Economic Hardship). For J-1 students, the employment authorization will be in the form of a letter, issued by the student’s J-1 program sponsor, or, if academic training, as a letter and on the DS-2019.

But, some students have become confused about the Social Security Card issued by the Social Security Administration, and believe that having a Social Security Card with a Social Security Number printed on it is the document that confers eligibility to be employed. NOT TRUE!

In fact, the purpose of a Social Security Card is for presentation to a U.S. employer so that the employer can fulfill U.S. government requirements for reporting taxes on wages, and other taxable income earned in the United States. The Social Security Card is also used as an identity document to obtain other benefits not related to employment, such as certain kinds of health insurance or a driver’s license. But, the Social Security Card does not give someone in F-1 or J-1 status the ability to work.

The Social Security Card issued to F-1 and J-1 students will have a notation on the front of the card “Valid for Work Only With DHS Authorization.” “DHS” stands for Department of Homeland Security. The notation is a reminder to the student and the off-campus employer that other documentation will need to be shown to prove eligibility to work.

Questions? Visit the ISSS website for information on employment:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/employment/index.html

5. Five Years of Comparative International Student Data Now Available on the ISSS Website

The ISSS website has been updated to include five year's worth of international student comparative data for the period 2007-2011. The data is in three tables in the Publications section of the ISSS website: go to http://isss-new.binghamton.edu and click on “Publications” from the blue menu on the left side of the webpage.

The direct links are:

International Student Enrollment by Country and World Region
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/publications/EnroCntry.html

Undergraduate International Student Enrollment by Field of Study
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/publications/ugdEnrFOS.html

Graduate International Student Enrollment by Field of Study
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/publications/GdEnrolFOS.html

6. ISSS Tax Web Pages Will be Updated and Glacier Tax Prep Income Tax Preparation Software Available Soon

Thanks to the efforts of Karan and Jyotika Banerjee, ISSS graduate assistants, the ISSS website tax pages will soon be updated for the 2011 tax year, which has just concluded. You will be able to view the pages by going to http://isss-new.binghamton.edu and clicking on "Taxes." We recommend that you visit the Tax section of the ISSS website and familiarize yourself with some of the rules for tax filing.

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services plans to announce the availability of Glacier Tax Prep income tax software (formerly CINTAX) in the next two weeks. This web-based software product will make it very easy for international students to fulfill their U.S. Federal income tax filing obligations for calendar year 2011. Watch for an upcoming e-mail message. Once ISSS receives its supply of income tax forms, an announcement will be posted in ISSS-BU News. A series of Income Tax Webinars will become available in mid-February. Watch ISSS-BU News for the announcement.

7. Income Tax Information: Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements

This week's income tax information is about the W-2 form, which is also known as a Wage and Tax Statement. Many international students and scholars who were employed during calendar year 2011 will soon receive their W-2 forms in the mail. If you were employed in the United States for any period of time during 2011, each employer for whom your worked is required to report your earnings to both you and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). By law, W-2s must be mailed no later than January 31.

If you worked during 2011, whether off campus (including paid internships) or on-campus at Binghamton University or at a previous school and have not received your form W-2 by February 1, contact your former employer right away. It is possible that they do not have your current address. You will be required to include a copy of each W-2 form with your federal and state income tax forms. The IRS computer system will match the income you report with what they have received from the employer.

Different kinds of taxes are withheld by employers. The W-2 form has boxes for reporting withholding of Federal Income Tax (box 2), Social Security Tax (box 4), Medicare Tax (box 6), State Income Tax (box 17) and local income tax (box 19). Some individuals who received form W-2 will find that all of these boxes have amounts in them, others will find only some or none of the boxes showing tax withheld. We'll discuss Social Security and Medicare withholding in a future tax information article.

8. Income Tax Information: Form 1099-INT

If you have an interest-bearing savings account, checking account, or certificate of deposit, you may have received or will soon receive a letter from your bank that summarizes the interest you earned on your account(s) during calendar year 2011. Known as form 1099-INT, it is a statement of interest earned from your bank or credit union. Be sure to retain such statements, they may be needed for your federal income tax filing.

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Last Updated: 8/28/14