ISSS-BU News 19 March 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

Visit ISSS on the Web!   http://isss-new.binghamton.edu

CONTENTS:
1. In-Person Income Tax Assistance Begins Tuesday, March 20
2. Important Workshop on Post-Graduation Employment Issues Wednesday, March 21
3. Plan Now for Mid-Terms!
4. Two-Credit Undergraduate Internship Opportunity for Fall 2012
5. April 1 is the Deadline for Spring 2012 Health Insurance Adjustments
6. Prize Competition for Academic Integrity Posters and Online Presentations
7. This Week’s Campus and Community Connections Newsletter
8. New Link on the ISSS Travel Pages
9. Green Card Stories: The Human Face of the Immigration Debate
Discussion and Book Signing on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 in Ithaca
10. Is Box 13 Checked on Your New York State W-2 Form?
11. Forms 1042-S Have Now Been Distributed
12. Important Items to Remember When Completing Income Tax Forms
13. Income Tax Information: How To File an Amended Tax Return

1. In-Person Income Tax Assistance Begins Tuesday, March 20
ISSS is pleased to announce the availability of in-person assistance with completing your non-resident income tax forms beginning Tuesday, March 20. This service is primarily to assist you if you need help with New York State forms IT-2, IT-203 and IT-203B, since GLACIER Tax Prep is available for completing your federal returns. However, federal non-resident tax questions can be answered as well.

Mr. Jim Rollo, who graduated from Binghamton University’s School of Management in 1984 and is a local businessman, is available to provide in-person assistance with completing your non-resident income tax forms on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Please come to the ISSS main office first to obtain your appointment form, which will be numbered in the order that students come in. Then, follow the signs upstairs, across the patio, and into the Hinman Commons section of the building to see Mr. Rollo.

This service continues through Thursday, April 12, 2012. From Thursday, March 22 through Thursday April 12, the ISSS will open just prior to 11:00am, rather than the usual Thursday opening time of 11:30am, to accommodate those wishing to meet with Mr. Rollo.

Advance appointments are not required. Please be sure you have already logged into GLACIER Tax Prep and have created your account. Be sure to bring your income tax forms with you.

2. Important Workshop on Post-Graduation Employment Issues Wednesday, March 21
The next H-1B visa filing season begins April 2, 2012 for jobs with a start date no earlier than October 1, 2012. It is anticipated that the cap will be exhausted more rapidly this year than in recent years. The H-1B visa is the most common visa category used by international students who are US college graduates who seek long term employment in the United States following Optional Practical Training.

So don’t miss what may be the most important immigration workshop offered this year! Post Graduation Employment Issues will be held Wednesday, March 21 at 5:00pm in Academic A, Ground Floor, Room G08. Will you be seeking employment in the United States after graduation? Do you have questions regarding H-1B visas, labor certification, PERM and employment-based permanent residency? Are you confused about the H-1B “cap” and the “cap gap?” How long are H-1B visa numbers likely to last, and what is the earliest date for submitting an H-1B petition with an October 1, 2012 start date? What about those 20,000 extra H-1B visa slots for those with U.S. master’s degrees or higher? What is going on with H-1B placement agencies, the deemed export attestation requirements, and are there any issues if you travel into the United States with a new H-1B visa? You do not want to miss this workshop!

Learn about your options under U.S. immigration law from special guest and featured speaker, immigration attorney Rosanne Mayer from the law firm of Miller Mayer LLP in Ithaca, New York. This workshop is sponsored by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

3. Plan Now for Mid-Terms!
It is mid-March and at Binghamton University that means it is also time for midterm exams. In most classes, midterm exams are a major component of your grade. By now you may have already taken your exams.

Sometimes we do well on our exams, other times we do not do as well as we hoped. Even if your mid-term exam grade is not what you hoped it would be, there are things you can do to improve your grade. You are not alone in dealing with this.

A. Meet with Your Professors or Teaching Assistants:
If you are concerned about any of your course material or are unsure of your understanding, ask your professor or teaching assistant for an appointment time. You can then meet with them, ask your questions and come to a better understanding of what is confusing you. Your professors and teaching assistants want you to meet with them if you are struggling with the course material.

B. Work with a Tutor:
Tutors are senior students who have been trained to assist you with your coursework. You can arrange to work with a tutor to improve your understanding of course material by signing up for a tutor’s assistance. Go to the College-in-the Woods Library, any weekday between 9:00am and 12 Midnight to learn which courses have tutors available. You can also learn about Study Groups and when they meet.

There are Walk-In Tutoring Sessions available for many Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Economics, many Math classes, and Writing classes. Here is the schedule for Spring 2012:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/clt/walk-in-tutoring.html

C. Tips from Successful International Students:
This website provides tips from successful international students to help you survive midterm exams (academically and emotionally!)
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/getting-good-grades/Surviving%20Mid-Terms.pdf

D. Plan Your Time:
Waiting to the last minute is never a good idea when you need to prepare for an exam. Planning how you will use your time will help you prepare and be less stressed. Plan time for study and schedule breaks, or time for a little fun. Remember, sleep is an essential part of preparing for a mid-term exam!

You can use the calendar function in Google to create a study schedule. Open your Bmail account, look at the top of the page to find the calendar function.

E. Visit the Discovery Centers:
Below you will find a link to the Discovery Center. If you are an undergraduate student, then at a Discovery Center you can learn about study groups and tutoring services. Don't forget, Binghamton University has many resources for academic support!
http://www2.binghamton.edu/discovery/centers.html

4. Two-Credit Undergraduate Internship Opportunity for Fall 2012
Internship Title: Communication Skills Development Assistant
Location: Public Speaking Skills Lab, Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C-4)

Interns will receive two credits through the Department of Human Development

The purpose of this internship is for students to develop and practice communication skills that they can apply to their career at Binghamton University and beyond. This internship will assist the interns in developing a repertoire of skills and strategies to employ when working with and providing feedback to peers about oral communication skills. By doing so, the interns will be able to further enhance their own communication skills. These skills will allow the interns to be more successful students, and to apply these skills toward future success as professionals interacting in a global society.

Application deadline is 5pm Thursday, March 22nd.
The applications are available through this link (be sure you are logged into your bmail account before clicking): https://docs.google.com/a/binghamton.edu/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dElGeUVQX3p1NlFOUS15OVc0ZVlFRGc6MQ

INTERNSHIP ACTIVITIES
Interns will have the following responsibilities:
1. Serve as a facilitator for individuals and small groups utilizing the Public Speaking Skills Lab, providing feedback about presentation and oral communication skills
2. Video-record presentations, review presentation process results with the presenters through face-to-face feedback, and ensure that students receive a copy of their feedback information.
3. Utilize various forms of communication techniques including digital video recorder, data projector, laptop, computer programs including Skype and web-based systems
4. Assist graduate and professional staff with development and implementation of video tutorials about oral communication skills, to provide to campus community through webpage
5. Market resources available through Public Speaking Skills Lab, including video marketing and presentations to campus community (students, faculty and staff)
6. Review, analyze and compile subject-based resources available through Public Speaking Skills lending library
7. Participate in weekly internship class to learn about and practice communication skills through readings, weekly reflection journals and class activities

TIME COMMITMENT
Interns will be expected to devote 6-8 hours a week to lab activities, which includes a 1 hour weekly class session

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS
1. Ability to work well independently as well as a team member
2. Creativity
3. Punctuality
4. Attention to detail
5. Willingness to speak in a public setting
6. Ability to provide constructive feedback

Contact Debbie Clinton Callaghan (dclinton@binghamton.edu) or Tyler Lenga (Graduate Assistant) tlenga@binghamton.edu, with any questions.

5. April 1 is the Deadline for Spring 2012 Health Insurance Adjustments
Please note that there is a deadline for requesting a Health Insurance Waiver or adjustment. – International students requesting a waiver or adjustment of their international health insurance fee must do so by April 1, 2012 for the Spring 2012 semester. To file a waiver or adjustment request go to: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/health-insurance/waiverinfo.html. Filing a request does not guarantee a wavier or adjustment. You must either be a graduate assistant (G.A.), Teaching Assistant (T.A) or Research Assistant (R.A.) funded through Binghamton University and enrolled in employee health insurance, OR meet the standards for comparable coverage outlined on the ISSS Health Insurance web page located through the above link.

If you have questions about the International Student Health Insurance, please contact the International Health Insurance Team at intl.insure@binghamton.edu

6. Prize Competition for Academic Integrity Posters and Online Presentations
Harpur College and the Dean of Students office are sponsoring a competition for outstanding educational and promotional materials on academic integrity. This competition is pen to all BU undergraduate students. The deadline is April 27. Prizes of $150, $100, and $50 will be awarded. Honorable mentions may be awarded. See http://www2.binghamton.edu/art/contest.html and for contest entry form: http://www2.binghamton.edu/art/pdf/BUAcadIntegEntryForm.pdf

7. This Week’s Campus and Community Connections Newsletter
The latest Campus and Community Connections newsletter has been posted at:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/cce/connect/CCC-Spring2012-29.pdf

The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) publishes Campus and Community Connections to provide BU students with information on ways to participate in activities both on campus and in the local community, including:

* Upcoming Campus & Community Events
* Volunteer & Service Opportunities
* Internships (Credit & Non-Credit)
* Community-Based Research Project

Previous newsletters are archived at: http://www2.binghamton.edu/cce/campusconnect.html

For more information on the Center for Civic Engagement, visit http://www2.binghamton.edu/cce/

8. New Link on the ISSS Travel Pages
Many readers tell the ISSS that the web information on Travel is particularly helpful. We recently added a new link to the Travel pages that you may find useful. It is a trip calculator that will provide you with the mileage to your destination and calculate the cost of fuel (gasoline) for the trip. The link also contains some helpful travel tips.

You’ll find it in the travel links section:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/travel/index.html#five

The direct link to the trip calculator is: http://www.cheapcarinsurance.net/trip-calculator/

9. Green Card Stories: The Human Face of the Immigration Debate
Discussion and Book Signing on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 in Ithaca

DATE: Wednesday, April 4
TIME: 7:00 - 8:00 pm, followed by reception and book signing
LOCATION: Hangar Theatre, Cass Park, 801 Taughannock Boulevard, Ithaca, New York 14850
RSVP: Shannon Bush, rsvpgreencardstories@gmail.com

A celebration and signing for the release of the book Green Card Stories, a coffee table style book that depicts 50 recent immigrants with permanent residence or citizenship in artful written essays and photos.

Moderated by Stephen Yale-Loehr: Cornell Law School Adjunct Professor, Immigration Attorney and Co-Editor of Green Card Stories

With Sue Chaffee: Head of Immigrant Services Program at Ithaca's Catholic Charities
Farah Bala: Actress, Green Card Holder, Individual Featured in Green Card Stories

Alessio Balada: Business Owner, Green Card Holder, Individual Featured in Green Card Stories
Dr. Srisatish Devapatla: Neonatal Medicine, Cayuga Medical Center, Green Card Holder

About Green Card Stories
At a time when the immigration debate threatens to boil over, Americans are losing the ability to talk about a phenomenon that has defined who we are as a country - a nation predominantly of immigrants from all walks of life, from all corners of the earth, who have fueled America's success with individual talents. Green Card Stories demonstrates that today's immigrants are just as hardworking, energetic, and eager to contribute to U.S. society as past generations of new arrivals. It illustrates the energy and passion of these people and conveys a collective determination to fulfill their potential in America.

The book has been featured on CNN.com, Huffington Post, the Voice of America, WNYC, NY1, and Daytime, a Spanish language TV show that airs across the United States.

10. Is Box 13 Checked on Your New York State W-2 Form?
Some of our students who are GAs and TAs are completing their NYS income tax forms, and have noted that for some individuals their W-2 forms issued by NYS have box 13 checked "retirement plan." The check box indicates that they are eligible to join the NYS Employee’s Retirement System – it does not necessarily mean that a student has actually enrolled in a retirement plan. For the purposes of completing NYS Form IT-2, if Box 13 on your New York State W-2 is checked as “retirement plan” leave Box 13 on Form IT-2 blank.

11. Forms 1042-S Have Now Been Distributed
International students who are non-residents for tax purposes, and who were eligible to receive form 1042-S based on either a scholarship or a tax treaty by filing special forms with either Mr. Fred Bucalos of the Office of Human Resources, or with the SUNY Research Foundation Payroll Office should have now received their 1042-S Forms in the mail. If you have not already done so, please use GLACIER Tax Prep to report the income listed on the 1042-S on your tax returns. If you do not yet have a GLACIER account, you may obtain one by following the instructions at:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/taxes/glacier.html

12. Important Items to Remember When Completing Income Tax Forms
A number of students sometimes forget all of the necessary steps when completing their income tax forms. Here is a helpful reminder for ISSS-BU News readers:

  • The ISSS provides international students who are non residents for tax purposes (those who entered the United States in 2007 or more recently) with free tax preparation software for completing federal income tax returns. Remember to create your GLACIER Tax Prep accountbefore attempting to complete your federal tax firms. Follow the instructions at: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/taxes/glacier.html
  • Remember that GLACIER-prepared income tax forms must be printed from the GLACIER website, and mailed by you to the Internal Revenue Service Center in Austin, Texas. The pdf file that GLACIER will provide to you includes both the tax forms and an instructions page, which provides all of the information you need for assembling and mailing your federal income tax forms.
  • Do you need to file a New York State income tax form in addition to a federal form? On-line webcasts take you line-by-line through the New York State income tax forms, and provide a helpful overview of federal income tax law. You may view the webcasts at:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/taxes/webworkshp.html

  • All income tax forms (federal and state) must be signed before mailing. Otherwise, they will be returned to you.
  • Be sure to make a copy before you put your income tax forms in the mail!

13. Income Tax Information: How To File an Amended Tax Return
Some students have already filed their federal and state income tax returns, only to find that additional income reports for calendar year 2011 have arrived in the mail, either in the form of a W-2 or 1042-S. In such situations, an amended return needs to be filed. The instructions below are also available at:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/taxes/taxamend.html

Here's how to file an amended return.

To amend a federal return 1040NR EZ or 1040NR, first enter the updated information into GLACIER Tax Prep, and print a new 1040NR EZ or 1040NR. Write “amended” at the top of the new 1040NR EZ or 1040NR. Then, obtain form 1040X and instructions from the IRS website:

Form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040x.pdf

Instructions: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040x.pdf

Check the calendar year for this filing (Calendar Year 2011). Only enter your name, address and social security number on form 1040X and check the appropriate filing box. Do not enter any other information on page 1. Also do not complete Parts I and II on page 2 of form 1040X. Enter in Part III on page 2 the reason why you are filing form 1040X and a brief explanation of the changes or corrections being made. Be sure to sign and date the bottom of the 1040X. Attach the Part B federal copy of any new W-2 or 1042-S you are reporting. Attach the new 1040NR EZ or 1040NR behind the 1040X. Both the 1040X and amended 1040NR EZ should be sent together to the same Austin, Texas address where you mailed your original 1040NR EZ or 1040NR, which is: Internal Revenue Service Center, Austin, TX 73301-0215.

If you also filed a New York State form IT 203, you will need to amend that form as well, but the procedure is different than it is for the federal forms. To amend NYS form IT 203, obtain form IT 203-X and instructions from the New York State Tax Department website:

http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/it/it203x_fill_in.pdf Complete the IT 203-X in the same way you filled out the original IT 203, but this time make all necessary changes or corrections on the new form. Also be sure to complete question 77 and sign at the bottom of page 5. Prepare a new IT-2 if necessary. Otherwise, attach a copy of your previous IT-2 and a copy of IT-203B. Attach any 1042-S you are reporting. The IT 203-X and all attachments should be sent to: State Processing Center, PO Box 61000, Albany, New York 12261-0001 if you are entitled to a refund, OR to State Processing Center, PO Box 5555, Albany, New York 12212-5555 if you owe tax to New York State.

Remember to make all necessary adjustments to total income and taxes when completing the amended forms, and keep copies of everything you send.

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Last Updated: 8/28/14