Sprintax Tax Determination System (TDS)
The Catholic University of America uses the Sprintax TDS software to compile foreign national information for tax compliance purposes. Foreign nationals receiving payments from the University should complete a Sprintax TDS personal record to help the University make accurate withholdings from your pay.
If you do not submit the information and relevant tax forms requested by Sprintax, the University may tax you at the maximum withholding rate.
What is Sprintax TDS?
Sprintax TDS is a secure online tax determination system that assists the University and its international employees, students, and visitors in ensuring that U.S. tax compliance requirements are met. The University uses Sprintax TDS to collect information regarding current immigration status, country of citizenship and residence, relationship to the University, anticipated income sources, and history of presence in the U.S.
Once all relevant data is provided, Sprintax TDS can:
- Determine your U.S. tax residency status, eligibility to claim treaty benefits on your earnings in the U.S., and the appropriate tax withholding rates.
- Prepare applicable tax forms for submission to the University (Form 8233, W-8BEN, etc.)
- Store your data for both the University’s and your use in completing required U.S. income tax returns.
Keeping your Sprintax TDS record up-to-date, including changes in immigration status, will help to limit the chance that you may owe additional taxes on your income from the University at year-end as a result of under-withholding.
Who Should Complete a Sprintax TDS Profile?
Generally, all foreign nationals who will receive payments from the University should complete a TDS profile including but not limited to the following:
- Visiting professors and research scholars
- Visiting lecturers receiving honorariums
- Foreign independent contractors receiving compensation for services or royalty payments
- Student employees
- Students receiving stipends for room and board (Please note that qualified scholarships for tuition only are not taxable.)
How Do I Access and Use Sprintax TDS?
The University will identify individuals who require a Sprintax TDS profile. If identified, you will receive an email invitation from Sprintax TDS, which will prompt you to activate your account. The email will come from the address firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Welcome to Sprintax Tax Determination System." Once you activate your account, please complete your Sprintax TDS profile by filling in the online questionnaire.
Once all questions are answered, you can review the "TDS Summary" section and download all of the forms under the "Tax Forms" section of your Sprintax TDS profile. In addition to generating required tax forms, Sprintax TDS will identify specific "Supporting Documents" that are needed to verify your immigration and residency status. The "Tax Forms" and "Supporting Documents" should be signed and uploaded through the Document Exchange section of Sprintax TDS. Once all information is submitted, you may be contacted for additional information as needed.
List of Supporting Documents You May Need to Complete Your Profile
- I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status
- I-94 (online printout)
- Social Security Card or Individual Tax Identification Number
Assistance in completing your Sprintax TDS profile is available via a live chat function in the Sprintax TDS software. Sprintax also hosts a number of video tutorials that explain the process and guide you through the software: https://www.youtube.com/user/Sprintax/videos
Sprintax Tax Preparation
At year-end, if applicable, you will receive Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. Once the Form 1042-S has been generated, you will receive a notice from Sprintax TDS, informing you of your tax filing obligation and inviting you to prepare certain forms via the Tax Preparation System. At this point, with your permission, your TDS data can be seamlessly imported to Sprintax Tax Preparation, prepopulating much of the information required for the preparation of your tax filing obligations.
Nonresident aliens can use Sprintax Tax Preparation to prepare annual U.S. tax filings, including Form 1040-NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, and Form 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition.
If Sprintax TDS has determined that you are a resident alien for tax purposes, you will not be able to use Sprintax Tax Preparation for your U.S. filing requirements. However, you should ensure that you complete all appropriate filings.
University staff cannot offer personal tax advice or assist you in completing your tax forms. We recommend that you consult IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-publication-519 as a resource and seek the guidance of a tax professional as needed.