Months after filing for their 2015 tax returns, most international students at Yale are still waiting for their money from 2014.
Every year, international scholars must file a tax return — often for a sizable amount — for their tax-exempt financial aid and scholarships. Students generally expect to receive the refund within eight weeks of filing, but the IRS delayed the 2014 payment for a 12-month period, citing a data matching problem.
As of last week, 440 of nearly 500 international students responding to a University-wide survey had not yet received their 2014 refunds. With the one-year deadline having passed in April, Yale’s Office of International Students & Scholars is teaming up with other universities across the nation to exert pressure on the IRS.
“This information [from the survey], along with information from other U.S. universities, was extremely helpful in making the case to the IRS and Congress,” Director of OISS Ann Kuhlman said in a June 9 email to international students.
Facing pressure, the IRS released a statement on June 6, announcing that it has reviewed the procedures and will begin processing all the 2014 returns for nonresidents. But in her email, Kuhlman said it is still not clear how long the processing will take, and urged international students to stay in touch with her office.
The delay has baffled many foreign students at Yale, and even created financial troubles for some. Yupei Guo ’17 told the News earlier this year that she had planned to use the tax refund to pay for her tuition, but had to look for alternative sources of fundings.
In March, the IRS held a conference call with the National Association of College and University Business Officers, as well as various school representatives, to discuss the issue. The IRS agreed to review the way it handles 1042-S forms, a foreigner tax return form for any U.S. source income, but did not provide a timeline for a solution.
The national taxpayer advocate’s 2015 annual report to Congress, issued in April, also raised concerns about 1042-S forms.