Update on 2014 Tax Issues and Additional Events and Features

As problems with international students' 2014 tax returns continue to unfold, we are offering several options you may find helpful.  

  • An update on where advocacy efforts by NACUBO and others with the IRS stand and what guidance NACUBO* and GLACIER are offering; (*NACUBO=National Association of College and University Business Offices, i.e. the organization that represents offices such as our Payroll or Finance Office)
  • Individual tax advisement sessions at OIA with Alejandro Young from Young & Associates, LLC/Angie Gleghorn of the University's Payroll Office (more information and link to schedule your appointment below);
  • Letter-writing event providing students with contact information and support to write to several legislators, requesting their assistance to resolve the student's tax problem; 
  • Facebook Group for easy exchange of information on what students are experiencing, what has worked for them, what has not.
  • Not receiving OIA's e-mail messages? 

Please note that this information is for those students whose 2014 tax returns have not been resolved. If you did not have a 2014 tax filing, or if you have filed your 2014 tax return and received your refund (if you were due a refund), this information does not apply to you and any questions you may have should be directed to your usual contact person for such matters. 

An Update on Advocacy Efforts by NACUBO and Others

As of 4/28, six international students at the University who were struggling with this issue reported having received their refund for 2014, which means that their case has been resolved.  Several others have received letters or verbal confirmation in a phone call indicating that their case is being reviewed and will be processed in 30-45 days.  That leaves many students with uncertainty regarding their 2014 filing and several report having received IRS Notice 501, 503 or 504, indicating a levy or lien and with a due/response date in the next 30 days. GLACIER is asking everyone who received such a notice to send the letter to the GLACIER Tax Preparation Support Center at support@glaciertax.net as soon as possible.  GLACIER will turn all these letters over to the Taxpayer Advocate Service to work on a resolution, making these cases a priority. Anyone who has received a different letter or notice should continue to call the IRS to try and resolve the issue.  The notice should contain a phone number. This is your best first contact point.  If you have not received such a notice and need to contact the IRS, the IRS number for international tax returns is 1-267-941-1000. Select 1 for "English" then 4 for "international tax issue" then 1 for "individual refund." At that point you are connected with a person. Regardless which number you call, be prepared for long wait times. 

Individual Tax Advisement Sessions

Since students find their individual situations evolving from one interaction with the IRS to the next, new questions continue to arise and many may find a brief meeting with a tax expert helpful.  OIA has scheduled several blocks of 15-minute advisement sessions on April 28 (9-12), May 3 (12-4), May 5 (9-4), May 6 (9-12) and May 9 (9-12). You can schedule a 15-minute appointment on-line. For most efficient service, we ask you to answer a couple of questions at the time you schedule your appointment. If you find that you cannot keep your appointment, please access the scheduler again and cancel, so that someone else can schedule that time.

Letter-Writing Event

Representatives of GLACIER and NACUBO continue to work with the Taxpayer Advocate Service and various representatives of the IRS to find a resolution.  The group also communicated with the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation and was advised that institutions and individuals affected by this problem should contact the Tax Legislative Assistants of our US House Representative (Congressman Bobby Rush) and both US Senators (Senators Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk).  To make such contact as easy as possible for affected students, OIA is hosting a letter-writing event on May 2  from 5:00pm to 7:00pm in Social Science 122. Anyone affected by this tax situation is invited to attend on a walk-in basis. Arrive whenever you can and leave whenever you are done, between 5:00pm and 7:00pm.  There will be food and handouts, including a template you can use for your letter and the contact information of the three Illinois legislators as well as the members of the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. If you would prefer to enter your letter on-line to any/all of the legislators, we will assist with that as well.  

Please RSVP to the Facebook Event here

If you would prefer to write on your own, please see the links to the legislators' websites below.  They provide you with the address to which to send your letter (use the Washington, DC address) as well as an on-line comment option, if you would prefer to submit your request that way. If you decide to write a letter, the template below may be helpful.

Template for Letter to Legislators
  • Your name and full contact information (mailing address, phone number, email address)

  • Date

  • Senator’s/Representative’s title and name (e.g. Congressman Bobby Rush or Senator Richard Durbin)

  • Senator’s full address (use Washington, DC address)

  • Re: “Regarding line,” e.g. Failure of the IRS to process my 2014 tax return correctly

  • Salutation, e.g.  Dear Senator Durbin

  • Detailed description of your situation (be concise and to the point)

  • Request for the Senator’s/Representative’s support, e.g. “Having had no success at my attempts to get the matter resolved with the IRS directly, I turn to you with a request for your assistance.

  • Closing, e.g. “Thank you for your kind attention to this request and for any support you can provide!

  • Sincerely + your full name and signature

Contact Information for Legislators

Senator Richard Durbin, Senator Mark Kirk, Congressman Bobby Rush, members of the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation

New Facebook Group    

For students to easily communicate with each other and exchange information on what they have tried, what has worked, or what has not, join our Facebook Group "2014 Tax Issues."  Future information will be distributed through direct e-mail, e-mail to all international students, the Weekly Digest, this website, and Facebook. 

Not Receiving OIA's E-mail Messages?    

In connection with tax issues, we have heard from some of you that you are not receiving OIA's e-mail messages. If you suspect that you have not received OIA messages, please attempt to subscribe to the International Students list, which should show you whether your messages are bouncing. If you are subscribed already but aren't receiving messages, check your forwarding settings and your spam filter.  If none of these work, report the problem to international-affairs@uchicago.edu. Please note: Unsubscribe requests will only be honored from individuals who are no longer with the University of Chicago.  Immigration information is distributed through direct e-mail, the Weekly Digest, and the website.