Letter to the Editor on the international tax process

April 19, 2016, 11:59 p.m.
Dear Editor:
We appreciate the article Anne-Marie Hwang wrote on April 12 about the considerable problems being faced by international students around the country concerning their tax reporting for 2014. We would like to add a few clarifying comments.
Stanford was aware of this issue from the beginning and has been working with both individual students and with large tax software companies. In addition, we have been in close contact with other institutions across the country. The crux of the issue is a federal agency that is either unresponsive to this issue or is taking an inordinate amount of time to determine what has happened. While the consensus is that the problem has been caused by the IRS and not by institutions (reporting inaccurate information), this does not help individual students who have been asked to pay taxes rather than receive the refund they are due and expected.
We continue to work on this issue, even as students are filing their 2015 returns. We wish we could say this will be resolved soon but currently there is no timeline from the IRS, although the advocate’s office in that agency is very aware of the problem and the urgency.
John Pearson
Assistant vice provost and director of Bechtel International Center

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