International Postdoc Information

Tax Assistance Program Ask an Immigration Attorney
Notre Dame International Separation from University - Last Payment

Tax Assistance Program

The Notre Dame/Saint Mary’s College Tax Assistance Program (TAP) offers free tax return preparation services to international visitors. All international visitors in F-1 or J-1 status MUST file a tax return, even if they earned no income during the calendar year.    
                     
Tax services to international clients are by appointment only. Due to the many variables in international client tax situations, all international visitors are required to use the online Appointment Scheduling Process (ASP) to schedule their appointments. The ASP will guide tax clients to the preparer best suited to assist in their tax return preparations.

For more information on how to make an appointment, click here.

Ask an Immigration Attorney


Name:The Postdoc Office has partnered with immigration attorney Thomas Arkell, a partner with Dunn Law Firm, LLP in Chicago. He will graciously answer up to two immigration law questions per month for free. Any complete and appropriate questions received before the 20th of each month will be included for a monthly drawing. Two randomly selected questions will be passed to Mr. Arkell's office by the end of the month. If you would like to submit a question, you must send it to Valli Sarveswaran as well as a statement giving us permission to pass the question and your email address to Mr. Arkell's office, who will then contact you directly with their answer. The template is:

Preferred email address:
Question:
Statement:
 I hereby give the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars my permission to send the above question and my email address to Mr. Arkell's office. I understand that any further communication with Mr. Arkell's office may cost money. I also understand that neither the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars nor the staff will be responsible for any outcome or consequences.

**The postdoc office staff has the right not to include your question to the pool if it is deemed incomplete or considered off-topic. The postdoc office will not entertain any communications once the questions are submitted to the attorney. Once a postdoc's question is selected for response, that postdoc will not be able to submit another question for 6 months.** 

Separating from the University - Last Payment for Salary and Tax Refund Information

Before you separate from the university, consider the following:

  • Check with the Tax Assistance Program to see if it’s best for you to leave your bank account open to receive a tax refund or consider receiving a refund as a check issued by the IRS.
    • Talk to a banker in your home country to determine if they have the ability to accept, process and deposit a check in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank account.
    • Understand the timing and fees associated with the transaction, especially if your bank needs to "send the check for collection". 
  • Be aware that U.S. financial institutions will not initiate wire transfers outside of the U.S. without an authorized person on the account being physically present at the branch. This means that if you have funds in your bank account, you will need to find other methods to access the funds.
  • Before you depart, meet with your U.S. banker to wire the majority of your balance to your home country.
    • Ask about any minimum account balance requirements or fees related to low account balances. 
  • Compare your departure date with the date of your last payroll and determine what options you have to access these funds.
    • Options are to have the last payroll direct deposited to your U.S, bank account or have a paper check mailed to you.
  • Ask your U.S. banker the best way to access any funds that are deposited after you leave the U.S.
    • Consider using your debit/ATM card for purchases or withdrawing funds from an ATM but understand the fees associated with these transactions when initiated outside the U.S.
    • Likely there is an international fee that is a percentage of the transaction amount as well as a flat fee.
  • Remember to inform your U.S. bank if your debit/ATM card will be used in other states or countries otherwise transactions might be red-flagged or rejected.
  • Check in with your host department if you want your final payroll to not be a direct deposit to your bank account but a check mailed to you at your new address.
  • Talk to a banker in your home country and determine if they have the ability to accept, process and deposit a check in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank account. Understand the timing and fees associated with the transaction, especially if your bank needs to "send the check for collection". 

Click here for PDF version of this checklist.

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