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Dear International Students and Scholars,

Some of you have inquired about the $1,200 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Payments. While we understand that a vast majority of international students and scholars are NOT eligible to receive this payment, we are unable to answer your specific questions. Instead, we hope that the following guidance can provide you some of the information you need:


What is the CARES Economic Impact Payment?

This is a special payment authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). It is meant to provide assistance to individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes in the form of a payment for $1,200 to individuals who filed a federal income tax return as a resident for tax purposes.
 

Am I eligible to receive the CARES Economic Impact Payment?

Nonresidents for tax purposes are NOT eligible to receive this payment.
Residents for tax purposes who filed an income tax return and have a Social Security Number may be eligible. If you are a resident for tax purposes, Berkeley International Office can not advise you on whether you will receive this payment. 
 

I filed a tax return and received this payment. What should I do?

If you are a resident for tax purposes, we are not aware that you need to take action. 
Nonresidents for tax purposes are not eligible for the CARES payment. Nonresidents for tax purposes should always use Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) to properly prepare their nonresident income tax returns. If you are a nonresident for tax purposes and used GTP to correctly file your income tax return, then you should not be receiving the CARES payment and will not need to take action.
If you are a nonresident for tax purposes and incorrectly filed as a resident (e.g., by using Turbo Tax or a similar tax service), you may need to do the following to avoid violating U.S. law and jeopardizing your current or future immigration status:
  1. File an amended tax return as soon as possible. Obtain access to GTP. Log into GTP and go to the GTP FAQ page to learn how to file an amended tax return.
  2. If you received the CARES payment in error, do not spend it. Follow the IRS instructions if you received an erroneous payment.  

What are the consequences of filing a tax return incorrectly as a resident?

Filing a U.S. federal tax return incorrectly could be considered fraud and a violation of U.S. tax law and could impact your current or future immigration status. If you filed incorrectly, you will need to file an amended return (see above). If you need further assistance, we recommend that you contact the GTP staff directly by using the “Help” link on the GTP main menu page.

Sincerely,

Berkeley International Office

BIO advisors are not tax experts and are unable to provide any information in addition to what is above. We therefore ask you to kindly refrain from responding to this email. Replies to this email will not receive a response.

Berkeley International Office
internationaloffice.berkeley.edu

Our mailing address is:
Berkeley International Office
2150 Shattuck Ave Ste 500
Berkeley, CA 94704-1345

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