KU News Release

April 7, 2011
Contact: Jo Hardesty, Legal Services for Students, 785-864-5665

Legal Services for Students offers assistance for student, international taxpayers

More Information

LAWRENCE — Legal Services for Students at the University of Kansas is offering free tax filing assistance to students enrolled at the Lawrence campus and to international taxpayers who need to file nonresident federal tax returns.

Legal Services for Students offers international tax workshops at the Lawrence campus until the April filing deadline, as well as several workshops at the KU Medical Center, to assist those who need to file nonresident federal tax returns. A schedule of all workshops can be found at legalservices.ku.edu.

The workshops are made possible in part by a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Grant from the Internal Revenue Service. Last year, Legal Services for Students staff assisted more than 900 international tax filers and resulted in total federal tax refunds of almost $200,000. All international students are required to file a form with the IRS even if they did not receive income in 2010.

At the workshops, tax attorneys and interns assist international students, faculty and staff in using software to complete their federal and state tax returns. Although the software is designed to make filing taxes easier, many people still have questions about their returns and need meaningful assistance.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of the international tax workshops is being able to explain U.S. tax law to people who aren’t familiar with it,” said Josh Goetting, an attorney who assists at the workshops.

Joe Potts, director of International Student and Scholar Services, expressed appreciation for the workshops.

“Americans are themselves bewildered by the complexities of filing taxes in this country, so you can imagine how much more confusing the forms and instructions are for visitors,” he said. “All international students are required to file, even if they haven’t been employed, but LSS makes the process manageable and efficient for many hundreds of students every spring. We’re truly grateful for the important service they provide.”

Legal Services for Students also offers individual appointments for international students, staff and faculty whose tax returns are too complex to complete using the standard software. These returns often involve dealing with complex tax treaty benefits to which some international persons may be entitled.

Legal Services for Students also assists with complex U.S. returns. These returns often involve situations where a student has lived or worked in multiple states or has worked as an independent contractor and must file additional information with his or her tax return. Students who need this type of assistance are encouraged to contact Legal Services for Students to schedule a free appointment with a tax attorney.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

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