MSU College of Law

Michigan State University Turfgrass Students

MSU Tax Clinic is here to help you! On this webpage, you will find all the information you need to work with the MSU College of Law Tax Clinic in completing your 2014 federal, state, and local income tax returns.

Our Clinic specializes in helping educate English-as-a-second-language taxpayers about their United State tax responsibilities. If you earned wages in the United States in 2014, you have to 2014 federal, state, and local returns – these returns are due for filing in April 2015. We do not charge you any fees to prepare your tax returns – this is a free service.

Listed below are the forms discussed at our initial meeting on July 21, 2014. If you have not yet turned in your completed initial contact form and retainer agreement, please email those forms to as soon as possible. Additionally, if you have not already done so, please email a copy of your passport and visa photo page, as well as a copy of your DS-2019, to

Remember to give your employer the form 8233 and attachment that was filled out at our initial meeting. If you need another copy, the form, attachment, and instructions are linked below.

Timeline for Completion of your 2014 Income Tax Returns

August 8: By August 8, 2014, you must email a copy of your passport and visa photo page, and DS-2019 to the Tax Clinic at

December: In December 2014, you will receive an email reminding you that your W2 and/or 1042-S must be sent to the Tax Clinic in early February 2015. You should receive your W2 and/or 1042-S from your employer in the mail in early February.

January 20, 2015: On January 20, 2015, you will receive an email reminding you that you should receive your W2 and/or 1042-S soon and that you must email your W2 and/or 1042-S to the Tax Clinic in early February 2015.

February 13, 2015: You should have received your W2 and/or 1042-S from your employer and emailed it to the Tax Clinic at If you have not received your W2 and/or 1042-S, you should contact your employer.

March 13, 2015: If the Tax Clinic has not received all the necessary information by March 13, 2015, your income tax returns will not be completed by the deadline. The Tax Clinic will file an extension on your behalf and complete your returns over the summer.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us! You can call us at (517) 336-8088 option 4 or email us at (Student Tax Help).

Turfgrass - MSU Tax Clinic Documents:

Helpful Definitions and Explanation of Tax Terms:

Tax Return: A tax return is the form you file to disclose your income information to the Internal Revenue Service. Individual states and cities may also have their own tax returns. MSU Tax Clinic will determine where you need to file a tax return and help you fill out your tax returns. As international students you have an obligation to file a tax return if you earn money in the United States.

W2 form: A “W2” is a wage and tax statement. It will list the total amount of income you received for 2014. Your employer will mail your W2 form directly to you; you should receive the form in early February. If you change your address after you stop working, you should make sure your previous employer has your new address so the employer knows which address to mail your W2 form.

1042-S form: Because you are an international student, you may receive a 1042-S form instead of, or in addition to, a W2 form. Not everyone will receive a 1042-S form from their employer, but, if you do not receive a 1042-S form, you should receive a W2 form.

Withholding: Tax withholding is the amount withheld from your paycheck each pay period. If there is state and city tax in addition to federal tax, you will see three separate amounts of withholding: (1) federal income tax withheld; (2) state income tax withheld; and (3) local or city tax withheld. When you file your tax returns in spring 2015, you may receive some of, or all, this money back. Because you are a resident of China and are exempt from tax on the first $5,000 you earn, you can fill out Form 8233 to have less money withheld each pay period.

Tax Refund: If you have too much money withheld from your paycheck, you can file a tax return to request a refund. Each student’s situation will be different and the amount you receive in a refund depends on a variety of factors.