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Current ISO Student News

Issue 15: April 15, 2014 


Table of Contents

  1. Tax Forms Must Be Postmarked By Today, April 15! (more)
  2. CAUTION: Recent Tax Filing Related Scam (more)
  3. Update on H-1B Cap & Cap-Gap Extension  (more)
  4. Rush Rhees Library Survey (more)
  5. Participate as a Reader for Easter Vigil Service, April 19 (more)
  6. RGC SpotlightRed Wings Baseball Game & Stadium Tour - Saturday, April 26  (more)
  7. Campus Focus: Balinese Percussion Ensemble, April 28 & Final Asian Heritage Month 2014 Events  (more)

  


Tax Forms Must Be Postmarked By Today, April 15!

Today is Tax Day in the U.S.!  In order to avoid late fees or penalties, all required tax forms must be in the mail no later than today, Tuesday, April 15.  The Postal Service will likely hold extended hours today, to allow late filers to meet this deadline.  To find out which branches will offer extended hours, you can call them at (800) ASK-USPS, or 800-275-8777. 

If you are unable to complete your tax return and mail it today, you may want to request an extension.  “Requesting an automatic extension” means you send the government a form that will automatically grant you an additional 6 months to file your tax form without penalty for filing late.  You should send a separate extension request to both the Internal Revenue Service for your federal taxes, and to New York or any other state where you earned money in 2013.  However, all extension requests must also be postmarked by April 15!  This automatically gives you until October 15 to file your completed tax forms with the IRS and the state(s).  While most students will not owe any additional money for taxes, any money that you do owe may be subject to interest charges.  Instructions to file for an extension are listed below.  You should keep a copy of each form and enclose a copy with your tax return when you do file.  Please see Issue 14 of ISO Student News for instructions about how to file for an extension.

Reminder: International students must be careful to file the appropriate tax forms depending on their tax status.  Most tax software programs assume that the filer is a U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident, or Resident Alien for tax purposes.  If you are a Non-Resident Alien for tax purposes, the Glacier Tax Prep software will calculate your taxes and prepare the correct forms.  GLACIER Tax Prep is your best resource for guidance through the non-resident alien tax process, unless you prefer to pay for professional services or prepare the forms on your own.  You should not use TurboTax, or other similar software programs, unless you are a Resident Alien for tax purposes.  As a reminder, your GLACIER Tax Prep record determines your current tax status.  It is considered fraud to file tax forms that are not appropriate to your status.  If you are a non-resident alien for tax purposes who has used tax software other than GLACIER Tax Prep in error, please contact our tax consultant (rosemarie.eskes@rochester.edu) for information about how to amend your tax returns.

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CAUTION: Recent Tax Filing Related Scam

The ISO has learned of a recent phishing scam that appears to be related to tax filing.  Each year, millions of people receive an email "from the IRS" that looks very real.  The email asks the person to click on a link in order to get their tax refund electronically deposited into their bank account.  The person is asked to enter his or her SSN/ITIN and bank information, and then told that the refund will be made available in about 24 hours.

This is a scam!  The International Revenue Service (IRS) does not and cannot send emails to taxpayers.  If you click on the link, a virus will be launched onto your computer.  If you actually enter your personal information, it is likely that money will be deducted from your bank account within a matter of minutes.  Do not fall for this scam!  It can cause harm to your computer, identity, and bank account.  Please note, email from companies saying they are helping IRS to deliver funds are also a scam!  The IRS does not work with anyone to distribute tax refunds. 

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Update on H-1B Cap & Cap-Gap Extension

Due to the high number of H-1B petitions received within the first week of the H-1B filing season, USCIS held a random computer selection lottery process to select H-1B subject cases for processing on April 10.  

If an H-1B petition has been successfully filed on your behalf, please be sure to inform the ISO by using the online OPT reporting form and submit a copy of your H-1B receipt to opt@rochester.edu.  The filing of your H-1B petition may make you eligible for the cap-gap extension, which extends your OPT work authorization to the time when the H1-B will start on October 1.  Please see the ISO webpage about the Cap-Gap Extension for more information.

You can also find more information about the H1-B cap online.

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Rush Rhees Library Survey 

Rush Rhees Library is seeking your input to help make library services even better.   Thank you for taking this brief survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/URLibraryUse.

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Participate as a Reader for Easter Vigil Service, April 19 

Easter Vigil Mass
Saturday, April 19, 9:00 pm
Interfaith Chapel, River Campus
The Newman Catholic Community is currently inviting international Catholic students to the Easter Vigil mass at 9:00 pm on April 19.  It is tradition at U of R to have each of the seven vigil readings read in a different language by one of our many international students.  If you are interested in joining as a lector for the evening, please contact Jenna Coriddi, Campus Minister for Service, Cultural Diversity, and Graduate Students: jcoriddi1@ur.rochester.edu.

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RGC Spotlight
: Red Wings Baseball Game & Stadium Tour – Saturday, April 26

Red Wings Baseball Game & Stadium Tour
Saturday, April 26 at 2:00PM
Frontier Field, 333 Plymouth Ave N
Sign up now!  RGC will offer a behind-the-scenes tour of Frontier Field, followed by a Red Wings baseball game later this month.  The tour starts at 2:00pm, and the game will start at 4:05pm.  Game lengths vary so you should allow at least 3 hours for play plus time to return to campus.  The approximate end for the event is 8:00pm. The tour will include team facilities and a presentation about the rules of baseball, which is known as “America’s Pastime.”  This event is $8 per person, which includes transportation to and from your campus, the tour, and your baseball game ticket.  Food purchases will be on your own.  There are many dining options at the stadium for dinner.  Attendance is limited to 40 participants so be sure to reserve as soon as possible as this tour will sell out quickly!  To sign up, fill out the Reservation Form online.

The Rochester Red Wings are a professional Triple-A baseball team, which means they are at the highest level of play in minor league baseball and players move from here directly into the major league. The Red Wings are an affiliate of the major league Minnesota Twins.  Rochester, New York has been named “Baseball City, USA” due to the dedicated fans in this city. The stadium, Frontier Field, holds 10,840 spectators. The stadium has 11 food vendors that serve entrees and another 18 specialty food locations.

RIT departure from campus will be 1:00 p.m. UR departure will be 1:30 p.m.

Rochester Global Connections (RGC) is a community-based volunteer organization that provides services to international students and Department of State visitors in the Rochester area. The International Services Office (ISO) hosts RGC at the University of Rochester and co-sponsors all events and activities.  For more information about RGC, visit their website at www.rochesterglobalconnections.org.

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Campus Focus
: Balinese Percussion Ensemble, April 28 & Final Asian Heritage Month 2014 Events

The ISO would like to share the following event details:

Balinese Percussion Ensemble by ESM's Gamelan Lila Muni
Monday, April 28th, 8:00 pm
Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music
As part of the Eastman School of Music's World Music Concert Series, Eastman's Gamelan Lila Muni will perform a Balinese Percussion Ensemble.  "Founded in 1993, Gamelan Lila Muni (Heavenly Sound) is a Balinese gamelan angklung orchestra. This kind of ensemble, one of more than 25 distinct types found on the island of Bali, is traditionally played only for ceremonial and ritual functions.  In the 20th century, newer styles of composition transferred into the gamelan angklung repertoire. This ensemble now commonly plays a large variety of music ranging from traditional, ceremonial music to modern secular dances" (Please see ESM's Gamelan Lila Muni Facebook).  Tickets may be purchased in person at the Eastman Theatre Box Office, by phone (585-454-2100), or online.

Asian Heritage Month 2014
Please see below for events planned for the remainder of Asian Heritage Month at UR

AHM Speaker: Shalini Kantayya
Thursday, April 17, 7:30 pm
Hubbell Auditorium, River Campus
This event is sponsored by AHM Committee and Global Water Brigades.

Rochester Zoo Visit
Saturday, April 19, 12:00 pm 
Seneca Park Zoo
This event is presented by Delta Phi Omega.

Bubble Tea Tinikling Workshop
Saturday, April 19, 4:00 pm 
Havens Lounge, Wilson Commons
This event is presented by FASA.  

AHM Night Market
Wednesday, April 23, 7:00
Hirst Lounge, Wilson Commons
This event is presented by AHM Committee.

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Editor: Lena Ovcharov, International Student Advisor