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Form 1042-S Federal Tax Issue

Modified: June 10, 2016

The IRS recently issued a press release on the 2014 1042-S tax problem many students across the nation have been facing.  The IRS reviewed their new tax verification system and has found several areas where it was incorrectly delaying refunds. The IRS is working to identify all of those still affected by this software flaw and will issue refunds to the taxpayers still experiencing holds.

Many of Northwestern’s students have already received relief from their 2014 1042-S tax problem, as a result of a solution that Northwestern worked diligently with the IRS to implement. To date, we have received positive reports from some students affected by the 2014 Form 1042-S issue: they have either received a refund or received letters from the IRS stating their 2014 Form 1042-S tax matter has been resolved or that their refunds (if owed) would be processed and sent shortly. 

It will take some time for the IRS to identify and refund the remaining students affected by this verification system issue and issue applicable credits. Those students that have additional unresolved 2014 tax matters unrelated to your Form 1042-S or if you have not heard from the IRS, please contact them by calling 800-829-8374. The IRS has strict rules limiting who may access your personal tax information and Northwestern is not authorized to check on the status of your return or speak with the IRS on your behalf. When checking on the status of your 2014 tax return, please review the key points below:

  • You may check the status of your return and refund at the IRS website, https://www.irs.gov/Refunds.
  • Call the IRS (800-829-8374) if you cannot confirm via the IRS website that your 2014 return and refund (if owed) is in process. Plan accordingly. When you call the IRS, the wait time to speak with an IRS representative may exceed 30 minutes.
  • Your refund should be sent via the method you indicated on your tax return (e.g. paper check or direct deposit).
  • Verify that the bank account and address you listed on your 2014 return is still correct. The IRS will use the address reflected on your most recent tax filing.

If you learn that your 2014 Form 1042-S matter is unresolved, inform the IRS Representative that you would like to put your account on hold using the guidance provided in our FAQs.  Please contact payroll@northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-7362 if you have any questions or need additional information. 

2015 Tax Filing

If you have not filed your 2015 tax return, make sure you file it by your respective due date: 

  • If you only had 1042-S income in 2015, the deadline for filing your income tax return is June 15, 2016.  
  • If you had both Form 1042-S income and Form W2 wages from Northwestern and/or another employer in 2015 and filed for an extension, your due date is October 17, 2016
  • If you had both Form 1042-S income and Form W2 wages from Northwestern and/or another employer in 2015 and did not file an extension, contact the IRS (800-829-8374).  
1042-S Communication Archive

Information about the issue and how to take action    
March 4 email
March 9 email
March 15 letter regarding 2015 1042-S forms
Frequently Asked Questions about the 1042-S issue
April 1 email     
April 6 info session email    
April 11 tax consultant sessions for 2014 form   s
April 14 PricewaterhouseCoopers presentation on the Form 1042-S tax issue     
Video from the PricewaterhouseCoopers presentation
May 20 email     
June 10 email