Yes, international students & scholars are legally required to complete tax forms each year, even if they do not work.
The Office of International Education and Services (IES) does not provide tax advice. However, we have included information below that will help you understand your tax obligations as a F1 / J1 visa holder.
The taxation agency of the U.S. federal government is the Internal Revenue Service, commonly called the “IRS”. You can visit them at www.irs.gov. If your tax filing or forms are not filed correctly, you could be penalized, assessed fees and have difficulties renewing your visa.
For the convenience of our students, IES has purchased a tax preparation service which is available during the tax filing season. This includes access for one FREE federal tax filing.
A nonresident alien is an alien who has not passed the green card test or the “Substantial Presence Test”. This can be determined using the tax preparation service offered by IES. Most international students and scholars are considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes.
If you were present in the U.S. during 2016 and did not receive any U.S. income, you are required to complete Form 8843 and mail it to the IRS. The mailing address is included in the 8843 form instructions.
Form 8843 is not an income tax return form. It is an informational document required by the U.S. government for international students with no U.S. income.
You can visit the IRS at www.irs.gov for additional information including information about any possible exemptions.
If you were present in the U.S. during 2016 and had income, you are required to file a tax return (Federal and State). Income includes wages, recipient of grant/fellowships/scholarship, interest from stock options, lottery or gambling winnings, other types of non-wages income.
For your convenience, IES has partnered with Sprintax. Sprintax is an online tax preparation service that will help international students & scholars complete the federal tax forms.
Please note that this service is available only to current F1 / J1 international students & scholars. Information about the tax service is given below and is sent to all international students & scholars via email.
If you are a nonresident alien who is required to file a federal Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ (with Missouri source income of $600 or more), you must file Form MO-1040A (Short Form) or MO-1040 (Long Form).
The two Missouri state forms mentioned above, can be found on the Missouri Department of Revenue website.
For income sourced from other states, students would need to contact the Department of Revenue for that state.
State tax returns can be prepared by Sprintax Tax Preparation for a fee to be paid by the student. Students can also choose to complete the state returns on their own at no cost. IES advises students to use a service if they would need state tax filing assistance.
Sprintax is a nonresident alien tax preparation service that will assist you in completing the necessary paper based federal filing forms for you to print and send to the IRS. It will also determine your “Substantial Presence Test” to confirm if you are a nonresident alien.
To use the Sprintax Tax Preparation service to file a nonresident alien tax return, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org from your Southeast email. Your email should include your complete name and ID. You will receive an email update from International Education and Services once the service is active.
Attend one of the Tax Open Lab Sessions offered by International Education and Services. During these sessions, you will receive FREE access to Sprintax Tax Preparation service and prepare your tax filing.
Registration is required, as computer stations are limited. To register, please email your complete name, Southeast ID and your preferred date to email@example.com.
You will need to bring your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, dates of entry and departure from the U.S. for the previous six years, as well as all tax documents received. Tax documents include W-2, Form 1042-S, and/or 1099 forms.
Note, Form 1042-S is filed by March 15th to nonresident aliens who have requested to take advantage of a signed tax treaty.
Questions and support related to tax preparation and filing will be discussed during the offered open lab sessions.