As an F-1 or J-1 international student or scholar in the U.S., it is important that you understand the tax requirements of your immigration status. You are legally required to file a tax return (Form 1040) if you worked in the U.S. or received a stipend, grant, or allowance over a certain amount in the previous calendar year. Even if you did not work or receive income in the U.S., you are still legally obligated to file Form 8843 with the IRS.
The two main federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms that apply to international students and scholars are as follows:
- Form 8843 (for F-1 and J-1 students and scholars) – This form must be filed on or before June 15 regardless of whether you worked in the U.S. the previous year.
- Form 1040 NR/NR-EZ (for all non-immigrants who work in the U.S.) – This form must be filed on or before April 15 if you worked in the U.S. the previous year.
To file state income taxes for work done in New Jersey, you will find information on the State of New Jersey’s Division of Taxation site. To file state income taxes for work done in the state of New York, you will find information on the State of New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance site. For any other states, please refer to that state’s web page for their department/division of taxation.
You can find forms and information on tax preparation as well as free brand-name software that can assist you with the preparation and e-filing of your federal tax returns on the IRS’s website. Important tax information regarding international students and scholars can be found on the IRS’s Foreign Students and Scholars page. In addition, International Student and Scholar Services within the Office of International Engagement provides annual access to a free online tax filing system for foreign nationals; information is e-mailed to international students and scholars by February of each year.