International Student Services

Income Tax Return

International students in the United States are strongly encouraged to complete and submit the tax reporting on income to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) before the deadline.  While it does not effect student or scholar immigration visa status, it may impact student’s ability to claim or pursue residency in the future.

The staffs in the Office of International Student Services is not trained nor qualified to provide advice to students.  Therefore, we invite and arrange for the H&R BLOCK company to campus and assist students during select dates in the spring semester.  The workshop is generally free to the students, unless the student need help filing the income tax for a tax refund.  Students who missed the sessions may arrange for an individual appointment at the closest tax specialist.  Tax law changes often, therefore, do not rely on your helpful friends.

(1) Students who worked at any time during the previous fiscal year (January-December) must bring the following documentations:

  • Passport, and visa (in the passport)
  • I-20, or DS-2019 form
  • Social Security Number, or SSN
  • W2 form (wage and salary report from employer)

(2) Students who did not work during the previous fiscal year (January-December) should bring the following documentations, and is required to complete and submit Form 8843.

  • Passport, and visa (in the passport)
  • I-20, or DS-2019 form

Do I need a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file Form 8843?

The general answer is no. Non-resident international students and scholars, for tax purposes, who are not required to file an income tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ), but are required to file Form 8843 do not need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If an international student or scholar has been issued a SSN or ITIN, the number should be included on Form 8843.

An exception to this rule is for individuals who are eligible to be claimed as exemptions on a U.S. income tax return. If a dependent can be claimed they must have an SSN or ITIN. Only dependents from a limited list of countries may claim an exemption for their dependents on their U.S. income tax return (Form 1040NR). An exemption for a spouse or dependents is only applicable if the country of tax residence (for the F-1 or J-1) is:

  • Canada
  • Korea
  • Mexico
  • India (applicable only to F-1 and J-1 students)

(3) Students who did not work during the previous fiscal year (January-December), BUT receives athletic scholarship that is taxable such as the cost of room/board.  Student should bring the following documentations:

  • Passport, and visa (in the passport)
  • I-20, or DS-2019 form
  • Social security number (if available,) or ITIN number (individual taxpayer identification number)
  • 1042-S form (if student qualified for tax treaty, or university scholarship in excess of tuition/fees)

How you report any taxable scholarship or fellowship grant income depends on which return you file.

  • Form 1040EZ.   If you file Form 1040EZ, include the taxable amount in the total on line 1. If the taxable amount was not reported on Form W-2, also enter “SCH” and the taxable amount in the space to the left of line 1.
  • Form 1040A.   If you file Form 1040A, include the taxable amount in the total on line 7. If the taxable amount was not reported on Form W-2, also enter “SCH” and the taxable amount in the space to the left of line 7.
  • Form 1040.   If you file Form 1040, include the taxable amount in the total on line 7. If the taxable amount was not reported on Form W-2, also enter “SCH” and the taxable amount on the dotted line next to line 7.
  • Form 1040NR.   If you file Form 1040NR, report the taxable amount on line 12. Generally, you must report the amount shown on Form(s) 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, box 2. See the Instructions for Form 1040NR for more information.
  • Form 1040NR-EZ.   If you file Form 1040NR-EZ, report the taxable amount on line 5. Generally, you must report the amount shown on Form(s) 1042-S, box 2. See the Instructions for Form 1040NR-EZ for more information.

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