The tax season is right upon us, and for international students navigating the complex US tax system is not an easy task. The first thing to note is that ALL international students who were in the USA during the last year will need to submit and file their taxes – even if you received no income!
So now that we are clear that all students will need to file their taxes and submit at least one form, the next step is to work out what forms need to be completed:
Form 8843 – Must be filed by ALL international students present in United States to exclude the days of presence from the Substantial Presence Test.
Form 1040NR-EZ – Must be filed by all international students who have received any type of U.S income other than interest received from U.S. banks and credit unions.
Social Security and Medicare Taxes - International students nonresident for tax purposes are NOT subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes. If your employer has withheld Social Security and Medicare tax in error, you can apply to get a refund for the taxes withheld in error by filing Form 843 and Form 8316
To help you completing these forms and to work out what forms you need to complete, you can use our online system to enter in your personal details and information. The system will then put all this information into the correct forms for you to print off and send to the IRS. Unfortunately international students are not able to submit and file their taxes online – so you will need to mail them in.
There is a wealth of information about taxes for international students that is available on our website, plus you can also visit the official IRS website which has more detailed information. You can also call the IRS and talk to a representative and ask them questions about your taxes, they can be found at 1-800-829-1040.
If you are an international student who needs more complex tax assistance, then we highly suggest you opt for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – two resources who past students have used and recommended to us are:
Good luck with filing your tax returns!