Tax Information

It is important to be aware that, as an international student or scholar present in the US from January 1 to December 31 of any given year, you’re legally required to file a tax return in April of the following year if you received US income.

If you’re a non-resident for tax purposes and didn’t work or receive income in the US, you’re still obliged to file a Form 8843 with the IRS.

Important note: The staff at the OISS are not trained in taxation, and therefore cannot answer specific tax questions or help you prepare your tax forms. It is your responsibility to meet your tax obligations and do so accurately.

Who Must File A Tax Return?

Filing IS required by nonresident alien students and scholars who have:Filing is NOT required by nonresident alien students who have income ONLY from:
A taxable scholarship or fellowship, Tax Benefits for Education above the amount of tuitionForeign sources
Income partially or totally exempt from tax under the terms of a tax treatyInterest income from a U.S. bank, a U.S. savings & loan institution, a U.S. credit union, a U.S. insurance company
Any other income, which is taxable under the Internal Revenue CodeAn investment, which generates portfolio interest
A scholarship or fellowship that covers only tuition
Any other income which is not taxable under the Internal Revenue Code

Determining Residency for Tax Purposes

In legal terms, non-citizens of the US are called “aliens.” There are two types of aliens for tax purposes: nonresident and resident.  These categories are for tax purposes only and are not related to your immigration status.   You may be in F-1 or J-1 non immigrant status and considered a resident for tax purposes. Sprintax is helpful for determining residency status and for completing tax returns for non-resident tax payers.

IRS Form 8843

All Nonresident Alien for tax purposes, students, scholars and their dependents in F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 status present in the U.S. must file the IRS Form 8843, even if no U.S.-sourced income was received. Form 8843 is not a tax return, but an informational statement required by the U.S. government.

Income which is not taxable because of an income tax treaty must be reported on a U.S. income tax return even though no income tax is due on the U.S. income tax return.

This form is solely informational – you will not be required to submit any payment.
Students need only complete Sections I and III, scholars need only complete Sections I and II. Make sure to sign the last page

IRS Form 8843 must be mailed to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215

Identify Theft

Please be careful of scams and internet “phishing” that use the IRS name or other tax-related references to gain access to your personal information in order to commit identity theft. The IRS does not send emails or request personal information by email or phone. To learn more about scams and report phishing incidents to the IRS, visit the IRS website.

We’re here to help

Office of International Students and Scholars
Office Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30am – 4:30pm Eastern Time

International Center, 3rd FL
37 Lower College Road
Kingston, RI, 02881
Phone: 401.874.2395

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