The following information is a brief summary of the U.S. tax requirements for international studentss. Please remember that many exceptions apply depending on particular tax treaties between the U.S. and other countries.
Important: All F and J visa status holders (F-1, F-2, J-1 and J-2 including souse and children) are required by U.S. law to file an annual income tax statement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), even if they have not earned any income in the U.S. or are not required to pay any taxes. The tax year is from January 1 to December 31, but the filing deadline is April 15 of the subsequent year. For example, the 2010 tax return is due April 15, 2011. The Office of International Programs facilitates tax workshops around this time that will help you understand and fill out the necessary forms.
If you have income from a U.S. source, (including on– or off-campus employment, assistantships, fellowships, and/or scholarships) you must file a tax return by April 15. The Office of International Programs is usually able to arrange for general tax assistance for students (including the tax workshops).
If you are employed in the U.S., your employer is required to withhold (deduct) taxes from your paycheck, unless you are exempt from income tax because of a tax treaty the U.S. has signed with your home country. If you are in F-1 or J-1 status, however, you may be exempt from Social Security taxes (FICA). Each January, you employer(s) will send you (or our office) a tax statement (Form W-2), which is an official report of your income earned and taxes withheld. You will be required to submit a copy of this form to the IRS with your annual tax return. If you have any questions regarding any of this information, please contact the staff in the OIP.
If you are from a country that has a tax treaty with the U.S., you may be exempt from paying U.S. taxes on part or all of your income. Also, while employed here, you are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you have questions, contact the OIP or the Payroll Office in the basement of Kretzmann Hall.