Tax Responsibilities

Income Tax Filing Requirement

This page has the objective of providing a general overview of the responsibilities that international students or scholars on F or J visas need to comply with during tax season in the United States. January 1 through April 15 is “Tax Season” in the U.S. During this period, U.S. citizens, permanent residents and many non-immigrants must file income tax returns and other tax forms. The ISSS Office cannot provide tax advice or assistance in the completion of the forms, but we want you to be informed and to be able to find the information in the right places.

By law, every individual in F-1, F-2, J-1 and J-2 status must file certain tax forms, even if they have not worked in the U.S. All international students, scholars and their dependents (F-1, F-2, J-1 and J-2 who have been in the United States the previous calendar year) who are non-residents for tax purposes MUST file tax Form 8843 (PDF).

For more information, visit the Foreign Student/Foreign Scholar Filing Requirements for U.S. Federal Income Tax Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ page.

If you worked and earned and income last year

If you worked and earned income in the U.S. last year, you should file an income tax return form 1040NR (PDF) AND Form 8843 (PDF) before April 15.

Filing your Federal Income Tax

If you were employed anytime during last year, you should have received a W-2 form from your employer. You will use the information on this form to file the IRS form 1040NR (PDF). For assistance filing, please see the information stated below about the Foreign National Tax Resource.

You may find these forms and more at the Internal Revenue Service Website.

If you did NOT work at all

If you did not earn any income, you should still file Form 8843 (PDF) before June 15.

What is a Tax Treaty Country?

The United States has income tax treaties with a number of foreign countries. Under these treaties, residents (not necessarily citizens) of foreign countries are taxed at a reduced rate, or are exempt from U.S. income taxes on certain items of income they receive from sources within the United States (an example of this are Athletic Scholarships for Room and Board). These reduced rates and exemptions vary among countries and specific items of income. To see if your country has a tax treaty with the United States that may exempt you from paying taxes, visit the IRS Tax Treaties Page.

To determine if your country has a tax treaty with the United States, view the Tax Treaty Table (PDF).

If you need to claim Tax Treaty benefits, you MUST have a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

Obtaining your SSN or your ITIN

To obtain a Social Security Number visit the ISSS SSN Page for instructions and information.

To obtain an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), visit the ITIN Information page on the IRS Website.

Additional Resources

Visit the International Student website to obtain more useful information and additional resources.

Visit TaxCare Inc. if you need information on personalized tax filing assistance.

* This information and resources are not directly endorsed by FIU, although you may decide to use them in the future.

Useful Videos

Filing US Taxes the simple way for international students.

A useful video with information on Filing a US Tax Return as an International Student

Tax Workshop - Want to know more about taxes in the U.S.? Come to our Tax Workshop sponsored by Tax Care Inc. They will provide a presentation and answer any questions you may have about filing taxes as an international student.Please see dates and times for the next Tax Workshops in the ISSS Calendar of Events.

Remember! ISSS advisors are NOT experts in income taxes and thus, cannot advise or assist you in filing your returns. The information on this webpage is provided as a service to enrolled international students at FIU. The information does not constitute tax advice and ISSS staff cannot assist with the preparation or completion of individual tax return forms.