WHAT DOES "FILING TAXES" MEAN?
If you earn any money from a U.S.-based entity (stipend/wages, loan, scholarship etc.), you must show that you paid enough taxes on your income (most U.S. income is taxed). To show that you paid enough tax, you must file a tax return form to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
If you paid too much tax, the U.S. government will give you money back (known as a "tax refund"). If you did not pay enough tax, you will be asked to pay what you owe.
Any international student/scholar who received any income or scholarship in 2016 is REQUIRED by federal law to file a U.S. income tax return by the deadline of April 18, 2017.
If you are an international student or scholar on F or J visa, which means you are a non-resident for tax purposes, use the chart below to determine which forms you should file:
TYPE OF INCOME
FORM TO FILL OUT
No income or bank interest only (this should be filed for you AND your dependents)
Wages and/or scholarship/fellowship
INCOME SOURCES INCLUDE:
- On-campus employment
- Graduate assistantships
- FAU scholarships
- Any paid Practical Training (both CPT and OPT)
At the beginning of the 2017 year you should receive an official form from your income source showing total wages earned and taxes paid. You must obtain these forms first in order to file your tax return. The names of the forms are as follows:
- On-campus employment – Form W-2
- Graduate assistantships – Form W-2
- Fellowships – Form W-2
- FAU scholarships – Form 1042-S
- Any paid Practical Training (both CPT and OPT) – Form W-2 or Form 1099
If you do not receive any of these forms from your income source i.e. employer by February, please contact them directly to obtain a copy.
Once you have the forms you are ready to file your income tax return.
HOW DO I COMPLETE THESE FORMS?
The ISSS staff are NOT tax experts, so we will not assist you in filing your taxes. If you need help completing the forms, please feel free to make use of the following resources:
- Sprintax – an online tool specifically designated for international students and scholars
- Internal Revenue Service website
- IRS telephone assistance to answer general tax questions (1-800-829-1040).
- IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers located in both Miami and West Palm Beach, contact them directly to make an appointment for free tax filing assistance: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-Florida
HOW DO I FILE MY TAX RETURN?
If you are a non-resident for tax purposes, you must print off your forms and MAIL them to the IRS office. The IRS address will be listed on the tax return form or its instruction page.
The state of Florida does not have a separate state income tax, but some states do. If you were previously employed in another state with a state income tax, you may be required to file an additional tax form. Check the
website for information on taxation for that state.
FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS:
Below are links to of some of the publications you may need to file your taxes. For additional forms and publications, refer to the Internal Revenue Service website http://www.irs.gov/.
Remember to photocopy all completed forms for your reference before mailing them to the Internal Revenue Service.
Form 8843 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8843.pdf
Form 1040NR-EZ http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040nre.pdf
Instructions for Form 1040NR-EZ https://find.irs.gov/c/search?affiliate=IRS&commit=Submit+Query&query=1040nrez+instruction&utf8=%E2%9C%93
Form 1040NR http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040nr.pdf
Instructions for Form 1040NR http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040nr.pdf
Form W-7 Instructions http://www.irs.gov/instructions/iw7/ch01.html