Tax Return Information
All nonresidents who earn taxable income in the United States, or claim the benefits of a tax treaty, are required to file a federal tax return.
The university partners with an outside vendor to provide an online tax filing process, meaning tax paperwork can be completed from the comfort of your home. Information regarding this online process is sent out by email to all international students and scholars.
If you do not receive any such email, contact the Nonresident Alien Taxation Office or begin a request via email below.
Most students in F-1 and J-1 immigration status may be employed for up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and up to full-time during authorized vacation periods. Employment is limited to on-campus jobs only without additional authorization from either USCIS or a staff member of the International Student and Scholar Services.
Employment of postdoctoral researchers and others in J-1 non-student status is also common. Persons in J-1 non-student status are generally eligible for full-time employment at the university and may be in benefit-eligible positions.
New employees who are not U.S. citizens will receive an email from the Nonresident Alien Taxation Office concerning the employee's tax status. The office will collect all relevant information (either by email or an in-person meeting) to determine the employee's tax residency, FICA status and eligibility for any tax treaty benefit.
Scholarships paid to nonresident alien students will be taxable income for any portions of the scholarship greater than the student's educational expenses or any amount provided directly to the student by cash or check. Nonresident alien students with taxable scholarship income will be contacted by the Nonresident Alien Taxation Office.
Educational expenses include resident and nonresident fees, student activity fees, information technology fees and any additional fees required by an academic department.
The portion of a scholarship determined to be taxable will generally be withheld at a rate of 14%. A tax treaty may reduce or eliminate the required withholding on taxable scholarships.
The United States currently has tax treaties with more than 60 countries. The treaties are designed to decrease the likelihood that nonresident aliens will be taxed on the same income in both the U.S. and the country of tax residency. Treaty benefits will not be honored unless appropriate treaty forms are completed and on file at the university.
Tax treaty benefits for students receiving compensation for employment are generally limited to a specific amount of income for each tax year (usually between $2,000 and $5,000 per year). Most treaty benefits will end once the student becomes a resident alien for tax purposes, so most treaty benefits will last no more than five years.
Tax treaty benefits for scholarship income may also be available for students, even if there is not a corresponding treaty for employment income.
Tax treaties for non-students (usually teachers and researchers) are generally not limited to a specific amount of income but are limited by a specific number of years. In some cases, if a non-student remains in the U.S. beyond the period covered by the treaty (usually two years from the date of entry), a "retroactive clause" in the treaty requires payment of all taxes that were previously exempt. It is therefore important to monitor these dates and treaty benefits carefully.
All nonresident aliens who earn taxable income in the United States are required to file a federal tax return. All nonresidents who claim the benefits of a tax treaty must also file a federal tax return. The deadline for this application to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be postmarked is mid April of each year.
Nonresidents will generally use either form 1040NR or form 1040NR-EZ to file their tax return with the IRS. The forms related to tax return preparation are listed and explained on the Tax Information for International Students, Faculty and Staff webpage.