Taxes for International Students
WHO MUST FILE TAXES IN THE USA?
All F1 and J1 students (and their F2 or J2 dependents) are required to file income tax forms for each year they are present in the USA. This is required even if you did not work in the USA.
Income taxes are due on April 15 in the following year; some years this may be 1-2 days later if April 15 is a weekend or holiday. For example, if you lived in the USA for any part of 2015, you are responsible for filing 2015 income tax forms by April 15, 2016.
INCOME TAX WORKSHOP FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Each year a Tax Workshop is held to help students understand this process. If you have any questions about filing taxes, please attend this workshop. A representative from the IRS will be there to help answer your questions.
Income Tax Workshop
Date: Thursday, February 18
Time: 5:00 p.m. -6:00 p.m.
Location: AUD 320
Hosted by: Alejandro Young, EA, from Young & Associates, LLC
We will co-host a second workshop in March or April 2016 with Columbia College - more information will be posted when it is available.
If you need more assistance, click here
for more resources.
ALL STUDENTS WHO WERE IN THE USA FOR ANY PART OF THE PREVIOUS CALENDAR YEAR (2015)
You must file the Tax Form 8843 - Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition. You must file this form even if you did not work during the year. This form is now available on the IRS homepage.
You should complete this form to show that you are a "non-resident" for tax purposes (an "exempt individual"). This means that you may qualify for tax treaty or other benefits that reduce your tax rate if you are employed in the USA or have a taxable scholarship. You must submit this form each year to qualify as a "non-resident" for tax purposes.
The Tax Form 8843 must be submitted by no later than April 15, 2016.
FOR ALL STUDENTS WHO WORKED DURING ANY PART OF THE PREVIOUS CALENDAR YEAR (2015)
All international students who worked for any part of 2014 must file the Tax Form 8843 AND U.S. Federal Income Tax Forms (either the 1040NR-EZ or the 1040NR Form). You must also file Illinois State Tax Forms (IL-1040).
All state and federal income tax forms must be completed and sent to the IRS no later than April 15, 2016.
Tax Form 8843 - Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Forms
State of Illinois Revenue Forms
WHAT DO I NEED TO PREPARE MY TAXES?
Please bring any of the following documents that you have been issued if you meet with a tax preparer. You may not have all of these documents. You should have received the appropriate documents by mail or electronically from your employer and/or the university.
- Form W-2 - This is a statement prepared by your employer(s), showing income earned and taxes withheld.
- Form 1099 - You may receive this form if you were "self-employed" or worked as a contractor.
- Form 1042-S - You may receive this form if you received a scholarship.
- Form 1098-T - This form shows the tuition that you have paid; visit Student Accounts for more information on this form.
- Copy of last year’s return or tax forms (if you filed taxes in 2014)
- Passport, I-94, & visa
- I-20 or DS-2019
- Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- Record of dates you entered and left the US during 2015.
As international students and citizens of other countries, your country may have a tax treaty with the USA. You may or may not owe taxes and can often receive substantial refunds of withheld taxes if you file an income tax return. You can find more information on Tax Treaties on the IRS homepage.
HELP PREPARING YOUR INCOME TAX FORMS
The IRS provides help for all tax payers. You can find tax help on the IRS homepage or through several tax services in the Chicago area.
- Call the International Taxpayer Customer Service Telephone at 267-941-1000. This service is for non-resident tax issues. Help is available Monday - Friday from 6:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., Eastern time.
- Call the General Toll Free Telephone tax assistance telephone number at 800-829-1040. If they cannot answer your international tax question, they will forward it to a IRS Specialist. The IRS Specialist will respond in writing, telephone, or e-mail - please make sure you are available at the time you designate to be called back!
- The City of Chicago offers free, confidential tax help at locations across Chicago from late January through mid-April. Federal and Illinois tax return preparation and e-file are offered free of charge. Please visit http://taxprepchicago.org/
- for more information and a list of sites.
- The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to qualified individuals; visit their homepage to see if you qualify. To locate the nearest VITA site, use the VITA Locator Tool or call 800-906-9887.
- You can find help to determine your residency for "Tax Purposes" by reviewing
- Tax Topic 851 - Resident and Nonresident Aliens on the IRS homepage.
- Help for Illinois state taxes can be found at http://www.revenue.state.il.us/AboutIdor/ContactUs.htm.