Student Tax Return
All international students inside the United States must file their tax return each year. In 2021 this needs to be done on or before Thursday, May 17th. Our tax section has all the information and advice you need to file your tax return and get professional help, if needed.
What forms do I need to submit?
- Every international student, along with their dependents, will need to file Form 8843 separately.
- If you have received income in the last calendar year then you will need to file Form 8843 and most likely Form 1040-NR also.
How do I submit these forms?
There are a number of ways that you can submit these forms:
- Do it yourself - the forms are all available online from the IRS and you can print them off, complete them for each family member and submit them to the IRS directly for processing.
- Do it yourself (with our help) - we have created an online IRS Form 8843 Wizard that pre-populates the Form 8843 automatically for you. Enter all your details into the web form for us to pre-populate Form 8843 with all your details. Check it over, sign and date it and send it to the IRS for processing.
- Expert Tax Advice - we have partnered with Sprintax to provide expert tax advice and assistance for a fee. You can contact them directly for any expert assistance or advice you need which is especially helpful for more complicated tax returns.
Why should I file a tax return?
Every international student and their dependents (including spouses and children of all ages) are required to file their tax return if they were in the US during the previous calendar year. While filing your tax return may sound difficult, there are a number of benefits to doing so other than it’s the law:
- You might get a refund - Some international students will qualify for a refund due to tax treaties and a lack of serious income if they’ve earned income in the US.
- Protect taxation of your worldwide income.
- You fulfill your visa obligations - All international students must file at least Form 8843 (see below) in order to remain legal under F, J, M & Q visas, even if you didn’t earn any money in the US.
Tax Return Videos
We have two excellent videos that will provide you with information, advice and answer many of the frequently asked questions that crop up when dealing with taxes. You can see them here:
Overview of the American Tax System
Americans and others residing within this country must pay taxes to the state and federal government, and the process is completed through an agency called the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Usually when someone earns money a portion of it is automatically deducted and sent directly to the government. Organizations that pay individuals send a summary of how much money they paid you every January or so, as well as how much of that was sent to the government. The purpose of filing your tax return is to report all your sources of income to the government, what you already paid, and what you still owe. It is also an opportunity to claim deductions or exemptions you may qualify for. At the end of the process, you calculate how much in total you should have paid. If you paid more than what you owe during the year, you get a refund. On the other hand, if you didn't pay enough, you have to pay the difference.
Have more questions about your taxes?
- Visit our frequently asked questions to learn more
- Contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040
- Contact Sprintax for professional tax advice and guidance