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Tax information

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Most F-1 and J-1 students are considered a non-resident for tax purposes and must to pay the same taxes as a U.S. citizen or resident.  Therefore, all international students must complete and submit tax forms to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you lived in the U.S. for any part of the tax year. (Ex: If you lived in the U.S for at least 1 day during 2018, you will submit tax forms in April 2019.  Submitting tax form to the URS is a legal requirement.  

If you owe taxes and do not file, the U.S. Internal Revenue Services (IRS) can assess penalty and interest and seize U.S. bank assets for repayment. Fines and penalties can often amount to more than the original tax debt. There can also be immigration consequences for failing to file taxes. Applicants for permanent residency green cards are frequently asked to show proof of tax filing for previous years in the U.S.

Please keep in mind that no staff member of ASU is able to provide personal assistance with the completion of tax compliance while in their official roles at ASU, including acting as tax consultants or providing tax advice related to the completion of the forms.

Documents Needed to File Your Taxes

You will need the following documents to file your taxes:

A W-2.

If you were employed by ASU (not including Aramark of FOllett Bookstore) for any part of the tax year, you should receive a W-2 from ASU Human Resources. Please contact ASU’s Human Resources if you did not receive a W-2.  

  • If you were employed by another company or an outside vendor such as Aramark or Follett Bookstore, please speak to your human resources representative for your W-2.  

Form 1042S.

You may receive a 1042-S from ASU Tax Services if you received tax treaty benefits from ASU during the tax year or you had other taxable money that was not paid through payroll. Please contact internationalemployeemgmt@asu.edu if you did not receive a 1042-S. 

Other documents

You will also need copies of your Immigration documents including your Passport, I-20/DS-2019, and I-94 (if applicable).

How to file your Federal Tax return

If you lived in the U.S. for any part of the tax year but did not earn income from U.S. sources, you are required to file federal taxes using IRS form 8843 by April 15, 2019.

If you lived in the U.S. for any part of the tax year and earned income, including fellowships and scholarships, from U.S. sources, you must file federal taxes using IRS form 8843 AND either 1040 NR-EZ (if you don’t have dependents) or 1040 NR (if you have dependents) by April 15, 2019.

On page 3 of IRS Form 8843, there are general instructions.  You will mail your tax forms yourself to the address indicated on page 3. Before mailing anything, make copies for your records.

State Tax Filing

You may also be required to file a tax return for every state in which you earned income. In Arizona, you will file the Arizona Department of Revenue form 140 NR

If you transferred from another U.S. institution and earned income in another state, you must file a state income tax return for every state in which income was earned. Forms can be found on the website of each state’s department of revenue.  If you responsible for mailing your tax forms to the Arizona Department of Revenue.  

How to get tax assistance

Sprintax

ASU has arranged for students to be able to use Sprintax Tax Preparation, which is a preparation software for federal tax filing. Sprintax will guide you through the tax preparation process, prepare the necessary documents, and check if you are due a refund. 

As part of this benefit ASU will provide a code to pay the cost of your Federal tax return. You also will have an option to purchase the required state returns at a discounted rate. ASU does not provide a code for the cost of your state tax return.  

You are not required to use Sprintax for your federal or state returns if you do not want to.  However, please note that other tax preparation software like Turbotax does not allow individuals to file non-resident tax forms, so many international students may not use those software programs.  

All ASU international employees or scholarship/fellowship recipients are eligible to use Sprintax . This is a tax return preparation software specifically de­signed to help nonresident alien students, scholars and researchers prepare their U.S. federal income tax return.

  1. If you are an international employee of ASU (does not include Aramark or Follett Bookstore) or a scholarship/fellowship recipient, you will receive an email notification to your ASU email address when Sprintax is available for use in preparing your tax return.  Please be sure to check your outlook and gmail accounts including your spam folders.  

  2. If you attended ASU during the tax year but did not received a payment from ASU (outside companies or vendors including Aramark and Follett Bookstore), you may send a request to receive a Sprintax code to ISSC@asu.edu. Please include your full name and ASU ID number. Requests will be addressed on a case by case basis.

  3. If you were not attending ASU during the tax year and were working with a company or vendor through your Post-OPT, STEM OPT Extension or Academic Training authorization, you may send a request to receive a Sprintax code to ISSC@asu.edu. Please include your full name and ASU ID number. Requests will be addressed on a case by case basis.

NOTE: If you did not earn any income from U.S. sources during the tax year and will only be submitting IRS form 8843, you will not need access to Sprintax.

VITA Group Session

The Tempe Community Council VITA program has arranged for trained volunteers to help international students complete and file their tax forms, as well as answer any tax related questions. You can utilize the VITA program if you have:

  1. Earned any income from U.S. sources during the tax year and hold an F-1 or J-1 visa (including staff, researchers, scholars, TAs/RAs and student workers) or are a scholarship or fellowship recipient.  
  2. Been in the U.S. less than five years
  3. An annual income less than $60,000

If you meet the criteria above, you are eligible to attend a VITA group workshop at which VITA volunteers will guide you through preparation of your federal tax return using Sprintax and also assist in preparation of your Arizona state tax return. 

If you did not earn any income from U.S. sources during the tax year and will only be submitting IRS form 8843, you do not need to attend a VITA Group Session.

VITA workshops will be held on the Tempe campus In Computing Commons, Room 212 on the following days and times:

Workshops for 2019 will be announced soon.  

To attend a VITA group workshop, you must RSVP no later than the day before the workshop is scheduled and bring the following to the workshop:

  • A laptop to use (sharing of laptops is not allowed)

  • Your immigration documents: I-20/DS-2019, passport, I-94 form

  • Sprintax access code.  Please see above for information on how to receive or request a Sprintax access code.  

  • Social Security number for all family members

  • All tax documents you have received, including a form W-2 from all states in which income was earned, Form 1042-S, Form 1098-T, Form 1099 INT for bank account interest, other tax related documents and your previous tax returns (if married, you must bring all similar documents for your spouse.)

Please arrive early because workshops are scheduled to begin at the start time. Students arriving after the session has begun will not be allowed to participate. If you have questions prior to the session, please email Diane Watkins.

Information on Tax Treaties 

There is a list of countries which have a tax treaty with the U.S.  Please see IRS Publication 901, US Tax Treaties at www.irs.gov. The publication contains complete information on countries with U.S. tax treaties and who is eligible to claim a treaty.

  • Residents of Mexico and Canada can claim a spouse if the spouse had no gross income or cannot be claimed by someone else as a dependent. To determine if someone qualifies as a dependent they must use the same rules as US citizens.

  • Residents of South Korea have the same rules except:

    • The spouse or children must live with them in the U.S. some time during the year.

    • The additional deduction for the exemptions must be prorated based on the ratio of the alien’s U.S. source gross income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business for the tax year to the alien’s entire income from all sources during the tax year. 

  • Students from India can claim a spouse if the spouse had no gross income or cannot be claimed by someone else as a dependent. They can claim exemptions for each of your dependents not admitted to the United States on F-2, J-2, or M-2 visas, if they meet the same rules that apply to U.S. citizens.

Frequently Asked Questions 

WILL I HAVE TO PAY US TAXES FOR INCOME EARNED WHILE ON POST-OPT?

WILL I HAVE TO PAY US TAXES FOR INCOME EARNED WHILE ON POST-OPT?

In general, F-1 students who have been in the U.S. for fewer than six years are exempt from social security (FICA) and Medicare taxes as long as you continue to declare non-resident status for tax purposes (see Internal Revenue Service Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens, which you can order by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM or download at www.irs.gov). You should bring this to the attention of your employer because many employers are not familiar with this provision of the tax laws.

Unless you qualify under a tax treaty between the United States and your home government, your earnings as an F-1 student will be subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes, and employers are required by law to withhold those taxes from your paychecks. By April 15 of each year, you must file a federal income tax return and a Form 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals, covering the prior calendar year – whether you owe more taxes or not.

Do I need a social security numbers or individual taxpayer identification numbers to file for taxes?

Do I need a social security numbers or individual taxpayer identification numbers to file for taxes?

All individuals in F-1 and J-1 status who have been authorized to work in the United States should have a Social Security number (SSN) issued by the Social Security Administration. Students in F-1 and J-1 status (and their dependents in F-2 or J-2 status) who do not have a SSN, and received a payment in the form of a cash award may have applied for and been assigned an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN).

Medicare and social security taxes were withheld from my paycheck, is this correct?

Medicare and social security taxes were withheld from my paycheck, is this correct?

No. Generally, Medicare and social security taxes should not be withheld from your paycheck if you are an F-1 (five calendar years exemption) or J-1 (two calendar years exemption) student or scholar. However, if you exceed substantial presence or the exempt years allowed under your visa status, you may be subject to Medicare and social security tax withholding. (Then again, if you are a student who regularly attends class and works for the university, you may still be exempt from FICA.) To claim a refund of Medicare and social security taxes, please download form 843 from the IRS website. You will also need to work with your employer to correct this withholding for future tax years. 

 

Am I a resident alien or nonresident alien for federal tax purposes?

Am I a resident alien or nonresident alien for federal tax purposes?

Sprintax will ask questions to determine your residence status for the tax purposes.

If you are a non-resident alien for tax purposes, you can use Sprintax. If you are a resident alien for tax purposes, you cannot use Sprintax. A person considered a resident alien for tax purposes will file taxes in the same manner as U.S. citizens.

 

I received a form 1098-t from asu which shows the amount I spent on tuition. Can I use this form to claim as a deduction?

I received a form 1098-t from asu which shows the amount I spent on tuition. Can I use this form to claim as a deduction?

If you are nonresident for tax purposes, you cannot use the tuition cost to deduct on your tax return. You should keep the 1098-T with your tax documents for your records in case you may have tax benefits in your home country.  For more information please visit https://students.asu.edu/form1098t.

Should a nonresident student that is receiving scholarship or fellowship complete sprintax?

Should a nonresident student that is receiving scholarship or fellowship complete sprintax?

A student who is not working only needs to complete Sprintax if a portion of their scholarship or fellowship is non-qualified (taxable). If Sprintax is completed by a student that will not have taxable scholarship or fellowship there will be no tax implications. Please contact ASU Human Resources if you have further questions.

 

If I owe tax, to whom do I make the check payable?

If I owe tax, to whom do I make the check payable?

If you owe taxes, make checks payable to United States Treasury. Make sure that your social security number or individual taxpayer identification number is on the check and that in the memo section you write “Tax Return.”