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Tax Information

Tax-Filing Requirements

If you were an international student or scholar who was present in 2014, you must file certain tax forms with the federal government as required by federal law and mandated by your immigration status. This also applies to your dependents on F-2/J-2 visas. It is your responsibility to understand your tax obligations.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this page or presented by the International Center staff is solely for informational purposes and cannot be considered legal tax advice. The International Center cannot review or make recommendations to individual tax questions.

Always make copies of all forms before mailing!

Which Forms Do I Complete?

I did not work, and did not receive a taxable (room and board) scholarship in 2014. What do I do?
You must file the Form 8843 by June 15, 2015

I had an on-campus or off-campus job and received a W2 or 1099?
You must file Form 8843, 1040NR-EZ/1040-NR, and IL 1040 by April 15th, 2015

I did not work on or off campus but I received a (room and board) scholarship?
You must file Form 8843, 1040NR-EZ/1040-NR, and IL 1040 by April 15th, 2015

I worked on or off campus and I received a (room and board) scholarship.
You must file Form 8843, 1040NR-EZ/1040-NR, and IL 1040 by April 15th, 2015

Mail completed form 8843 to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215

Federal Taxes

The federal tax filing software Sprintax is now available. This software is free to current and former IIT F-1 sudents and J-1 students and scholars. You must complete a Sprintax Access Request. The International Center will then email you instructions on how to access Sprintax within two business days.

Always make copies of all forms before mailing!

What documents and information do I need before I login to Sprintax?

  • Passport
  • Immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019)
  • I-94
  • SSN or ITIN (if you have been assigned one)
  • Address information (U.S. and foreign)
  • U.S. entry and exit dates, current and past
  • Academic institution information: Forms W-2, 1042-S* and/or 1099 (if you received one)* 1042-S will be issued by IIT mid-March 2014. Do not begin filing your taxes unless you have received all of your forms.
  • Copy of your previous year's tax form (if you filed last year)

State Taxes

If you are filing a income tax return (EX: Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ) and worked in Illinois in 2014 then you must also file the Illinois State form. This form comes with detailed instructions. New this year: You may also use Sprintax to prepare your state tax forms for a small fee. Individual questions can be reviewed by a qualified tax professional who understands federal nonresident taxes.

If you worked in another state during 2014 then you must see if you have to file a state tax return for that state.

Glossary

W-2

This is a form that the employer will send to you before January 31st if you worked on or off-campus in 2014. If you worked for more than one employer, you will receive more than one W-2. You should add up your income from all of them. You should receive the W-2 by mid-February, 2015. Contact your employer if you did not receive the W-2.

1042-S

If you received a room/board scholarship (not tuition) in 2014, you will receive this form the Payroll Office in order to file your Federal/State tax returns. You should receive the 1042-S by mid-March, 2015.

1098-T

This is a general tuition form showing the amount of tuition you paid in 2014. Non-residents aliens cannot deduct education credits on their returns. Therefore, if you receive this form, simply ignore it.You may keep it for your records, but it will not be used to complete your taxes.

1099INT

You will receive this form if you earned interest on your checking/savings accounts in 2014. Generally this interest is not substantial; you therefore do not need to report on this.

1099-MISC

Instead of receiving form W-2, you may receive this form as a statement of your earnings for 2014. This may occur if you were listed as a contractor or consultant through your company.

Refund for Social Security and Medicare Taxes

General Rule

According to Section 3121(b)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code, an exemption from Social Security and Medicare taxes applies to nonimmigrant students, scholars, teachers, researchers, and trainees who are temporarily present in the U.S. in F, J, M, or Q status, as long as they remain nonresidents for federal income tax purposes, as determined by Section 7701(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. See the IC tax handout for further explanation and to show your employer.

If Social Security and Medicare taxes were deducted from your paycheck and you are still exempt as a nonresident for federal income tax purposes, you must first try to get a refund from your employer. If your employer is unable to provide a refund, you must file Form 843 Claim for Refund and Form 8316.

Mail the Completed Forms to
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215

Also Include a copy of

  • W-2
  • I-94 card
  • Visa
  • I-20 or DS-2019

Please allow three to six months for the processing.
For a sample of these forms click here: Sample 843 and Sample 8316
For blank forms to file: 843 8316

Identity Theft and Tax Filing Scams

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you via email/fax/phone. If you receive such an email, do not open it as it likely contains some sort of virus or malware. You should never provide you SSN/ITIN to anyone via an email/fax/phone. Also, the Sprintax Support Center will never ask you to send your SSN/ITIN via email—and you should never include your SSN/ITIN when sending a support email.

Filing a tax return is the only way to apply for a tax refund; there is no separate application form. Taxpayers who wish to find out if they are due a refund from their last annual tax return filing may use the Where's My Refund link at www.irs.gov—the only official IRS website.

Additional Information regarding IRS scams

Resources

IRS websites on higher education for students
http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Students/Student%27s-Page---Higher-Education

International Taxpayer
http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers

New International Index
http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/International-Index-Gateway