Tax Information for International Students & Scholars

​​Tax Filing Requirements

All international students and scholars who are non-residents for U.S. tax purposes, and who were in the U.S. at any time during the previous year, must file tax returns with the U.S. government. This requirement applies to all F-1 or J-1 students who, as of December 31st last year, were in the United States for less than six calendar years and all J-1 scholars who were in the U.S. less than three years. This requirement applies even to non-resident students and scholars who received no income from U.S. sources during the calendar year.

If you are a non-resident student or scholar who received no income from U.S. sources in the last year (if you had interest income from a U.S. bank account, it is not considered as U.S. source income), you need to complete Form 8843. See link below for this form and instructions.

If you are a non-resident student or scholar who received income from U.S. sources in the last year (such as work income, interest income, scholarship or fellowship income), you need to complete a 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ and Form 8843 and submit them to the Internal Revenue Service by April 15.

Filing Your Federal Taxes

Foreign National Tax Resource 

The OIA has arranged discounted access to an online tax preparation software tool called Sprintax.  

Sprintax will guide you through the tax preparation process, prepare the necessary documents and check if you are entitled to a refund.

To use this service:

  1. Register and follow the instructions
  2. Enter the code CMU2017F5 in the box on the 'Review your order' page. The code provides a $5 discount on the Federal Tax return only; you will be responsible for paying the difference in your federal tax return and for the state tax return.
  3. Sprintax will prepare your tax return and check if you are due a refund.

As a reminder, you have to print, sign and mail your documents once you complete the preparation process in the Sprintax software.

If you have any questions, please email Sprintax at hello@sprintax.com.

Other Resources

Professional Preparation

Professional services are also available for tax preparation. Local options can be found online or through the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce (please note that OIA does not endorse or warrant any of the services provided by the firms listed on the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce website; this is simply provided for your convenience).