One of the most confusing parts to being an international student in the US is understanding the tax system and figuring out how it works. We understand that it can be complicated especially when it comes to figuring whether or not you owe money to the government.
Luckily, we are here to help break this down and answer those frequently asked questions you might have.
Please note: The staff in the Center for Global Education are NOT tax professionals. We are here to provide resources and assistance from government and other affiliated websites. Please utilize the resources below if you have further questions regarding taxes.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
I did not work/ have not worked during my time here at Wheaton College. Do I still need to file taxes?
Yes, you do. Even if you have not earned any income, you are still required to notify the U.S. Income Revenue Service (IRS) that you do not have a tax obligation by submitting a Form 8843 (pdf).
For those who have earned income (salary, assistantship, fellowship, grant, scholarship or authorized on-/off-campus employment etc.), you MUST file an income tax return.
Students who did work during the 2019 calendar will receive codes from Arctic Glacier Tax Prep by the end of February / early March 2020. If you worked and you have not received those codes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
What forms do I need to submit to the government if I did work during the calendar year?
Each year, you must file a 1040NR (pdf) or 1040NR-EZ (pdf) tax return, your W2 and a Form 8843 (pdf) with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These forms are available on the IRS website or by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-3676.
Wheaton students who did work during the 2019 calendar year will receive their W2 in their mailboxes by the end of January 2020.
Important: Failure to file these forms is a violation of United States law and may jeopardize your future status in the U.S.
You may also be required to file a Massachusetts Income Tax Form with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). Consult the DOR website to determine your filing responsibilities. Forms are available on the DOR website or by calling 1-800-392-6089.
What if I do not have a Social Security Number?
Students who have worked in the US should have a Social Security Number for tax filing purposes. You can also learn more about applying for a Social Security Number.
Otherwise, you must use an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) for tax filing purposes. If you have filed US tax forms before and you were assigned an ITIN, you should use that same ITIN to file again if you still do not qualify for a Social Security Number.
Where do I mail my taxes?
Depending on the state you live in, the location changes on where you need to send your taxes. Please refer to this form for additional information. Please keep in mind that there may be two addresses you need to send them to: one for federal and one for state.
Resources and Links:
- NAFSA Tax Resources for International Students
- IRS Information on International Taxpayers
- International Student Tax FAQ’s