U.S. Tax Information
OIS is again offering the purchase of Sprintax codes to assist with federal tax filing (state tax filing is also offered by Sprintax for an additional cost). Please read the information below carefully. If you want to use Sprintax to assist you with the tax filing process, we recommend that you first access Sprintax to determine your tax filing status (resident alien or non-resident alien) BEFORE purchasing a code. Codes are non-refundable and Sprintax can only be used by people with non-resident alien tax filing status.
We have also contracted with Sprintax to offer a NC State-specific virtual tax workshop to give NC State international students and scholars greater access to ask questions. This will be held on Tuesday, February 7th at 11am EST. Registration is required to access the workshop. You also have the option of attending one of the free national sessions noted below.
In the United States, people are taxed in a number of different ways. We pay sales tax on the things we buy and we are also taxed through our employment.
To assist international students and scholars with the employment taxation process, NC State has an International Compensation and Taxation unit to help you once you have campus employment. There are a number of taxes you may not have to pay depending upon your immigration status, country, and the length of time you have lived in the United States.
As part of taxation in the United States, we also go through an annual tax filing process each Spring so that the federal government and state government(s) can make sure individuals were taxed correctly on their income. International students and scholars must also complete the tax filing process for every year they live in the United States. This webpage will help you better understand the tax filing process and connect you with tools to complete the filing requirement.
Please note that the information on this webpage is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal taxation advice.
In the United States, the tax year is the same as a calendar year. Each tax year begins on January 1st and ends on December 31st. For example, tax year 2022 started on January 1, 2022 and ended on December 31, 2022.
The tax filing process for tax year 2022 officially begins on January 23, 2023 and has a deadline of April 18, 2023 (unless an extension is requested and granted – see FAQ section at the bottom of the page). These dates are determined by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are the dates during which they will accept and begin processing tax filing documentation for tax year 2022.
International students and scholars who were physically present in the United States for any part of 2022 are legally required to file tax documentation by April 18, 2023. This is true regardless of whether or not the individual received any income in 2022.
For new international students or scholars who did not arrive in the United States until 2023 (January 1, 2023 or later), you do not have any filing obligations this year.
Without getting into too much complicated detail, the practical difference between being a resident alien for tax purposes and being a non-resident alien for tax purposes is how you are able to complete the tax filing process and what is required of you. Whether you are considered a resident alien or non-resident alien depends on how many years you have been in the United States.
Note that being a resident or non-resident for tax purposes is not tied to your immigration status. For example, it is possible that a F-1 student is not a resident for tuition purposes (because of your non-immigrant visa status) while being a resident for tax purposes because of the length of time they have lived in the United States..
The Sprintax software introduced below will do this calculation for you depending upon the accuracy of the information you enter. You do not need a special code to access this portion of Sprintax (Step 1) nor will the software let you continue if it is determined you are a resident alien for tax purposes. Sprintax can only help non-resident aliens file taxes. If Sprintax determines you are a resident alien, the software will recommend other options for completing your tax filing requirement.
For students and scholars that were physically present in the United States during any part of tax year 2022 but did not earn any US income, your filing obligations are relatively simple.
Even though you did not earn any income in tax year 2022, you must file Form 8843 to complete the federal filing requirement. Many students and scholars may be able to complete Form 8843 on their own but you can also use the Sprintax software referenced below by purchasing one of the codes.
Once Form 8843 is complete, you will need to mail it to the address provided on page 3 of Form 8843.
Note that if you have F-2 or J-2 dependents, Form 8843 is also required for each dependent that was also physically present during tax year 2022. Each Form 8843 must be in a separate envelope. If the J-2 dependent was employed, however, they must file their own tax return reflecting their income.
- All international students and scholars must complete Form 8843 regardless of whether income was earned or not. This includes an additional Form 8843 for each F-2 or J-2 dependent that you had with you during tax year 2022. Each Form 8843 must be in a separate envelope. If the J-2 dependent was employed, however, they must file their own tax return reflecting their income.
- You will also need to complete federal form 1040-NR. In most cases, this form is completed using two documents that will be provided to you.
- A W-2 form will be provided to you by each employer you had during tax year 2022.
- Certain types of US income may also create a 1042-S which you may also need to complete your tax filing. A 1042-S is normally created in situations where someone has a fellowship or scholarship that provides funding beyond tuition, or someone has taxable income covered by a tax treaty.
- Some students may also have a 1099 for other types of less common taxable income.
- Depending upon the state where you were employed, you may also need to file a state tax return form. In North Carolina, there is a tax filing requirement. The North Carolina tax form is called D-400 but will be called something different in other states. This form is also completed using information on the Form W-2.
For students and scholars in non-resident alien status, you can use the Sprintax software explained below to complete your federal and state tax filing requirement. Please note that Sprintax will prepare the documents for you but you will still need to mail them to the appropriate addresses.
The W-2 is a document you will receive from your employer for every job you worked in the United States during that tax year. For students that had campus employment but also worked off-campus (through approved CPT or OPT) during tax year 2022, you will have multiple W-2 documents. For students and scholars employed by NC State during tax year 2022, W-2s are normally provided by the end of January each year.
Note that if you had multiple on-campus jobs at NC State, those earnings are compiled on the same W-2 since NC State was still your employer while you worked on-campus.
***Students who worked for NC State University in 2022 should make sure their home address is up-to-date in MyPack Portal in order to receive your Form W-2, which you will need to file your tax return. W-2s will also be accessible in MyPack Portal, but usually only until the end of April each year. If you have graduated and are locked out of MyPack, you can do a password reset.
All international students and scholars must file Form 8843 regardless of whether your scholarship or fellowship qualifies as taxable income.
In most cases, if your scholarship or fellowship only covers tuition and tuition related expenses, you may not be required to file taxes. However, if your U.S.-based scholarship or fellowship included additional funding for personal expenses like housing, meals, etc. you will likely need to file a tax return. Sprintax will help you determine your filing requirement based on your situation.
Depending on your situation and if you are classified as a non-resident alien for tax purposes, you will likely need to file:
- Federal tax documentation (Form 1040-NR)
- State tax documentation (D-400 in North Carolina).
Students on scholarship or fellowship do not normally qualify for a Social Security number (SSN) used in the tax filing process. In this situation, you need to file for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The ITIN can be requested using federal Form W-7 in one of two ways:
- In advance at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center
- Submit alongside your federal tax filing documentation
If using the second option, Sprintax can help you file for the ITIN alongside your tax year 2022 documentation.
To help NC State international students and scholars with their tax filing responsibilities, OIS has arranged access to Sprintax Tax Return software.
Sprintax can help you determine whether you are a non-resident alien or resident alien for tax filing purposes for free. If you are determined to be a non-resident alien, you will be able to use Sprintax and OIS will provide access codes for a $5 fee for federal tax filing. Sprintax will guide international students and scholars through the federal tax preparation process, prepare the necessary federal tax return forms, and check to see if taxes are owed or if a refund is due.
Please note that state tax filing cannot be completed using the code referenced above. Sprintax will offer you the option to prepare any required state government tax documentation for an additional cost.
International students and scholars wishing to use Sprintax to complete their tax filing obligation for tax year 2022 may purchase an access code to the Sprintax software through our office. Once you complete the code purchase, you will receive a confirmation message that will contain your code. We recommend that students and scholars initiate the filing process through Sprintax before purchasing a code to ensure they meet the criteria (non-resident alien) to file through Sprintax. **Please note these codes are non-refundable.**
OIS has also arranged for a special virtual tax webinar for NC State to help our international students and scholars navigate this process. During the webinar, Sprintax will explain tax filing in more detail and will answer questions from NC State international students and scholars related to tax filing. This is a unique opportunity to participate in the webinar with a smaller audience, providing greater access to tax experts. This will be held on Tuesday, February 7th at 11am EST. Registration is required to access the workshop.
Sprintax will also host a series of free webinars that explain tax filing responsibilities in more detail. Each webinar will cover the same topics listed below. We will update with webinar dates and times as soon as they are available.
Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 12pm EST – Register here
Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 1pm EST – Register here
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 12pm EST – Register here
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at 1pm EST – Register here
Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 4pm EST – Register here
Wednesday, March 30, 2023 at 12pm EST – Register here
Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at 1pm EST – Register here
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 1pm EST – Register here
Friday, April 14, 2023 at 12pm EST – Register here
All webinars will cover:
- An overview of tax for non-resident students and scholars
- Who must file a 2022 US tax return
- What income forms students/scholars may receive
- Forms that need to be completed and sent to the IRS
- We cover terms like FICA, ITIN and Form 1098-T
- What happens if students/scholars don’t file, or misfile
- State tax returns
- How to use Sprintax
I was only physically present for one day in 2022. Do I still need to file a tax return?
Yes! You are at least required to file Form 8843 if you were physically present in the U.S. for any part of 2022, from January 1 through December 31.
This also applies to any F-2 or J-2 dependents who were physically present during 2022.
Am I able to file taxes from my home country?
Yes, you can mail in your tax return forms from your home country. You will need to mail the hard copies of your forms to the IRS.
Can I get an extension on the deadline to file my tax return?
Yes, you may apply for an extension. However, the extension application is still due by the original deadline. You may visit the IRS website for more information on extensions.
I am currently on OPT/STEM OPT. Can I use Sprintax to file my tax forms?
Sprintax will determine whether or not you are a Nonresident Alien for tax purposes, and therefore eligible to use their software. If you are not, they will direct you to another tax filing software. You can watch the Sprintax webinar to determine your tax filing responsibilities and whether or not you are eligible to file with Sprintax.
Because you are still on your F-1 visa, you may purchase one of the Sprintax codes, if you wish.
Sprintax told me I was a Resident Alien for tax purposes. What do I do now?
Sprintax should direct you to another tax filing software that can be used by Resident Aliens (RAs). This may include TurboTax, H&R Block, or another tax filing software. RAs can use the same tax filing software as U.S. citizens. The federal form you file will be either the 1040 or 1040-EZ. If you are living in North Carolina, you will file the form D-400.
Do I have to use my NC State email address to create a Sprintax account?
No, it does not matter which email address you use to create your account.
I received a scholarship or fellowship in 2022. Do I need to file a tax return?
Most likely yes, if your scholarship or fellowship was from a U.S. source. Sprintax will help you determine whether or not you need to file a return for this income type.
I worked out-of-state on CPT in 2022. Do I need to file a tax return?
Yes, if you worked anywhere in the U.S. in 2022, you must file. Sprintax will help you determine what (if any) state tax return(s) you must file depending upon your employment and where it took place. You may also visit that state’s Department of Revenue website to determine if a state return will be necessary based on that state’s rules.
How do I know if I am a Non-resident Alien for tax purposes?
If you are using Sprintax to file your taxes, Sprintax will help determine your tax status.
In short though, your tax residency status depends on your visa type and how long you’ve been in the U.S. as explained below:
International students on F visas or in the student categories of J visas are typically considered Nonresident Aliens for tax purposes for the first 5 years in the U.S. After this period you will be subject to the Substantial Presence Test, which is used to determine if someone was in the U.S. long enough to be considered a resident for tax purposes. Again, Sprintax will run the Substantial Presence Test for you to determine your tax residency.
International scholars on the J visa in the scholar categories are typically considered Nonresident Aliens for tax purposes for the first 2 years in the U.S. After this period you will be subject to the Substantial Presence Test, which is used to determine if someone was in the U.S. long enough to be considered a resident for tax purposes. Again, Sprintax will run the Substantial Presence Test for you to determine your tax residency.
What should I do if I incorrectly filed as a Resident Alien in a previous tax year?
If you filed incorrectly as a Resident Alien and should have filed as a Nonresident Alien, you must file an amended return for all incorrect years. This involves filing two forms (1040X and a corrected 1040NR), which Sprintax can help with. You may use Sprintax to file your amended return even if you did not originally use Sprintax to file. If you owe any taxes based on your amended return documents, you should pay any back taxes owed. Be sure you mail it with a trackable service and make copies of any documentation for your records.
What should I do if I missed filing in a previous tax year even though I was physically present in the United States?
You should file the missing paperwork as soon as possible.
I only worked for one week in 2022 and never picked up my paycheck. Do I need to file a tax return?
It may not be necessary to file if you did meet a certain income threshold in 2022, but it may still be in your benefit to file in case you are due a tax refund. Either way, you will need to file Form 8843. Sprintax will help you determine whether or not you need to file a full return.
Do I have to pay taxes on income I received from my home country?
As long as you are a Non-resident Alien for tax purposes, the U.S. will not tax your income from non-U.S. sources. If you are a Resident Alien for tax purposes you are taxed on your worldwide income, but you may be eligible for a tax credit on your U.S. federal tax return. Turbo Tax, Tax Act, H&R Block and other similar software programs can help you determine if you are eligible for the foreign tax credit.
Do I need to file separate 8843s for myself and each of my dependents?
If your dependents are on F-2 or J-2 visas (and not U.S. citizens), then yes, you will need to file a separate Form 8843 for each.
I need an ITIN – how do I apply?
Sprintax will assist you with completing the ITIN application, which you will mail in with your tax return. They also have a blog post about how to apply for an ITIN from outside the U.S., should that be necessary.
Often scammers will impersonate the IRS and demand individuals pay “taxes owed” or threaten immediate jail time or deportation. The Internal Revenue Service recently warned of a new IRS-impersonation scam that appears to primarily target educational institutions, including students and staff who have “.edu” email addresses. Read more on their website here. OIS also maintains a webpage for Scam Information and Alerts.