U.S. Tax Information

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.

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.

IRS Scams

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.