RESOURCES FOR FILING TAXES

Resources for Students with F-1 and J-1 visas Filing U.S. Federal and/or State Income Tax Returns

All F-1 and J-1 visa holders and F-2 and J-2 dependents, which were present in the US during 2019, are responsible for filing taxes. Taxes are filed annually in the spring for the previous calendar year. Even F-1 and J-1 visa holders who did not earn income in the previous year must file taxes, including dependents. Below are tax resources for students who earned income and for students who did not earn income during the previous year.

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International Students Who Earned US-Sourced Income

If you are a student with either an F-1 or J-1 visa and you received U.S.-sourced income during 2019, you may be required to file a:

  • Federal Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return (Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ)
  • Form 8843
  • State income tax return for each state where you resided/earned income during 2019 (use Form 1NPR for Wisconsin state income tax purposes).

To determine whether you are required to file a federal tax return, see the ‘Who Must File’ of the instructions for Form 1040NR.

To determine whether you are required to file state income tax returns, review the ‘Who Must File’ information on the revenue websites of the states where you lived during 2019. Nonresidents living in Wisconsin during 2019 should review the instructions for Form 1NPR.

International students who are required to file federal taxes must also file the Internal Revenue Services Form 8843, which indicates presence in the United States. They should attach Form 8843 to their tax return.

Before preparing your income tax returns, please wait to receive reporting statements for all income you received in 2019 (i.e., Forms W-2, 1042-S, 1099, etc).

The University of Wisconsin provides free access to Glacier Tax Prep for Nonresidents tax returns if, a student has earned taxable income or if you are on UW-Madison Payroll.  In other words, Nonresident students who earned taxable income in the previous year or who received a UW-Madison scholarship can use Glacier software.

International Students Who Did Not Earn US-Sourced Income

All Nonresident international students must file the IRS Form 8843 if they were a Nonresident Alien present in the U.S. on F, J, M or Q immigration status, even if they did not receive U.S.-sourced income.  Form 8843 is not a tax return, but an informational statement required by the U.S. government. Individuals not required to file an income tax return should mail Form 8843 separately. Dependents (F-2 or J-2, regardless of age) should complete and mail the Form 8843 separately from the F-1 or J-1 international student.

IRS Form 8843 for 2019 taxes must be postmarked and mailed by the June 15, 2020 deadline.

*In general, international students who have been in F-1 and J-1 status for more than five years are considered Residents for federal tax purposes.  Typically, Residents are not required to complete the federal Form 8843.

How to complete Form 8843

Top of form:

  • Write your FIRST (Given) NAME (if any).
  • Write your LAST (Family) NAME.
  • Write your Social Security Number or ITIN for your U.S. taxpayer identification number if you have one. If you do not have a social security number or ITIN, leave this field blank.
*Complete the address information below as indicated only if you are filing this form by itself and not with your tax return.
  • Write your address in your home country.
  • Write your address in the U.S.

Part I: General Information

1a. Write the visa type (F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2) you used to enter the U.S. and the date you entered the U.S. on that visa (see I-94 record).

1b.

If you did not change your visa status (for example, from F-1 to J-1 status) since you last entered the U.S., write your visa status again and then “No Change.”

                                                                 Or

If your visa status changed in 2019, enter your new visa status and the date that the change of status became effective.

2.  Enter your country or countries of citizenship during 2019.

3a. Enter the country or countries that issued you a passport.

3b. Enter your passport number(s).

4a. Fill in the number of days you were present in the U.S. for each year on the form.

4b. 4a for year 2019 – number of days on substantial presence test = 4b. If you have been in the U.S. for less than 5 years, your answer to 4b will be the same as 4a.

Part II: Teachers and Trainees

 Complete Part II only if you are a J-1 Professor or Researcher; then sign the form on the reverse (if you are not filing Form 8843 with your tax return).

  1. Write: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706; Tel: 608-262-1234.
  1. Write the name, address, and telephone number of your main contact in your host department at UW-Madison.
  1. Enter the type of visa you held for each year listed that you were in the U.S. If your visa status changed during any of these years, attach a statement showing the new visa type and the date received. If you were not present in the U.S. for some of the years listed, write “n/a” next to any year that you were not present in the U.S.
  1. If you were a researcher, professor, teacher, trainee, or student in the U.S. for any part of 2 of the 6 prior calendar years, mark “Yes”; otherwise, mark “No.” Important: If you mark “Yes,” make sure that all four parts of the exception discussed on p. 3 of Form 8843 (bottom of second column) apply to you. If you do not meet all four conditions listed, you should consult a tax expert, as you may be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes.

 

Part III: Student

 Complete Part III only if you are a student; then sign the form on the reverse (if you are not filing Form 8843 with your tax return).

  1.  F-1/J-1 Students should write: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706; Tel: 608-262-1234.

F-2/J-2 Dependents should write: Spouse/dependent of student attending University of Wisconsin-Madison, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706; Tel: 608-262-1234.

  1. Write the name, address, and telephone number of your Department Chair/Dean.

F-2/J-2 Dependents should write: Spouse/dependent of student whose Department Chair/Dean is ____________ at University of Wisconsin-Madison, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706; Tel: 608-262-1234.

  1. Enter the type of visa you held for each year listed that you were in the U.S. If your visa status changed during any of these years, attach a statement showing the new visa type and the date received. If you were not present in the U.S. for some of the years listed, write “n/a” next to any year that you were not present in the U.S.
  1. If you have been in the U.S. as a student, researcher, teacher, professor, and/or trainee for more than five years, mark “Yes”; otherwise, mark “No.” If you mark “Yes,” you must attach a statement to establish that you do not intend to reside permanently in the U.S. (give intended date of departure and description of future plans).
  1. If you have not taken any steps to adjust your current nonimmigrant status to that of permanent resident, mark “No”; if you have, mark “Yes” and explain on the lines provided. Important: If you mark “Yes” for both Lines 12 and 13, you should consult a tax expert, as you may be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes.

 

Parts IV and V: Professional Athletes or Individuals with Medical Conditions

 Do not complete Parts IV and V.

 Bottom of Form

If you are filing this form by itself and not with your tax return (1040NR or 1040NR-EZ tax form), sign the bottom of this form.

If you will be filing a tax return (for example, submitting Form 8843 with Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ), DO NOT sign the bottom of this form.

*Important: Make a photocopy of Form 8843 for your permanent records.

 

Mailing Form 8843

If you did not work in the U.S. during the 2019 tax year, send the completed 8843 form by June 15, 2020 to:

Department of the Treasury

Internal Revenue Service Center

Austin, TX 73301-0215

If you DID work in the U.S. during the 2019 tax year, send the completed 8843 form along with Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ to the address listed above by no later than April 15, 2020.

*Instructions adapted from University of Wisconsin-Platteville .

The University of Wisconsin cannot provide tax advice or assistance with tax form completion. For private, possibly fee-based consultations, consult the phone book yellow pages under ‘Tax Preparation.’ For information related to taxes please visit the UW Service Center’s website.