All F-1 international students who were present in the U.S. during any portion of the past calendar year (2020) are required to determine what tax forms they must file with the United States federal and state governments as a condition of your visa. This is true whether or not you worked in the U.S., gained income in the U.S., or received a scholarship during the past calendar year. The deadline line to file tax forms this year is April 15, 2021.
Please note: your Student Life staff are not permitted to help you complete your tax forms because we are not tax experts and can get you or us in trouble if we misguide you! Our hope is to give you a basic overview and resources so you are able to complete this process. Believe us…we all have to do our taxes and need help doing it!
Here are basic questions to guide you through the process:
What forms will I receive? Here are some of the forms you may or will receive for use when filing your taxes. You might not receive any!
W-2 (Wage and tax statement): If you worked, you should have received a W-2 that provides information on how much you were paid and any tax that was withheld. You will need to submit a copy of this with your tax returns.
1042-S (Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding): This form will be provided by the Seminary to report any scholarship you have received that may be taxable (e.g. payments for room/housing expenses, textbooks, etc.). You will need to submit a copy of this with your tax returns.
1098-T (Tuition Statement): This form provides information on how much tuition you paid to attend Denver Seminary. Please contact student accounts if you have questions about this form (firstname.lastname@example.org). Keep this for your records.
If you received any other forms with tax information, please keep these for your records and only submit a copy with your tax return if the instructions on the form require you to do so.
Am I a "Resident for tax purposes" or "Non Resident for tax purposes"?
The first step is to determine if you have lived in the United States long enough to file your tax forms as a "resident for tax purposes." If you have lived in the United States for "any part of more than 5 calendar years" you are considered a "resident for tax purposes." Check this site if you have questions about residency.
Which forms should I file?
If am considered a “resident for tax purposes”:
If you received taxable scholarships or income in the previous year, and are filing as a “resident for tax purposes,” you will need to complete the following forms: Federal 1040 (instructions here) and State return.
If you are considered a resident for tax purposes BUT did not receive taxable scholarships or income in the previous year you do not have to file anything this tax season.
If I am considered a “Non-Resident for Tax Purposes:”
Most F-1 visa students are considered non-residents for tax purposes.
Step 1: Form 8843
All F-1 Visa students not considered "residents for tax purposes" (see above) must complete and submit the Form 8843. If you did not receive taxable scholarships or income in the previous year, this will be the only tax form you need to file.
For students with dependents, the Form 8843 needs to also be completed for each dependent and mailed individually.
For students who did receive taxable scholarships and/or income in the previous year, you will complete Form 8843 and send it with your other tax filing documents (see Federal and Tax state return forms below).
Step 2: Complete the Federal Tax Return
If you received taxable scholarships or income in the previous year, and are filing as a “resident for tax purposes,” you will need to complete a tax return.
Do it Yourself
This service, similar to Turbo Tax, guides you through the process and will file your tax forms. There is a cost but if you have complicated taxes, it is helpful to use this service.
If you use Sprintax to complete your Federal Tax Return, it will prepare your Form 8843 for free!
Consult with a tax professional (Certified Public Accountant)
Step 3: File the State Tax Return
What if I don’t have a Social Security Number? (needed if you are filing Federal or State Taxes)
Apply for a ITIN number (Individual Tax Identification Number)
(note—different than federal tax return address)
Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
Here are a few resources to help you!
Video: Filing US Federal Tax Forms