Global Engagement > Student Resources > International Student & Scholar Services > Tax Responsibilities
ISS has again teamed up with Sprintax to provide you with an easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for nonresident students and scholars in the U.S. ISS staff (and all other university staff) are not qualified or allowed to provide individual tax advice.
Even if you did not earn any income, if you were physically in the U.S. in F or J visa status anytime between January 1 - December 31, 2020 you're obligated to file a Form 8843 with the IRS (the Internal Revenue Service, or "IRS," are the U.S. tax authorities).
Sprintax is offering a series of tax workshop webinars. Please register using the links below:
April 15, 2021 is the last day for residents and nonresidents who earned U.S. income to file Federal tax returns for the 2020 tax year.
Generally, most international students & scholars who are on F or J visas are considered non-residents for tax purposes. International students on J1 & F1 visas are automatically considered non-resident for their first 5 calendar years in the US, while Scholars/Researchers on J visas are automatically considered non-residents for 2 out of the last 6 calendar years in the US. If you’ve been in the US for longer than the 5 or 2 year periods, the Substantial Presence Test will determine your tax residency.
Non-residents in the U.S. (including F-1 and J-1 international students and scholars) are generally not eligible for U.S. government issued stimulus payments. For information about eligiblity and what to do if you received the payment(s) please see the following Sprintax page:
Everything a non-residents in the U.S. needs to know about COVID stimulus payments.
ISS has teamed up with Sprintax to provide you with easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for non-resident students and scholars in the U.S. We (and all other university staff) are not qualified or allowed to provide individual tax advice.
After you login to Sprintax, you will be asked a series of questions about the time you have spent in the U.S. over recent years. Sprintax will then determine your tax status. If it determines that you are a "nonresident alien" (NRA) for federal tax purposes, you can continue to use it to respond to a series of guided questions. Sprintax will complete and generate the tax forms you need to send to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).
If Sprintax determines you are a resident alien for federal tax purposes, you won't be able to continue using the software.
What is a 1098-T form?
Do international students need Form 1098-T?
How can international students request a Form 1098-T from DePaul University?
1) Gather the documents you may need for Sprintax.
2) Create a Sprintax Account.
You will receive an email from ISS in February providing you with a link to Sprintax to set up your account as well as your unique code to use on Sprintax. This unique code will cover the costs of the federal tax return and 8843 at no cost to you. Open your new Sprintax account by creating a UserID and password or if you have an existing account on Sprintax you can log in using your existing credentials.
3) Follow the Sprintax Instructions.
With U.S. Income: Sprintax will generate your "tax return documents", including either a 1040NR-EZ or a longer form 1040NR, depending on your circumstances.
4) (With US Income only) If required, complete your state tax return.
After you finish your federal return, Sprintax will inform you if you need to complete a state tax return. If so, they will give you the option to use Sprintax for an individual fee. However, it is your choice to use them or to do the state tax return on your own.
5) Mail your completed federal and/or state forms to IRS and/or state tax authorities.
Remember to read the mailing instructions that Sprintax provides. If you have dependents, each one must mail their 8843 in a separate envelope.
If you need help while using Sprintax, you can contact their support team using the options below:
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
IRS issues ITINs to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws, and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security numbers. They are issued regardless of immigration status, because both resident and nonresident aliens may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code. ITINs do not serve any purpose other than federal tax reporting.
For more information about the ITIN including how to determine if you need one and how to apply please see the IRS website.
IRS Publication 519 entitled U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens indicates that no Social Security or Medicare taxes are to be withheld from earnings for services performed to carry out the purpose for which an F-1 student was admitted to the United States. The types of services exempt from Social Security and Medicare withholding include on-campus work, practical training, and economic hardship employment (IRS Publication 519, p. 39, Students and Exchange Visitors).
International students are exempt from these withholdings as long as they are considered to be a "non-resident alien" for tax purposes. Students maintaining legal F-1 status are generally considered to be a non-resident alien if they have been in the United States for a period of less than five years.
If you would like to avoid paying these taxes, please talk with the payroll department of your on-campus or practical training job.
A message from the USCIS Public Engagement Division:
Do not fall victim to scammers who call and say they are with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)! There has been an increase in aggressive phone scams where people call and threaten you with police arrest or deportation if you don't pay them.
Even if you do owe taxes...
If you get a call like this, report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling 800.366.4484 or visiting www.tigta.gov. Also, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
For more information on tax scams, watch this video and read this IRS Tax Tip. If you think you owe taxes, you can call the IRS at 800.829.1040 and they can help you arrange a payment plan.
Visit uscis.gov/avoidscams or uscis.gov/eviteestafas to learn how to recognize and avoid immigration scams and find authorized legal services.
For additional assistance with filing your federal or state tax returns, you may wish to contact one of the following professional tax services.
Income Tax Returns are
due by April 15, 2021!
Your free personal access code to Sprintax tax preparation will be emailed to your DePaul email address in mid February 2021.
International Student and Scholar Services staff are not licensed tax professionals. ISS and the university are NOT permitted to assist any student/scholar with any IRS tax form or tax related questions. The information on this page is provided as general advice as a service to our students. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Sprintax, a certified tax preparation professional or a local IRS field office.