Filing U.S. Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government agency that collects taxes. As a nonresident F-1 or J-1 student, you may need to file forms each year with the IRS, even if you earned no income. It is your individual responsibility to understand and meet your tax obligations. Taxes are filed between February to mid-April for the previous calendar year. Generally, tax returns are due every April 15th based on earnings from the previous year, though there are exceptions to this deadline.

While employers do withhold money from your paycheck throughout the year and send it to the IRS, it may not equal the exact amount owed at the end of the year. If too much was withheld, you may be eligible for a refund. Or, perhaps not enough was withheld, and you will owe more. Salary from a job is not the only kind of earning taxed; many types of income are taxable. Even if you did not work and do not owe any taxes, you may need to submit an informational form to the IRS.

U.S. tax laws can be complex and confusing–we all get headaches during tax season–and the laws that apply to internationals are not the same as those that apply to U.S. citizens. These resources should help you to better understand your tax obligation, to learn what and where to research, and to successfully submit your tax forms. This page is meant to be a general introduction. International Services cannot offer individual assistance for filing taxes in the U.S. as we are not tax professionals. Students who need tax advice are strongly encouraged to consult a tax preparation specialist.  To find a local tax preparation specialist, please visit https://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-South-Carolina. You can also hire a tax professional or certified tax accountant, who charge for services. 

Avoid Tax Scams

We want you to be aware of tax scams, especially to scammers who call and say they are with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). There is an increase in aggressive phone scams during tax season. Visit the Federal Trade Commission's website on Tax Identify Theft for ways to identify a tax scam, and helpful tips for keeping yourself safe.

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