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  Filing Taxes

Below is information regarding taxes and internationals. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services does not assist in tax preparation and cannot answer your tax questions. Please consult the IRS or a tax attorney with your tax questions.

F-1 and J-1 students are usually classified by the IRS as Non-Resident Aliens (NRAs) for their first five years in the U.S. The sixth year, they are considered “Resident Aliens” (RAs) by IRS, for tax purposes only. This “Resident Alien” distinction has absolutely nothing to do with immigration status.

Resident Aliens (RAs) are generally taxed in the same way as U.S. citizens, and should complete Form 1040. Once you become a resident alien (for tax purposes only) you will need to file your taxes differently. You may need to follow the “Dual Status” instructions in Publication 519 when filing your taxes.

Nonresident Aliens (NRAs) should file a Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ and 8843. If you came to the U.S. January 1 or later of this year, you do not need to file a return until April of next year.

There are three kinds of taxes:

FICA and FMED = social security taxes

  • NRAs are exempt from this tax for work both on and off campus - including Optional Practical Training
  • F-1 and J-1 students are usually exempt for the first five years in the U.S.: Pub. 519, p. 42.
  • Resident Aliens for tax purposes are not exempt. 7.65% is withheld from your paycheck.

Federal Income Tax (FIT) – This is the federal income tax that NSU is
required to withhold on all earnings that are not exempt under a tax treaty. Different rules apply to NRA’s than for RA’s.

State Income Tax (SIT) – Virginia follows federal regulations.

1042S Form, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding :
You should receive this form if you had any of the following types of income:

    - Wages exempt from tax under a U.S. tax treaty
    - TAXABLE scholarship, fellowship, or stipend.
    - **The laws changed January 1, 2001: only TAXABLE SCHOLARSHIPS must be reported.  
    - Taxable scholarships include room, board, cash, and other amounts paid in excess of tuition and fees.

W-2 Form, Wage and Tax Statement :

You will receive this form for wages earned that were not exempt under a tax treaty.

Form 1099 - This form is issued by your bank to report interest earned for the year.
If you have not received your 1042S or W-2 forms by February 15, please visit
the NSU Payroll Office to request a reissued statement.

Filing your Non-Resident Alien Tax Return

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and NRA’s to file a tax return each year, usually by April 15 th .
  • Use all of your 1042-S and W-2 forms when completing your United States Federal Income Tax Return.
  • If you have no income, you must still file form 8843. * This also applies to F-2 and J-2 visa holders.
  • A separate Virginia Tax Return should be filed by May 1.

Address Changes 

Whenever you change your address, be sure to update your information with the University Payroll Office, the Office of the Registrar, and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, 330 Harrison B. Wilson Hall.