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Federal and State Tax Returns

  • Overview


    If you were physically in the U.S. in F or J status anytime between January 1 - December 31, 2023, you're obligated to file the form Form 8843, with the U.S. tax agency, IRS (Internal Revenue Service), even if you had no income. If you earned any U.S. income in 2023, you will then likely trigger additional filing requirements such as Federal and State, depending on how much income was earned. 

    IMPORTANT: The staff at VIS are not qualified nor permitted to assist any student/scholar with any IRS tax form preparation or tax related questions. This page is purely intended to give you basic information as a helpful starting point. 

    Any questions or concerns should be directed to Sprintax, another certified tax preparer, or a local IRS field office.

    Who Needs to File?

    If you were present in the U.S. even for 1 day during 2023, then you have tax filing obligations. 

    When to file

    The federal deadline is April 15th, 2024 if you earned U.S. income in 2023. Confirm the deadline for the state(s) you will need to file taxes in. The earliest we recommend that you file your taxes is mid-February. If you are unable to file your forms by the deadline, you must submit an application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return to the IRS.

    If you were present in the U.S. in 2023 but did not earn any U.S. income, the deadline to file the Form 8843 is June 15th.

    Consequences of Not Filing

    Penalties for not complying with the filing requirement can include but are not limited to:

    • Denials of future requests for a Change of Status (especially to Permanent Resident)
    • Denials of visa renewals at American Consulates/Embassies
    • Fines and interest will accrue on unreported income and could result in more money being owed to the IRS in the future
    • If filed more than 3 years late, a refund will not be remitted by the IRS to the taxpayer

    If you don't file your tax forms with the IRS by the tax deadline, or need to correct a mistake, you may be able to submit an amended tax return or mail the necessary tax documents even after the deadline date. Consult with a tax professional for assistance if you need to adjust a previously filed tax return.


  • How to File

    How to File

    We have teamed up with Sprintax to provide you with easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for non-resident students, scholars, alumni and their dependents in the United States. Visit our "How To File" tab for step-by-step instructions.

    Step 1: Gather the documents you may need to use Sprintax
    Step 2: Log in from the portal below to create a Sprintax account
    Step 3: Follow Sprintax instructions
    Step 4: If applicable, complete your state tax return
    Step 5: Submit your completed federal forms to IRS by the deadline

    Need Sprintax Support?

    If you need help while using Sprintax, contact them:


  • Be Aware of Scams
    Be Aware of Tax Scams and Fraud

    Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals. 

    The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door.

    It is important to educate yourself on the common scenarios and take steps to protect yourself. Review our Tips to Avoid Scams and Fraud to protect yourself.

  • Helpful Resources

    Helpful Resources

    Please note, the websites outside of SBU that we link to in this section are provided to assist you. SBU doesn't have any relationship with these companies. Inclusion on this list does not mean that we are recommending or endorsing these companies.

    Additional IRS Resources
    Useful links
    Paid Experts
  • Tax Treaties

    Tax Treaties

    The United States has over 50 tax treaties with different countries. The treaties vary in terms of the benefits they offer to students, the types of income covered, the total amount of the exemption, and the number of years you could claim the benefit. If you file your tax forms with a suitable tax software, the software will automatically factor in any benefit offered through a tax treaty with your country.

    For more information on tax treaties, including a list of the countries that the United States has tax treaties with, see IRS Publication 901, US Tax Treaties. Note that tax treaties vary in their implications for state taxes.