TAXATION OF NONRESIDENT ALIENS
Visa Residency status is NOT the same as Tax Residency status. If you were in the U.S. for even 1 day in the tax year and had no U.S. earned income or scholarships, you still must file.
A Resident Alien is... an alien who has passed the Green Card Testor the Substantial Presence Test.
A Nonresident Alien is... an alien who has not passed the Green Card Testor the Substantial Presence Test.
Applicable Tax Forms
|Form||Description||More About the Form|
|Form 1040-NR||U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return||About Form 1040-NR|
|Form 1040-NR-EZ||U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents||About Form 1040-NR-EZ|
|Form 4868||Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return||About Form 4868|
|Form 8233||Exemption From Withholding on Compensation for Independent (and Certain Dependent) Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual||About Form 8233|
|Form 8833||Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b)||About Form 8833|
|Form 8840||Closer Connection Exception Statement for Aliens||About Form 8840|
|Form 8843||Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition||About Form 8843|
|Prior Year Forms||Prior Year Forms, Instructions & Publications Search||Popular Prior Year Forms, Instructions & Publications|
|Form W-7||Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)||About Form W-7|
|Form W-8BEN||Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals)||About Form W-8BEN|
|Form W-9||Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification||About Form W-9|
File & Make a Payment?
Along with your check made payable to the United States Treasury, sign and date Form 1040NR-EZ and Form 8833 OR Forms 1040NR and Forms 8843 and mail them both to:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 1303
Charlotte, NC 28201-1303
File & No Payment?
If you areNOTsending a payment or if you are receiving a refund, sign and date both Form 1040NR-EZ and Form 8833 OR Form 1040NR and Form 8843 and mail them to:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
File From Abroad?
If you are leaving the country before you can file taxes, make sure to notify email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org of your foreign address so that your Form W-2 and/or Form 1042-S can be mailed to you so you can file from abroad.
References for Foreign Students and Scholars
Failed to File Taxes?
Penalties & Interest
If you owe taxes and don't file, the IRS can assess penalty and interest and seize U.S. bank assets for repayment. Fines and penalties can often amount to more than the original tax debt.
There can also be immigration consequences for failing to file taxes. Applicants for permanent residency "green cards" are frequently asked to show proof of tax filing for previous years in the U.S.
Missed the Deadline?
A U.S. citizen or resident can file Form 4868to request an automatic extension of time to file a U.S. individual income tax return.
About Form 4868.
Request an Extension with Payment
If you owe any taxes, you must still mail your tax payment by the deadline or you will be assessed a penalty and interest as of the deadline. Therefore, along with your check made payable to the United States Treasury, sign and date Form 4868and mail it to:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 931300,
Louisville, KY 40293-1300
For additional payment & mailing questions, see Page 3 & 4 of Form 4868
Request an Extension without Payment
If you don't owe any taxes, sign and date Form 4868and mail it to:
Dept. of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Kansas City, MO 64999-0045
For additional mailing questions, see Page 4 of Form 4868
Always keep copies of your tax return, W-2, 1042-S, 1099 bank interest statements and any other pertinent forms as proof that you have filed. The IRS can audit individual returns for up to 3 years following the filing deadline and your tax records are essential in proving your case.
Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN)
A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. It is issued either by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or by the IRS. A Social Security number (SSN) is issued by the SSA whereas all other TINs are issued by the IRS.
Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN’s) for Foreign Students and Scholars
Generally, aliens may apply for either aSocial Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for use on tax related documents.
Generally, aliens who enter the United States in an immigration status which allows them to be employed in the United States under specific circumstances under U.S. immigration law are eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN ) from the Social Security Administration.
Most foreign students and scholars in F-1, J-1, M-1, Q-1, and Q-2 nonimmigrant status are eligible to be employed in the United States, and are therefore eligible to apply for an SSN if they are actually employed in the United States.
Aliens who are not eligible to apply for a U.S. Social Security Number, or who do not meet the Social Security Administration's evidence requirements for an SSN, may apply for anIndividual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) from the Internal Revenue Service if they have a valid tax reason for needing an ITIN, as explained in the Form W-7 Instructions.
Apply for an ITIN
Use Form W-7 (in English) or Form W-7SP (in Spanish) to apply for an ITIN. Please refer to IRS Publication 1915 (PDF) for a more detailed explanation of ITINs.