Studying in the US can be an enriching experience, not just for your education but also for your personal life as you explore a new culture and make new friends. But just because you’re abroad doesn’t mean you have no obligations – especially when it comes to your tax obligations. Luckily, Sprintax is here to tell you everything you need to know about your tax obligations while you’re studying in the US.

Resident or non – resident for tax purposes?

As an international student visiting the US, you will probably be given the status of non – resident for tax purposes. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from filing a tax return, it just means that you are required to fill out different kinds of tax forms.

Occasionally international students are classes as residents for tax purposes based on how long you’ve been in the country for previously. To determine your residency status you can take the Substantial Presence Test – if you pass the test it means you are a resident for tax purposes and have been physically in the US long enough. This includes:

–          31 days of the current year

–          183 days over the past 3 years

When counting the 183 days over the past there years, you can only include a third of the days you were physically present in the US last year and a sixth of the days you were present in the year before that.

Sometimes figuring out whether or not you pass the Substantial Presence Test can be complicated – that’s why Sprintax makes it easy for you by asking you a series of questions straight off to see if you pass this test!

What forms do I have to file as a non- resident for tax purposes?

The forms you will have to complete are as follows:

Form 8843 – an informational document which all non-resident international students have to file, regardless of employment.

1040 NR / 1040 NR EZ – The standard federal tax forms which all non-residents have to fill out.

State tax form – these differ from state to state

If you’re received income while you were studying abroad through a part time job you will also need to fill out a W-2 form. You should receive your W-2 form before the end of January. If you don’t receive your form by then you should call your employer and ask them to send it out to you.

If you received a scholarship, you will need to fill out a 1040 – S form as scholarship money is considered a type of income.

The great news is that Sprintax can fill out all these forms for you – all you need to do is provide us with a few details then we’ll fill out your forms and send them in to the tax office. It couldn’t be easier!

When is the tax filing deadline?

Both Federal and State tax forms must be submitted by April 15th every year, i.e. Tax Day.

If you had no source of US income then you must file Form 8843 by June.

Anything else I need to know?

When it comes to Form 8843, you absolutely must fill it out. It is a strict requirement for all international students visiting the US, not to mention it’s necessary to fill one out to maintain your non – resident for tax purposes status.

To fill out your tax return – Form 1040 NR / 1040 NR EZ – you must have either a social security number or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). An ITIN is given to you if you don’t have a social security number, and the great news is that Sprintax can help you get one.

Want to know more about Sprintax?

If you’re confused about your tax obligations during your time in the US, then contact the Sprintax team. We created our service specifically for international students studying temporarily in the US and have filed tax returns for thousands of students already – just check out what they have to say on our website! Our service makes everything easy for you – all you have to do is provide us with a few details via our online registration form, then we fill out the correct tax forms for you and send them in to the tax office. As a registered tax agent, we know the tax code inside out and upside down, so we can file your tax return for you quickly and correctly while you get on with doing the things you love. Not only that but we guarantee to check if you’re due a tax refund in the process and get you the biggest legal tax refund possible. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

If you have any questions or want to start filing your tax returns with Sprintax, get in contact with us today by registering on our website or emailing

Categories: FinanceMisc


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