To be blunt, it’s the law. But let me elaborate.
Every international student is required by law to file a tax return based on the conditions of their visa, but not everyone will have to pay taxes. As an international student, you are entitled to some benefits and exemptions, so chances are you will not owe anything and could receive money from the U.S. government for any excess taxes deducted from your earnings.
More often than not, international students—especially those who received taxable income while working—filing a tax return will receive a tax refund for overpaid tax. It’s worth checking to see if you have a refund coming to you.
Important Things to Know About Tax Time
- You must file your taxes by April 15.
- F-1 and J-1 students are NOT exempt from paying taxes. You must file a tax return if you earn any taxable income by working in the U.S.
- If you are an F-1 or J-1 student and didn’t earn any taxable income in the U.S., you will still have to fill out Form 8843 and submit it to the IRS.
- You cannot deduct miscellaneous expenses such as tax preparation fees, investment expenses, moving expenses, deposit boxes, etc.
Another way to make sure your taxes are completed correctly is to have an expert prepare them for you. Many Americans take this route when preparing their taxes to avoid any costly mistakes.
Remember our partners at Sprintax that we mentioned? They specialize in filing taxes for international students just like you!
Sprintax has an online tool specifically designed for international students that you prepare your Federal and State tax return in less than 20 minutes! It is way easier than trying to fill out your forms and file them yourself
- Register here
- Complete each section
- Sprintax will prepare your tax return
- Your tax return will be available for download in your online account.
Now, you will still have to mail your forms to the IRS. American citizens can file online, but as a non-resident, you are required to mail your forms in. Click here to find the correct place to send your tax forms to based on the state you are living in.
Filing taxes was probably not on your list of new things you wanted to experience when you decided to come and study in the U.S. If it was, then we seriously hope you decide to become an accountant. However, filing your taxes is important to do. We hope that the information provided in this blog post and help from Sprintax will help make the process easier so you can get back to focusing on your education.
At LewerMark we specialize in international student health insurance and we are happy to partner with Sprintax to help make tax filing easy for you as an international student.
If you have questions about any of the above or other tax-related questions, it will be important for you to contact a qualified tax professional, like those at Sprintax. They will ensure that you complete your taxes correctly and on time.