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International Student Tax Return Filing Tips


If you are considering studying in the United States, you may wonder if international students pay taxes. As an international student, filing taxes is required for everyone with an F-1 visa, even if you do not plan to work during your studies. Do not be intimidated by queries concerning Social Security numbers and tax papers. With a little planning, filing your F-1 student tax return is simple. Experts can help you with income tax return filing in Cape Coral, including the necessary paperwork and the resources available.  

The American tax system 

The majority of the people with earned income in the United States pay taxes on each paycheck, F-1 students included. Do students have to file a tax return? Absolutely, if they earn money in certain ways. Salaries, as well as special gifts and rewards, are all examples of taxable income. Those taxes are paid to the federal government’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the state’s Department of Revenue where you earned your money. 

Here is a quick rundown of how the US tax system works:

  • If you earn money in the United States, you must pay a portion in taxes.
  • You pay taxes to the federal and state governments in the state where you live. Each year, tax returns describing your income are normally due in April.
  • When you file your tax returns, the revenue departments at every level balance the income taxes you owe with the sum of money you have already paid throughout the year. 
  • You are entitled to a refund if you have paid more taxes than you owe. You must make up the difference if you have paid less in taxes than you owe. 

Do international students have to file a tax return? 

Yes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all international students and scholars on F or J visas to submit Form 8843, even if they do not earn any money while studying in the United States. 

Form 8843 is used by “alien individuals” to describe the basis of a claim that days spent in the United States can be excluded from the substantial presence requirement because they were:

  • An exempt individual
  • Unable to leave the United States due to a medical condition or problem 

If the above explanation is unclear, consider Form 8843, a statement of the period you were studying and not working in the United States. If you still have issues, seek help from a tax professional.