All international students who have been in the United States for less than 5 years will need to file forms to the International Revenue Service (IRS). 

 Filing Chart

 

Tax Information & Directions

Click the topic you would like to learn more about. 

  • Form 8843
  • Federal & State Taxes
  • FAQ
  • Tax Forms
  • Tax Scams
  • Tax Labs
  • Form 8843 

    Form 8843 is not an income tax return. Form 8843 is merely an informational statement required by the U.S. government for certain nonresident aliens (including the spouses or dependents of nonresident aliens) to show that your worldwide income is exempt from US taxes.

    Students who have been in the USA for 5 years or less are required to fill out an 8843, regardless of employment. 

    8843

    Option 1:Use the Sprintax Software
    • Use the Sprintax software. It will ask you a series of questions and put the information in the appropriate box.
    • You will have to print out the form and mail it to address listed in the instructions that also print.
    • Be sure to save a copy for your records.
       
    Option 2: Fill Out the 8843 on Your Own
    • You can fill out the form on the computer, print it out, sign then mail the form to the address below.  
    • Be sure to fill out the top name portion, Part I, Part III, and sign the form. You will not fill out any other parts.

    Print the form and mail it to:

    Department of the Treasury
    Internal Revenue Service Center
    Austin, TX 73301-0215

     

  • Filing Federal and State Taxes
     Non-Resident Tax Filing 
    How to File

    How to File

    • Go to Sprintax link above. On the homepage, there will be a "Create an 'Account" section.
    • Please fill out this information. Then, click "Get Started." (If you created an account last year, you can sign in without having to create a new account.)
    • You will fill out a series of questions related to your taxes. Review this Sprintax document to see what documents you need to fill your taxes. 
    • YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY TO FILE YOUR FEDERAL TAXES OR THE 8843!  The University of West Georgia has purchased codes to pay for these filings. You will have to pay to file state taxes (it's $25.99).
        • For students with income, if you file federal taxes you must file state taxes. 
    • When you have finished answering all of the questions, download and print your tax forms.
    • These forms will need to be mailed into the tax agencies. Sprintax will give you the address to mail out the forms. 
    • Check your email for the code that needs to be inputted before you check out on the "Review Your Order" page. This will remove the charge for filing Federal Taxes.
    Georgia State Taxes 

    For students who filed the 1040NR-EZ, you can choose to file your state taxes on your own so you don't have to pay the filing fee.  

    Georgia Return Instructions

    Blank Georgia Tax Return

    Where to Mail Your Return
    Mailing Your Federal and State Tax Returns
    Form No Payment Included or Refund Payment Included
    8843 Department of the Treasury
    Internal Revenue Service
    Austin, Texas 73301-0215
    N/A
    1040NR or 1040 NR-EZ Department of the Treasury
    Internal Revenue Service
    Austin, Texas 73301-0215
    Internal Revenue Service
    P.O. Box 1303
    Charlotte, NC 28201-1303
    USA
    GA 500 Georgia Dept. of Revenue
    PO Box 740380
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0380
    Georgia Dept. of Revenue
    PO Box 740399
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0399

    Mailing Your Federal and State Tax Returns

    • Form: 8843
      No Payment Included or Refund: Department of the Treasury
      Internal Revenue Service
      Austin, Texas 73301-0215
      Payment Included: N/A

    • Form: 1040NR or 1040 NR-EZ
      No Payment Included or Refund: Department of the Treasury
      Internal Revenue Service
      Austin, Texas 73301-0215
      Payment Included: Internal Revenue Service
      P.O. Box 1303
      Charlotte, NC 28201-1303
      USA

    • Form: GA 500
      No Payment Included or Refund: Georgia Dept. of Revenue
      PO Box 740380
      Atlanta, GA 30374-0380
      Payment Included: Georgia Dept. of Revenue
      PO Box 740399
      Atlanta, GA 30374-0399

    You can get pre-addressed envelopes from the ISAP office in Mandeville Hall! 

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Do I have to file taxes?
      Do I have to file taxes?

      It is likely that there are some forms that you will need to file if you were in the USA last year (January 1st - December 31st).

      I was not in the USA last year: You do not have a tax obligation this year, but will next year. 

      * Please note that "year" refers to calendar year and not academic year. January 1st - December 31st. 

      The different situations are described below: 

      Tax Filing Obligations for International Students
      How long have you been in the USA? Employment Status  Tax Filing Obligation

      Less than 5 years, cumulatively.

      (In other words, have you been in the United States less than 5 years, including all of the time you visited and any prior visa types).

      I am not employed in the United States during the last year, and I haven't receive any US Scholarships. You should file an 8843 form. 
      I was employed in the United States last year. 

      If you made less than $4,050, you don't have to file taxes, but it is highly recommended if your W-2 shows you paid any taxes (you will get than money back). You will need to file as a non-resident.

      If you made more than $4,050, you are required to file Federal and State taxes. You will need to file as a non-resident.

      I am not employed, but I received a US Scholarship last year.

      (This usually applies to athletes and GRAs.)

      You will need to file Federal and State taxes as a non-resident if you scholarship covered more than your tuition (such as your room, or meals). 

      More than 5 years cumulatively. 

      (In other words, have you been in the United States more than 5 years, including all of the time you visited and any prior visa types)

      I was not employed at all during the last year.   You do not have a tax filing obligation. 
      I was employed in the USA last year and/or I received a scholarship that covered more than my tuition.  You can file your taxes as a resident. This means you can use any tax service that is open to residents (TurboTax, Tax Slayer, H&R Block, etc). 

      Tax Filing Obligations for International Students

      • How long have you been in the USA?:

        Less than 5 years, cumulatively.

        (In other words, have you been in the United States less than 5 years, including all of the time you visited and any prior visa types).


        Employment Status : I am not employed in the United States during the last year, and I haven't receive any US Scholarships.
        Tax Filing Obligation: You should file an 8843 form. 

      • How long have you been in the USA?: I was employed in the United States last year. 
        Employment Status :

        If you made less than $4,050, you don't have to file taxes, but it is highly recommended if your W-2 shows you paid any taxes (you will get than money back). You will need to file as a non-resident.

        If you made more than $4,050, you are required to file Federal and State taxes. You will need to file as a non-resident.


      • How long have you been in the USA?:

        I am not employed, but I received a US Scholarship last year.

        (This usually applies to athletes and GRAs.)


        Employment Status : You will need to file Federal and State taxes as a non-resident if you scholarship covered more than your tuition (such as your room, or meals). 

      • How long have you been in the USA?:

        More than 5 years cumulatively. 

        (In other words, have you been in the United States more than 5 years, including all of the time you visited and any prior visa types)


        Employment Status : I was not employed at all during the last year. 
        Tax Filing Obligation:  You do not have a tax filing obligation. 

      • How long have you been in the USA?: I was employed in the USA last year and/or I received a scholarship that covered more than my tuition. 
        Employment Status : You can file your taxes as a resident. This means you can use any tax service that is open to residents (TurboTax, Tax Slayer, H&R Block, etc). 

    • I am no longer in the USA, but I was last year. Do I need to file?
      I am no longer in the USA, but I was last year. Do I need to file?

      If you were in the USA during the last calendar year (January 1st - December 31st), you likely have a filing obligation. Please refer to the question above to determine what you will need to file. 

    • What is the substantial presence test?
      What is the substantial presence test?

      Substantial Presence Test is one of the tests, to determine if you are as a Resident Alien or Non Resident for Tax Purposes, based on your days of presence in the United States. 

      International Student in F1, J1, M, Q visa taxes, are considered as Non Resident Aliens for a period of up to Five years, as long as they are students in the United States. If you are a student for the sixth year use Substantial Presence Test to determine your residency.

    • Can I just use Turbo Tax or some other free filing software?
      Can I just use Turbo Tax or some other free filing software?

      Sprintax is made by Turbo Tax for non residents to file their taxes, so in essence, UWG has paid for you to use Turbo Tax! 

      If you have been in the USA less than 5 years: NO. 

      You must file as a non-resident and TurboTax does not account for the tax information that is relevant to International Students. ISAP highly recommends that you use SprinTax to ensure your taxes are done correctly. 

      If you pass the substantial presence test: YES. 

      You can file as a resident and use any software that is open to resident tax filing. 

    • What type of income is taxable?
      What type of income is taxable?

      Income that is taxed includes wages, scholarships and earnings on investments. (A complete list of taxed income may be found in IRS and state tax guides.) The most common type of income is wages; the money
      withheld from each paycheck is an estimated payment of the federal and state income tax obligation. This money is sent by the employer to the IRS and Georgia Department of Revenue under the employee's tax identification number (Social Security number or ITIN). Taxable scholarship payments may have some amount withheld just like wages. Investment income (not including bank interest) rarely has an amount withheld in advance; the applicable tax is paid when filing one's tax forms.

    • What happens if I don't file?
      What happens if I don't file?

      Payment of income tax is not voluntary, it is required by law. One of the conditions of your visa is to comply with US law. 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. Additionally, you could be penalized for not complying with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). There can also be immigration consequences for failing to file taxes. Applicants for permanent residency "green cards" may be asked to show proof of tax filing for previous years in the U.S

    • When is the filing deadline?
      When is the filing deadline?

      April 15th

      This is the tax deadline every year. 

    • How do I file?
      How do I file?
      • The University System of Georgia has purchased Sprintax, tax preparation software created specifically to assist international students and scholars. Refer to the Assistance section below for more information.
      • You may choose to read the IRS instructions and complete the forms yourself (not recommended). Paper federal tax forms will NOT be available at your campus international office but can be printed by searching for the form(s) at www.irs.gov. Please note that if you choose this option, it is likely that ISAP will not be able to assist you with questions. 
    • I have a tax treaty that exempts all of my income from the US taxation. Do I still need to file?
      I have a tax treaty that exempts all of my income from US taxation. Do I still need to file?

      Yes. One condition of tax treaty eligibility is that the treaty recipient is required to file an annual US tax return. Failure to file the return can lead to the loss of the treaty benefit.

    • What is a W-2 and who will get it?
      What is a W2 and who will get it?

      The IRS requires employers to report wage and salary information for employees on Form W-2. Your W-2 also reports the amount of federal, state and other taxes withheld from your paycheck. As an employee, the information on your W-2 is extremely important when preparing your tax return.

      W-2s must be sent to the employee by the employer by the 31st of January each year. 

    • What is a 1042-S and who will get it?
      What is a 1042-S and who will get it?

      1042-S forms are required to be available by the 15th of March each year for the following:

      • A student or scholar who was employed and was exempt under a tax treaty
      •  Any nonresident alien student or scholar who received a taxable scholarship/fellowship award greater
        than tuition charges
      •  Any nonresident alien who received a non-employee honoraria or reimbursement
    • What is a 1098-T and who will get it?
      What is a 1098-T and who will get it?

      Eligible colleges or other post-secondary institutions must send Form 1098-T to any student who paid "qualified educational expenses" in the preceding tax year. Qualified expenses include tuition, any fees that are required for enrollment, and course materials the student was required to buy from the school.

      If you are filing as a non-resident you cannot claim the Educational Eax Credit. 

      If you are filing as a resident, you can claim the Educational Tax Credit. 

    • Where can I get the Sprintax code?
      Where can I get the Sprintax code?

      The Sprintax code is emailed out to UWG students through their student email accounts. Please note that this code is intended only for use by UWG students and use by anyone else is unlawful. We can only email out the codes to UWG email addresses and will not forward or share this information outside of the UWG email. 

    • Can I file jointly with my spouse?
      Can I file jointly with my spouse?

      Non-residents are not able to file joint tax returns. 

      If both you and your spouse are considered residents for tax purposes, then yes you can file jointly. 

    • Do I have to fill out seperate 8843s for everyone in my house?
      Do I have to fill out seperate 8843s for everyone in my house?

      Everyone who does not pass the substantial presence test and is not a U.S. citizen should file the 8843. 

    • Sprintax told me to file as a resident. What should I do?
      Sprintax told me to file as a resident. What should I do?

      To file as a resident, you can use any of the tax software found here: 

      https://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/jsp/index.jsp

  • Tax Forms
    Income Documents
    Form Purpose When you will receive it:
    W-2

    Your employer reports wages you earned and taxes withheld from those wages.

    Only employed students will receive this form. 

    Employers must send to employee by January 31st 
    1099

    Your bank reports interest earned on your accounts.

    Most students will not receive this form. 

    Bank must send to account holders by January 31st 
    1042-S

    Reports wages paid to you if you already claimed a tax treaty benefit, and scholarship income that was used for expenses other than tuition and fees (such as room and board or travel).

    Usually sent to athletes or Graduate Assistants. 

    UWG must send out to student by March 15th 

    Income Documents

    • Form: W-2
      Purpose:

      Your employer reports wages you earned and taxes withheld from those wages.

      Only employed students will receive this form. 


      When you will receive it:: Employers must send to employee by January 31st 

    • Form: 1099
      Purpose:

      Your bank reports interest earned on your accounts.

      Most students will not receive this form. 


      When you will receive it:: Bank must send to account holders by January 31st 

    • Form: 1042-S
      Purpose:

      Reports wages paid to you if you already claimed a tax treaty benefit, and scholarship income that was used for expenses other than tuition and fees (such as room and board or travel).

      Usually sent to athletes or Graduate Assistants. 


      When you will receive it:: UWG must send out to student by March 15th 

     

    Tax Forms
    Form Purpose More Information
    Form 8843 Declaring your nonresident status Mandatory for all nonresident aliens if you don't have any US source income. A SSN or ITIN is not required. 
    Form 1040-NR Delcaring your US source income and determining how much taxes you will owe on that income.  Mandatory for all nonresidents with US source income. Requires a SSN or an ITIN. 
    Form 1040-NR EZ Simplified version of the 1040-NR. Most international students can use this form. Requires a SSN or ITIN.
    Form W-7 Application for an ITIN. You do not need to submit this form if you already have an ITIN or a SSN.
    Form 843 Request for a refund of Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld. You must also submit a Form 8316 with this form. 
    Form 8233 Request for a tax treaty benefit on salary earned. Submit also a Country-Specific Statement found in Appendix A of Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens. Submit to your employer, not the IRS. 
    W-8BEN Request for a tax treaty benefit on scholarship money. Submit this form to the organization that pays your scholarship, NOT the IRS.
    GA Form 500 or 500EZ Pay taxes owed to the state rather than the federal government. If you file federal taxes, you must also file state taxes. 

    Tax Forms

    • Form: Form 8843
      Purpose: Declaring your nonresident status
      More Information: Mandatory for all nonresident aliens if you don't have any US source income. A SSN or ITIN is not required. 

    • Form: Form 1040-NR
      Purpose: Delcaring your US source income and determining how much taxes you will owe on that income. 
      More Information: Mandatory for all nonresidents with US source income. Requires a SSN or an ITIN. 

    • Form: Form 1040-NR EZ
      Purpose: Simplified version of the 1040-NR. Most international students can use this form.
      More Information: Requires a SSN or ITIN.

    • Form: Form W-7
      Purpose: Application for an ITIN.
      More Information: You do not need to submit this form if you already have an ITIN or a SSN.

    • Form: Form 843
      Purpose: Request for a refund of Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld.
      More Information: You must also submit a Form 8316 with this form. 

    • Form: Form 8233
      Purpose: Request for a tax treaty benefit on salary earned.
      More Information: Submit also a Country-Specific Statement found in Appendix A of Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens. Submit to your employer, not the IRS. 

    • Form: W-8BEN
      Purpose: Request for a tax treaty benefit on scholarship money.
      More Information: Submit this form to the organization that pays your scholarship, NOT the IRS.

    • Form: GA Form 500 or 500EZ
      Purpose: Pay taxes owed to the state rather than the federal government.
      More Information: If you file federal taxes, you must also file state taxes. 

  • Tax Scams

    If you ever have a question of the validity of requested information, do not give out your personal information. Please note that the ISAP offices does not give out any personal information related to students, including their phone number, student status, email, class schedule, living arrangements, financials, etc. 

    A UWG  international student received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) alleging that there is some issue with the student’s visa status and that the student needed to pay some money urgently. Please be advised that this is a scam. According to the Treasury Department’s website, the Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) issued a warning to taxpayers to beware of phone calls from individuals claiming to represent the IRS in an effort to defraud them. The government received reports of over 20,000 contacts and has become aware of thousands of victims who have collectively paid over $1 million as a result of the scam, in which individuals make unsolicited calls to taxpayers fraudulently claiming to be IRS officials.

    Please be advised that the IRS usually first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes. And the IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS also won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone.
    The callers who commit this fraud often:

    • Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
    • Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number.
    • Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling.
    • Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam.
    • Call a second time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim.

    If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:

    • If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
    • If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
    • You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.
    Refund Email Scam

    There are several variations of the refund scam, in which an email claiming to come from the Internal Revenue Service falsely informs the recipient that he or she is eligible for a tax refund for a specific amount. The bogus email instructs the recipient to click on a link to access a refund claim form. The form requests personal information that the scammers can use to access the email recipient’s bank or credit card account.

    This notification is phony. The IRS does not send unsolicited email about tax account matters to taxpayers.

    Filing a tax return is the only way to apply for a tax refund; there is no separate application form. Taxpayers who wish to find out if they are due a refund from their last annual tax return filing may use the “Where’s My Refund” link at www.irs.gov – the only official IRS Web site.

    Substitute Form 1040 Fax Scam

    This scam consists of a cover letter and form that are faxed, rather than e-mailed. The cover letter is addressed “Dear Valued Tax Payer (sic)” and appears to be signed by an IRS employee. The letter says that the IRS is updating its files and that recipients who supply the requested information will receive a nominal tax refund. It also states that those who fail to immediately return the completed form risk additional tax and withholding. The attached form is labeled a substitute Form 1040 and is titled “Certificate of Current Status of Beneficial Owner For United States Tax Re-certification & Withholding.” It requests a large amount of detailed personal and financial information, such as mother’s maiden name (often used in security screening), bank account numbers, estimated assets and more. It asks the recipient to sign and fax back the completed form as well as a copy of the recipient’s driver’s license and passport.

    The letter, signature and form are all fraudulent. Moreover, the IRS does not send unsolicited faxes to taxpayers and does not request such detailed personal and financial information.

    What to Do: 

    If you ever have a question of the validity of requested information, do not give out your personal information!

    DO THE FOLLOWING: 

    • If they are calling, ask for their name and phone number and tell them you will return the call later. Bring that information to the ISAP office and we will call that person to check their credentials. (We will not reveal your information to them). 
    • If they email, mail, or fax you something, bring it into the ISAP office and we will check the validity of the document. 
    • If they show up in person, ask for a business card and tell the person you will get back to them. Bring the card to the ISAP office and we will contact the person to check their credentials. If you feel threatened, shut the door and call the UWG police. 

    If someone ever refuses to give you their name, number or business card, it is a scam. 

    For more information, visit the IRS website.

    If you ever are threatened or feel unsafe, hang up immediately and call the UWG Police at (678) 839-6000. 

  • Tax Labs
     Tax Workshops

    International Student Admissions & Programs Office hosts 4 different types of Tax Workshops to ensure students have filed correctly. 

    Please read the descriptions below, then click the image to sign up to attend the workshop. YOU MUST SIGN UP SO WE CAN HAVE ENOUGH MATERIALS FOR EVERYONE. 

    Tax Overview Workshop

    These workshops are designed for students who are confused or unsure of which forms they need to file. It is a general overview of taxes in the USA and will tell you which forms to file and how to begin filing.Taco About Taxes

     

    Tax Lab Appointments

    These are individual appointments for students who have begun filing their taxes and run into an issue or question. You must sign up for an appointment for these workshops.

    WHAT TO BRING:

    • Your federal and state tax forms (already started)
    • All tax documents (W-2s, 1042-S, 1099, etc.)
    • I-20/DS-2019
    • Passport
    • I-94 Record
    • Your address in the USA and home address
    • Your Social Security or ITIN number (if you don't have either, you can get one through Sprintax).

    Tax Lab Appointments

    Please note that if you sign up for a Tax Lab appointment and you have not already started your taxes, the appointment will be canceled. These are not designed for me to do your taxes (as I am not certified to do that and will not), but rather for you to gain assistance if you run into a question. 

NOTE: Filing federal income tax forms is the personal responsibility of each international student and scholar. Staff members of the ISAP office have been trained as tax assistance volunteers through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. The ISAP Office has designed this website as a service to help you meet your tax filing obligations. Please be aware that you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of your income tax returns.