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International Students


Must have to file IRS forms & to receive treaty benefit. Apply with W-7 at IRS ... If not refunded, use IRS Form 843 to request a refund, per the example ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: International Students

International Students

Determinationof Residency Status
  • Do not confuse tax residency with
  • immigration residency
  • residency requirements for earning a degree etc.
  • Residency for tuition purposes

Resident or Nonresident?
  • Substantial Presence Test
  • Exempt Individual
  • Closer Connection
  • Green Card Test
  • Residency Starting Date
  • Residency Through Marriage
  • Dual-Status Alien

Substantial Presence Test
  • 31 days during the current year, and
  • 183 days during the three year period that
    includes the current year and the two years
    immediately before that counting
  • current year times 1, plus
  • first preceding year times 1/3, plus
  • second preceding year times 1/6.

Exempt Individuals
  • F, J, M, Q student status holders
  • J Q teacher or trainee status holders
  • Foreign government employees professional
    athletes during charity exhibitions

Exempt students (F J)
  • 5 years life time, must include time in teacher
    or trainee status
  • Dependents are included if their status is
    derivative and they are dependent on the main
    status holder
  • All must file an 8843

Exempt teacher/trainee
  • Any two years out of a six year period
  • Must count years in student or trainee status
  • Dependents are included if their status is
    derivative and they are dependent on the main
    status holder
  • All must file an 8843

Establishing a closer connection
  • Can ignore the substantial presence test if
  • are present in the U.S. less than 183 days in the
    current year,
  • have a tax home in a foreign country for the
    entire year and closer ties with that country
    than the U.S., and
  • file form 8840.

Green Card Test
  • Date of adjustment to status--not the date pink
    green card issued
  • No option--if you are a PR, you are a resident
    for tax purposes
  • See dual-status alien

Residency Starting Date
  • Passes Substantial Presence Test (SPT)
  • First day of the tax year the SPT is passed
  • Granted permanent residence status--green card
  • First day in the U.S. as permanent resident
  • When both apply the earlier of the two

Residency through marriage
  • Nonresident spouse treated as a resident
  • May file as residents, but required to file a
    statement, signed by both, and
  • Required to file jointly, and
  • No tax treaty benefits.

Dual-status Aliens
  • Taxpayer has two residency statuses during the
    same tax year
  • Must file two returns
  • Allocate income

Dual-status Aliens
  • Can be very complex
  • First year of residency dependent on when you
    adjusted status to PR
  • Final year of residency
  • last day physically present, or
  • last day a US PR
  • A U.S. PR can jeopardize their PR status by
    filing a 1040NR or 1040NR EZ--seek professional

Who Must File
  • In the United States, unlike most of the world,
    it is the individuals responsibility to know
    what taxes must be filed with the government.
  • Most of the world, the government automatically
    assesses and collects taxes.

Resident Aliens
  • File just as United States citizens file
  • See IRS Publication 17 or any of the numerous
    VITA sites for U.S. citizens
  • Extensive number of resources, public and
    private, for help with tax obligations

Dual Status Aliens
  • See IRS Publication 519 for a detailed
    description of this status and examples of how to
  • Too complex for this training, encourage dual
    status aliens to seek professional help with
    their tax questions.

How nonresident is different
  • Generally pay tax only on US-source income
  • Tax treaty may exempt some income
  • Interest may be tax free
  • Married nonresidents cannot file jointly
  • Generally only one personal exemption
  • Most tax credits do not apply
  • Standard deduction not allowed (one

  • Itemized deductions limited to
  • state and local taxes withheld
  • contributions to charity
  • casualty/theft losses
  • miscellaneous business deductions
  • Investment income (other than interest) is
    generally taxed at a flat 30

Nonresident Aliens
  • Who
  • All F, J, M, and Q status holders must file a
    statement to substantiate non-residence,
    exemption, and possibly a tax return
  • What
  • Form 8843mandatory for all nonresidents
  • Possibly Form 1040NR or 1040NR EZ

  • When
  • Tax returns by 15 April
  • Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR EZ
  • Form 8843 ONLY 15 June
  • Where
  • Internal Revenue Service Center
  • Philadelphia, PA 19255-0219

1040NR-EZ instead of 1040NR
  • Does not claim dependents
  • Cannot be claimed as someones dependent
  • Under 65
  • Only wages, salaries, tips, taxable refunds of
    state/local income taxes, scholarships or
    fellowships--all other income on 1040NR
  • Taxable income

  • Cannot claim any adjustment to income except
    scholarship student loan interest
  • Cannot claim tax credits
  • No exemption claimed for spouse
  • If itemizes, can only claim state income tax
  • The only taxes owed are income taxes

Consequences of Failure to File
  • If no taxes are owed--no penalty.
  • Although, Form 8843 always required
  • However, nonimmigrant alien status requires that
    the individual not violate any U.S.
    lawsincluding tax laws.
  • The Immigration and Naturalization Service is
    interested in tax compliance when an individual
    files for U.S. permanent residency!

Treaty Overview
  • IRS Publication 901 your resource for details of
  • Treaties can exempt income from taxes that are
    classified as scholarship or compensation for
    teaching or during studies
  • File IRS Form 8233 with employer to exempt income
    from withholding
  • Many exceptions to general rules Canada, India,
    Japan, Korea, Mexico

  • Purpose is based on immigration status! (A
    graduate student teaching classes is a student
    and not teacher.)
  • Student/scholar must have been tax resident of
    treaty country immediately prior to coming to
    U.S. for purpose on current INS documents.
  • Dependent and Independent Personal Services
    rarely allowed for students and scholarssee
    Canada exception.
  • Clarification--read the text in Pub 901
  • Consider Types of Income

IRS Income Codes on 1042S
  • 15 Scholarship or Fellowship grants
  • Qualified (unreported and untaxed) tuition,
    mandatory fees, and maybe books
  • Nonqualified (reported and taxed) room and board
    and uncontrolled payments
  • 18 Compensation for teaching and research
  • 19 Compensation during study and training

Unusual cases
  • PRC
  • Teaching, 3 years, no limit
  • Studying, no limit in time, 5,000/yr
  • Indonesia
  • Teaching, 2 years, no limit
  • Studying, 5 years, 2,000/yr
  • France
  • Teaching, 2 years, no limit
  • Studying, 5 years, 5,000/yr

Unusual Cases
  • India
  • Standard deduction and exemptions for spouse and
    dependents (always read dependents)
  • Canada
  • 10,000 dependent personal services if it does
    not exceed 10,000--plus much more
  • China
  • Maintain treaty benefits even once a resident
  • Japan, Korea, Mexico
  • Germany, UK, others--retroactive clauses

Family Issues
  • Few nonresident students and scholars may claim
    their family members as dependents.
  • If you can (Canada, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico),
    the dependent must have a taxpayer identification
    number (TIN)
  • Social Security Number, SSN
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, ITIN

Filing Status and Marital Status
  • Unmarried Single
  • Married, use one of the married statuses even if
    spouse not in the U.S.
  • Only nonresidents from Canada, India, Japan,
    Korea, and Mexico can claim an exemption for
    spouseread the rules.

Filing Status and Dependents
  • Most nonresidents cannot claim their
    dependentseven if the dependent is a U.S.
  • Only nonresidents from Canada, India, Japan,
    Korea, and Mexico can claim a deduction for
    dependentsread the rules.

  • Child and Dependent Child Care Credit
  • Rarely appliessee rules
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Rarely appliessee rules
  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Rarely appliessee rules

Spouse and Dependent Reporting Obligations
  • Even if no income, all F-2s and J-2s are required
    to file a Form 8843 yearly.
  • An ITIN is recommended-not required
  • Income from illegal employment must be reported
  • J-2s are not exempt from FICA taxes

Taxation of Nonresidents
  • Questions?
  • Source of Income
  • Type of Income
  • Effectively Connected versus not effectively

Source of Income
  • Foreign Source Income not taxed in U.S.
  • U.S. source income that is not taxed
  • Interest Income (interest on deposits held in the
    banking business)
  • Compensation from a Foreign Employer

Taxable Income
  • Resident
  • Nonresident
  • US source income only
  • Payment for Services
  • Scholarships/Fellowships--candidate for a degree
  • Dividend income

  • Candidate for a degree
  • Elem., Secondary, Undergrad, Grad
  • Nonresident Alien attended an institution that
  • offers a program that is acceptable towards a
  • authorized by federal law to offer such a degree
  • is accredited
  • Qualified Scholarship
  • Tuition and Mandatory Fees
  • Fees, books, supplies, equip required of all

Effectively Connected?
  • Effectively Connected Income
  • Students Scholars are considered engaged in a
    U.S. trade/businessthus income EC
  • Effectively Connected Income Taxed at Graduated
  • Personal Services (on campus employment)
  • Business Profits/Losses

  • Not Effectively Connected Income
  • 30 or treaty rate
  • Dividends
  • Interest (from sources other than bank deposits)
  • Gambling Income
  • Sale of Capital Assets
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Real Property Income

Adjustments and Itemized Deductions for
  • Deduction for Student Loan Interest
  • Loan must have been for educational expenses only
    and interest paid in tax year
  • Itemized Deductions
  • State and Local Taxes
  • Charitable ContributionsU.S. charities only
  • Casualty or Theft Loss, Job Expenses, and
    Educational Costs, Tax Prep Fee

What is needed to report?
  • INS documents
  • Passport, I-94, visa, I-20 or IAP-66/DS-2019
  • IRS documents
  • W-2s
  • 1042-Ss
  • 1099s (gov, int, div, misc, etc.)
  • Previous years return
  • Deduction paperwork Calendar
  • Social Security Number or ITIN

  • Must have a taxpayer number to file
  • Be certain name and number match card
  • Social Security Number
  • Can receive only if employed
  • Apply with SS-5 at Social Security
  • ITIN Individual Taxpayer Identification Num.
  • Must have to file IRS forms to receive treaty
  • Apply with W-7 at IRS

The 1040NR EZ Return
  • Line 3 Wages, salaries, tips, etc
  • to list on wage line of tax return Box 1 of Form
  • Add Code 18 income in box 2 of Form 1042-S
  • Add Code 19 income in box 2 of Form 1042-S
  • Minus Treaty benefits
  • Equals Amount
  • Line 4 Taxable refunds from state taxes
  • 1099G (not students from India)

  • Line 5 Scholarship/Fellowships (RmBd)
  • Report all that is not exempt via treaty
  • U.S. source only
  • Line 6 Treaty exemption
  • total exempt salary scholarship or maximum
    allowed by treaty--whichever is less
  • REMEMBER--do not include this amount in lines 3
    or 5
  • Line 7
  • Line 3 4 5

  • Line 8 Student loan interest deduction
  • All these rules must be met
  • Paid during tax year
  • Must have been required to be paid
  • Filing status must be single
  • Adjusted gross income
  • Loan for educational expenses only
  • Loan recipient must be at least a half-time

  • Line 9 Scholarship excluded
  • 1042-S Income and exemption codes
  • Income code 15 scholarship
  • Exemption 2 (tax code) or no exemption
  • Line 10 subtract 8 9 from 7
  • line 11 state taxes withheld
  • India Single, 4,850/Married, 4,850
  • line 12 subtract 11 from 10
  • line 13 personal exemption 3,100

  • Line 14 taxable income subtract 13 from 12
  • Line 15 find tax in tax tables (married filing
    separate line for all)
  • Line 16 May apply to J-2 working for tips
  • Line 18 Federal income tax withheld
  • Form W-2s, box 2
  • Form 1042-Ss, column g
  • Line 19 rare for international students/
  • Line 20 F J holders are not required to file
    1040-C sailing permits

  • Taxpayer must sign form
  • Direct deposit
  • Installment agreement possible, but penalties and
    interest will be charged

  • Name TINexactly on card, TIN may be left
    blank, but not recommended
  • US address only if not filing with 1040NR or
    1040NR EZ
  • Part I
  • 1a 1b Visa Status, date status acquired and
    visa number (if any)
  • 2 citizenship per I-20 or IAP-66/DS-2019
  • 4a 4b yes, they must count the days

  • Part II, Teachers/Scholars/Trainees
  • Attended equals employed at as teacher
  • 5 Give them the official address and phone of
  • 6 Supervisor/research host address and number
  • 7 Visa again means status

  • Part III, Students
  • 9 Give them the official address and phone of
  • 10 Give them the name, address, and phone of the
    international director
  • 11 Visa equals status
  • Signature--only if not filed with 1040NR or
    1040NR EZ

1040 NR
  • To claim dependents
  • Canada, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico
  • Additional deductions
  • Charitable contributions, etc.
  • Not effectively connected income
  • Dividends

Finishing the Return
  • 1040NR and 1040NR EZ require a taxpayer
    identification number for filer and any claimed
  • Mail 8843 and return together
  • Every form should have taxpayers name and TIN
  • Attach W-2s and 1042-Ss to front left margin
  • Remind NRA to Keep copies of everything

Social Security Tax
  • Foreign students and scholars are exempt from
    FICA (social security and Medicare taxes) while
    they are nonresidents for tax purposesthis
    includes students on OPT
  • Once they become resident for tax purposes, they
    are subject to FICA taxes.
  • Exception for all full-time students working on

  • Dependents in F2 or J2 status are never exempt
    from FICA
  • H, O, and TN status holders are also subject to
    FICA taxes
  • When withheld in error
  • Ask the employer to refund
  • If not refunded, use IRS Form 843 to request a
    refund, per the example
  • Six months normal processing time

State Income Tax Issues
  • Many states do not honor income tax
    treatiescheck the list for your state
  • Other states, such as Illinois and Georgia, base
    their state returns on the federal adjusted gross
    income, the Indian students may lose the benefit
    of the standard deduction allowed by their treaty
  • See for link to state agencies

For Additional Questions
  • Refer to the publications that are mentioned in
    your training material. The publications are
    available at
  • Call the Philadelphia Service Center at
    215-516-2000, non toll free.
  • Visit 
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