Income Tax Regulations for F Visa Holders
The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires any F visa holder who is considered a nonresident for tax purposes to file some sort of U.S. income tax form, even if he or she did not earn income in the United States.
Income Tax Responsibility
The IRS places responsibility solely on you for understanding and fulfilling your federal income tax responsibilities. Although you may feel that IRS requirements are unfair, too complicated, or burdensome, failure to obey the law could result in fines or in denial of immigration benefits. Your income tax responsibilities are summarized below. For more information refer to IRS Publication 519, “U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.”
Your Tax Status – Nonresidents or Resident as Defined by the IRS
You must first determine how IRS classifies you for tax purposes in order to know which tax form you must file with IRS. Initially, IRS considers all F visa holders as nonresidents, as long as they substantially comply with the requirements of their visa. However, IRS normally considers F visa holders as residents when they meet the “substantial presence test” for the tax year, and have remained in their F status for more than five calendar years. A full calendar year is counted even if the student was in F visa status for one day that year. Therefore it is important that you determine your residency status for tax purposes; please keep in mind that this is different than your immigration status.
Determining your Residency Status for Tax Purposes
You may use the following charts to determine your residency status for tax purposes, please note that these charts were copied from the Internal Revenue Service’s 2008 VITA/TCE Publication 678-S Foreign Students and Scholar Text for use in preparing Tax Year 2008 Returns for Nonresident Aliens.
Filing Deadlines for 2011 Tax Year
April 17, 2012– residents and nonresidents with taxable income for 2011 must have their tax returns postmarked by this date.
June 15, 2012 – nonresidents who did not earn U.S. source income in 2011 must have their tax returns postmarked by this date.
Note: F visa holders who initially entered the United States in 2012 are not subject to income tax requirements for 2011.
To file your tax return properly you should consult various IRS publications, which supplement the filing instruction booklets for the actual tax form. The following publications are available in the International Student Services Office and online at www.irs.gov:
- 519 – U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
- 901 – U.S. Tax Treaties
- 8843 – Statement for Exempt Individuals
- W-7 – Application Form for IRS Individual Taxpayers Identification Number
- 1040NR – Instruction Booklet
- 1040NR – Form for U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return
- 1040NR-EZ – Instruction Booklet
- 1040NR-EZ – Form for U.S. Income Tax return for Certain Nonresident Aliens with No Dependents
Where to File Tax Forms
All Forms 8843, 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ must be mailed to
Internal Revenue Service
Philadelphia, PA 19255-0219
It is important that you make copies for your personal record of all documents submitted before mailing.
Marymount has student volunteers who have become certified tax preparers through the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Tax Preparer’s program. These students will hold several free sessions during tax season to assist you in preparing your tax forms. For more information, please contact the ISS office or visit the free tax sessions.
IRS tax assistance resources are
- Toll-Free Number: 1-800-829-1040 (Each time you call the IRS for assistance you should write the date, name, and ID number of the person assisting you. Also, phone two to three times to be sure that you get the same information from several different IRS employees.)
- IRS Web site