Tax Information for International Students

All international students and scholars are required to complete and file tax forms with the government whether or not income was earned during the tax year. In addition, F-2 and J-2 dependents must also file certain tax forms.

Filing of income tax is not voluntary, it is required by law. If you fail to file taxes, the Internal Revenue Service can assess penalties and interest, and can seize U.S. bank assets for payment. Fines and penalties often amount to more than original tax debt. There can also be immigration consequences for failing to file taxes. Applicants for permanent residency are frequently asked to provide proof of tax filing.

The purpose of this web page is to provide general information regarding taxation for non-residents. Lock Haven University and the Institute for International Studies cannot provide individualized tax advising and/or filing assistance, therefore, consult appropriate tax accountants and resources as necessary (outlined below).

Who must file tax forms?

Everyone! All international students and scholars must file certain tax forms.

When should you file tax forms?

Tax statements will be sent by your employer, university, bank, etc. after January 1st. The deadline for filing your return is April 15th.

What tax forms should you file?

  • If you are an international student or scholar, physically present in the U.S. during the tax year (January 1-December 30), who did not receive income.
    • File Form 8843 Only
  • If you are an international student or scholar who has dependents (spouse and/or children), were physically present in the U.S. during the tax year (January 1-December 30) and earned income (employment, internship, scholarship, grant, honorarium, etc.)
    • File Form 8843
    • File Form 1040NR (Federal Form)
    • File Form 1NPR (Wisconsin State Form)
  • If you are an international student or scholar who does not have dependents, were physically present in the U.S. during the tax year (January 1-December 30) and earned income (employment, internship, scholarship, grant, honorarium, etc.)
    • File Form 8843
    • File Form 1040NR-EZ (Federal Form)
    • File Form 1NPR (Wisconsin State Form)

What information do you need to file?

You will need a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to complete the Federal 1040 NR, Federal 1040NR-EZ, and State 1NPR forms. If you do not have a SSN or ITIN at the time you file taxes, you may apply for an ITIN in conjunction with filing your tax return. You do not need a SSN or ITIN to file the Form 8843.

You will also need any tax statements supplied by your employer, university, bank, etc. The most common forms students and scholars receive are:

  • Form W-2 for wages and earnings
  • Form 1042-S for tax exempt payments due to a tax treaty
  • Form 1099 for interest earned on bank accounts
  • Form 1098T for Tuition Payments

Note: You may receive additional and/or different forms depending on your own personal circumstances, such as if you own a home, earned income through investments, etc.

How do you file your tax return?

There are numerous ways to file your tax returns.

  • You may utilize tax assistance software. Lock Haven University has contracted with Sprintax to assist international students and scholars complete tax returns (both Federal and State). The intuitive software will ask a series of interview questions and utilize responses to complete necessary tax forms. Sprintax will also enable you to file your returns electronically and receive any refund directly into a U.S. bank account. There is a fee for filing your taxes via Sprintax; the amount charged varies depending on the complexity of your return and whether or not you file both Federal and State returns.  International students will be provided information regarding how to use Sprintax via University e-mail by March 1st of every year.

 

 

  • You may consult local tax consultants/representatives for personalized filing assistance. Please note that charges vary widely for tax professionals and many will not file nonresident returns due to the complexity of tax treaty articles, etc.
  • Local Tax Filing Information:
    • If you worked outside of Lock Haven, PA: make sure to Google your local tax office or look at your State Tax website for a list of local tax offices.
    • If you worked in Lock Haven, PA—follow these instructions: You should have received a form in the mail from the Keystone Central School District Tax Office.  You need to fill the form out with information from your W-2.  You should note on the form that you are a non-resident alien and list your home (country where you live) as the address.  If you received NO forms in the mail, bring your W2 to the Keystone Central School District Tax Office. This office is very helpful & you can go in person with questions.
    • Questions about Local Taxes:
    • Keystone Central School District Tax Office
    • Flemington Building at 301 Frederick St, Lock Haven, PA 17745
    • Phone: 570-893-4913 Fax: 570-893-4635
    • Due Date: April 15th of ever year

Refunds

You may receive a refund from either the Federal Government or State of Pennsylvania. Be advised the refunds are issued in U.S. dollars and my only be direct deposited in U.S. bank accounts. If you are completing your returns from outside the United States, please be advised that you will be mailed a check.

Questions

 Any questions should be directed to international@lhup.edu for further assistance.

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