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International Student Taxes

While in the US you must follow all laws related to taxation that apply to you. The following general information is not intended to take the place of a qualified tax advisor. Please contact the Internal Revenue Service for more detailed information.



  • Income you have received while in the US may be taxable and may come from employment, stipends, or scholarships from US sources.
  • Most employers withhold tax monies from your paycheck and send it to the federal and state governments. If you are not required to pay taxes, you will recover this money after filing a tax return.
  • Income from non-US sources, such as your home government, is not taxable.


  • Most F-1 and J-1 visa holders are not required to pay taxes. However, everyone in the US is responsible for submitting an income statement to the IRS, known as a tax return.
  • Non-residents of the US are not required to pay Social Security taxes.
  • If you have not received any income, you must still complete form 8843 and submit it to the IRS.
  • To file a return, obtain the correct form(s), complete them according to instructions and submit them to the IRS and DOR.


The following are tax-related forms you should be familiar with:

  • W-2 – Your employer will provide you this form by the 31st of January for the prior year’s income. It shows how much you’ve earned and how much was withheld in taxes.
  • 1099-INT – Your bank will send you this form showing how much interest income you earned. Non-residents are not taxed on this interest, however you may need to include this form with your tax return.
  • 1042-S – If you receive scholarships, the giving organization will send you this form. Only scholarship money used for room and board is taxable. Scholarship money used for tuition, fees, and books is not taxable.
  • 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ – You will use one of these forms to file a federal tax return. The simplified form (1040NR-EZ) is sufficient for most students.
  • OR-40N – You will use this form to file a state tax return.
  • 8843 – This form MUST be filed by ALL international students, with or without income. It identifies you as a non-resident and prevents any of your income from abroad from being taxed.

Tax Resources

Tax Workshops 2016

We work with FOCUS to provide tax workshops for international students and scholars at PSU. If you earned income or interest during 2015, you have received tax forms in the mail (W-2, 1042-S, 1099, 1098-T, etc.). Be sure to keep all your tax forms in a safe place and come to our free tax workshops for help with filing your tax forms. FOCUS volunteers will be hosting these workshops and helping you to understand your tax forms. Bring your tax forms with you to these workshops. 

Tuesday, March 29th, 1:30-5:30pm, SMSU 236
Tuesday, April 5th, 1:30-5:30pm, SMSU 236
Tuesday, April 12th, 1:30-5:30pm, SMSU 236


IRS Scams

You should be aware that there are many scams from people pretending to be the IRS or another federal agency trying to steal your information. If you get any phone calls or official-looking emails from someone claiming to be with the IRS or other government agency asking for confidential information (passport number, mother's maiden name, Social Security Number, address, etc.), be very wary! Do not give out personal information over the phone. The U.S. federal government will never call you to ask for money. Contact your international student advisor if you have any questions. 

NOTE: This tax information is intended for international students and scholars at PSU with typical income levels and sources. Seek professional tax advice if your circumstances are unusual in any way.