Temporary visitors (international students and scholars) to the United States who are in F, J, M, or Q immigration visa status have a filing requirement. They must file at least one form with the IRS for federal income tax purposes.
Colleges and universities normally provide assistance for these individuals. Volunteer tax preparers are taught to:
- Distinguish between resident and nonresident aliens
- Determine whether a nonresident alien is required to file
- Determine the correct forms to file
- Determine whether a tax treaty applies and determine which income is taxable and which is excludable
- Correctly complete IRS Form 8843, Form 1040NR, and 1040NR-EZ
We encourage you to go for Foreign Student VITA Certification and have uploaded the following training material used locally to assist with your studies! NOTE: The IRS in their publications refer to Foreign Students as ‘students’ and Teachers as ‘scholars.’
Training Material from 2019.01.26 – Foreign Student Certification Workshop (Santa Clara County)
- FS Integrated Training Course (Taught by Magesh Jayapandian and Megan McDonald): Slide Deck | Access Recording
- FS Practice Scenario (for fake taxpayer “Dev Patel”): 13614NR Intake Sheet and Interview Notes and Tax Form
- FS Practice Scenario Answer (Dev Patel): Completed 1040NREZ
- F13614NR Interview/Intake Sheet: Must be completed at the VITA site by incoming Foreign Student/Scholar taxpayers
- IRS Publication 4011, Foreign Student and Scholar Volunteer Resource Guide: A handy spiral-bound booklet of flowcharts and summary of treaty benefits for different countries
- IRS Publication 4152, Electronic Toolkit for Nonresident Alien
- IRS Publication 4704-FS, Foreign Student/Scholar VITA Certification Test: 50-question beast
- I-94 Website, which forwards you to the History Search webpage after your taxpayer agrees to use the information according to the Department of Homeland Security’s rules. This is where Foreign Students can access their I-94 records (specific travel dates in and out of the country), which may help them in calculating the number of days they were present in the US.
Info for Foreign Student Taxpayers
This is the Foreign Student Taxpayer webpage that we’re sending foreign students to for more information about what they need to bring to the tax sites.