U.S. Tax Information
Filing Taxes in the U.S.
If you are the beneficiary of an academic and/or athletic scholarship or if you have earned wages in the U.S., you are required to file taxes each year that you receive the scholarship or earn wages. Filing taxes can be complicated and a bit overwhelming, so it is highly recommended that you seek professional services to assist you with completing and filing your taxes. It is your responsibility to file both Federal and State taxes each year that you have reportable income.
Tax Filing Deadlines
April 15 for all income
June 15 for the Form 8843
Tax Filing Resources
- Sprintax is a tax filing software that will guide you through filing your Federal and State taxes. It will also assist you with filing the Form 8843.
Gary Engler, Certified Public Accountant
- Gary Engler is a Certified Public Accountant who assists international students in filing their Federal and State taxes.
Required Tax Forms for All International Students: Form 8843
Regardless of your academic standing or ability to work in the U.S., all international F-1 & J-1 students must complete the Form 8843 each year. As an F-1 or J-1 international student, you are not required to pay taxes at the same rate as a U.S. Citizen. Completing the Form 8843 excuses you from paying the same level of taxes as a U.S. Citizen for up to 5 years while you are studying the in the U.S. on an F-1 or J-1 visa. Failure to complete the form may result in you being required to pay a higher rate of taxes while working in the U.S.
Athletic & Academic Scholarships: W-8BEN
All international students who receive athletic and/or academic scholarships must complete the Form W-8BEN every 3 years. The scholarship funds that you receive are taxable income that you must claim to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year. You may claim a tax treaty exemption if your home country has an agreement with the U.S. You must have a Social Security Number (SSN) or a Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to claim a tax treay exemption. It is your responsibility to complete the Form W-8BEN when you arrive on campus and every 3 years afterwards. Completed forms should be submitted to John Hills in the Business Office.
International Student Workers at Saint Mary's: Form 8233
If you have a job on campus and you are from a country that has a tax treaty exemption agreement with the U.S, you can complete the Form 8233 to claim exemption from tax withholding. To see if your country has a tax treaty exemption agreement with the U.S., please refer to the Summary of Tax Treaty Exemptions from the navigation menu on the right. You must have a Social Security Number (SSN) or a Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to claim a tax treay exemption. For more information about the Form 8823, speak with a representative of the Payroll Department in the Business Office.
Tax Documents that International Students Receive
It is the international student's responsibility to make sure that they have received all of the applicable tax documents and file their taxes by the filing deadline. The Center for International Programs recommends that international students retain their tax documents for at least 5 years.
The following tax forms are used by various entities to report information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS):
This tax document is used by employers to report the wages earned and taxes paid by employees. International students will receive a W-2 form from each employer that reported their income and taxes paid.
This tax document is used by Saint Mary's College to report the academic and/or athletic scholarship(s) earned by international students. International students will receive a 1042-S from Saint Mary's College for all qualifying academic and/or athletic scholarship(s) received.
This tax document is used by Anthem Blue Cross to report the amount of medical coverage that international students had to show that they were in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. International students will receive a 1095-B from Anthem Blue Cross for the time that they were covered under their medical insurance.
As non-U.S. citizens, international students are not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act. However, as a provider of medical insurance, Anthem Blue Cross is required to send 1095 forms to all who were enrolled in their medical insurance plans. International students do not need to provide proof of medical insurance coverage for tax purposes, but should keep the 1095-B for their records.
This tax document is used by Saint Mary's College to report the amount of tuition and related expenses that a student has paid. Saint Mary's College will issue a 1098-T to international students who have provided their Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If Saint Mary's does not have a tax identification number (SSN or ITIN) on file for an international student, it cannot issue a 1098-T. If you wish to receive a 1098-T, please contact the Business Office to verify that your tax identification number (SSN or ITIN) is on file. The tax identification number (SSN or ITIN) must be on file with the Business Office by January 31 of the following year in order to receive a 1098-T.
Please note that not all international students are eligible to claim the education tax credit when filing taxes. Students should consult with a qualified Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who is familiar with international student and non-resident tax filing requirements to find out if they are eligible for the education tax credit.
Taxes while Working in the U.S.
As an international student in the U.S., you are not required to pay the same taxes as a U.S. Citizen for the first 5 years that you are present in the U.S. Specifically, you do not have to pay taxes for social programs that you will not be eligible to benefit from as a nonimmigrant-visa holder. If you begin working in the U.S. and you have been here for less than 5 years, it is important to mention to your supervisor or Human Resources Department that you are exempt from paying the following:
- CA Disability