Basic Information for all J-1 and F-1 Students and Scholars

No U.S. income in 2013

If you were present in the U.S for any part of 2013 in F-1 or J-1 status, but had NO U.S. source of income you only need to file Form 8843. Mail the completed form to "Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Center, Austin, Texas 73301-0215." The deadline for the form filed without a tax return is June 15, 2015, although we recommend you complete and send the form before the end of tax season on April 16, 2013. If you need help filling out this form you can use this 8843 as an example.

U.S. income in 2013

If you had a U.S. source of income in 2013 you should have received a W-2 form and/or form 1042-S and you MUST file a US tax return before April 15, 2014 or file for an extension before that date.

Step one is to determine if you are a Nonresident Alien or Resident Alien for tax purposes. Nonresident Aliens for tax purposes file one of the "NR" forms (1040NR or 1040NR-EZ) and Form 8843. Resident Aliens for tax purposes file the regular forms (1040 or 1040EZ).

* Please note that being a Resident Alien for tax purposes has NO bearing on your immigration status. It does not get you a "green card."

Your tax filing status is determined by the Substantial Presence Test which can be relatively complicated. The following is a brief summary for the most common non-immigrant categories for students and scholars at WPI:

  • F-1 and J-1 students who have been in the U.S. for any part of five different calendar years before 2012, and were physically present in the U.S. at least 183 days in 2013, are considered Resident Alien for tax purposes.
  • F-1 and J-1 students who have been in the U.S. for less than 5 years or who were not physically present in the U.S. for at least 183 days in 2013 are considered Nonresident Aliens for tax purposes.
  • J-1 Researchers or Professors who have been in the U.S. any part of 2 of the proceeding 6 calendar years and were physically present in the U.S. at least 183 days in 2013 are considered a Resident Alien for tax purposes.
  • J-1 Researchers or Professors who have been in the U.S. for any 2 of the proceeding 6 calendar years but were not physically present in the U.S. for at least 183 days in 2013 are considered a Nonresident Alien for tax purposes.
  • H-1B, TN and O-1 status. If you have been in the U.S. for less than 183 days in any of these non-immigrant visa statuses, you are considered a Nonresident Alien for tax purposes and should file one of the "NR" forms in addition to Form 8843 for yourself, your spouse and your dependents. If you have been in the U.S. in any of these visa statuses for more than 183 days, you are considered a Resident Alien for tax purposes.

Please note that the above is a very simplified summary of the "Substantial Presence Test". Visa status and nationality can in certain situations alter the outcome of the test. Using Windstar will help you determine your status for tax purposes. IRS Publication 519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens describes the "Substantial Presence Test" in more detail.

 
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