No U.S. income in 2018

If you were present in the U.S for any part of 2018 in F-1 or J-1 status, but had no U.S. source of income, you only need to file is 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, 2019, although we recommend you complete and send the form before the end of tax season on April 15, 2019. If you need help filling out this form you can use this completed Form 8843 as an example. If you want additional help, the International House has created a quick video to walk you through the steps of filling out Form 8843. If you need to access a Form 8843 from a previous year you can do so HERE

U.S. income in 2018

If you had a U.S. source of income in 2018, you should have received a W-2 form and/or form 1042-S from your place of employment. If you have not received your W-2/1042-S by the first week of February, be sure to contact the payroll of your employer to make sure they have your correct address on file. You must either file a U.S. tax return before April 15, 2019 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. The general rule is that if you are an F-1 or J-1 student and have been in the US for LESS than 5 calendar years, you are considered a Non-Resident Alien for tax purposes. Nonresident Aliens file one of the "NR" tax forms (1040NR or 1040NR-EZand Form 8843. If you have been in the US as an F-1 or J-1 student for MORE than 5 calendar years, OR if you change your status to a different visa category (such as an H-1B), and you have been in this new status for more than half the year, then you are considered a Resident Alien and will 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."

To learn more about Nonresident Alien taxes, you can review the IRS Publication 519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens