U.S. income in 2020
If you had a U.S. source of income in 2020, you should have received a W-2 form (most forns of employment) and/or form 1042-S (if you had a fellowship or a sometimes a specific tax treaty benefit) from your place of employment. If you have not received your W-2/1042-S by the second week of February, be sure to contact the payroll of your employer to make sure they have your correct address on file. If you worked at WPI you can download an electronic version of your W-2 tax form through the "Pay" icon in Workday, under "Tax Documents," 1042-S might not be available for download, and will likely need to be mailed. The end of tax season is April 15th, 2021. You must either file a U.S. tax return before April 15, 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 (example: If you started at WPI in August of 2019, you were present for 2019 and 2020... so two calendar years). Nonresident Aliens file one of the "NR" tax forms (1040NR) and Form 8843.
If you have been in the US as an F-1 or J-1 student for MORE than 5 calendar years (you arrived on or before 2015) 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 180 days (half the year), then you are considered a Resident Alien and will file the regular forms (1040).
*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