1. What happens if I fail to file my taxes?
If you owe taxes and don't file, the IRS can assess penalty and interest and seize U.S. bank assets for repayment. Fines and penalties can often amount to more than the original tax debt.
There can also be immigration consequences for failing to file taxes. Applicants for permanent residency "green cards" are frequently asked to show proof of tax filing for previous years in the U.S.
2. I'm an F-1 or J-1 student and I had no U.S. earned income or scholarships for 2022. Do I need to file?
Yes. You must file IRS Form 8843. Dependents in F-2 and J-2 status must also file this form.
3. I only arrived in the U.S. in December of 2022 and I didn't work. Do I still have to file Form 8843?
Yes. If you were in the U.S. even 1 day in 2022, you must file Form 8843.
4. I had bank interest on my checking or savings accounts. Is that earned income and must I file other tax forms?
5. I only worked for a very short time in 2022 and I didn't earn very much. Do I still have to file?
6. I'm married and have a child who was born in the U.S. Can I claim personal exemptions for my wife and child?
7. I am a non-resident for tax purposes. Can I claim the HOPE or Tuition Tax Credit or the Earned Income Credit?
8. Can I use my WPI Student ID number as my tax payer identification number?
9. My country has a tax treaty with the U.S. and I earned below $5,000, which is the amount of wages exempt by my treaty. Do I still need to file?
Yes. You must file Form 1040NR. In a case where you earned more than the exempt amount of your treaty, you may receive both a Form W-2 and a Form 1042-S or you may just receive only a Form 1042-S.
10. I had a teaching assistantship or research assistantship at WPI. Is this the same as a scholarship or fellowship?
11. I had a TA or RA position. Can I deduct or exclude the cost of my tuition, books, and/or fees?
12. I am a student from India. Can I claim the standard deduction?
13. Should I keep copies of my tax return and other tax forms?
Yes. Always keep copies of your tax return, W-2, 1042-S, 1099 bank interest statements, and any other pertinent forms as proof that you have filed. The IRS can audit individual returns for up to 3 years following the filing deadline and your tax records are essential in proving your case. In addition, if you decide to file for Permanent Residence ("Green Card") in the future, part of the application looks at your previous 3 years of tax documentation.
14. What is the deadline for filing my tax return?
15. If I owe tax, to whom do I make the check payable?
16. Where do I mail my Federal tax return?
17. I am leaving the country before I can file my taxes. What should I do?
Make sure the Payroll Office has your foreign address so that your Form W-2 and/or Form 1042-S can be mailed to you. If you don't receive your forms by mid-February, make sure to contact the payroll office for your employer/WPI, and have them mailed or scanned to you abroad. Download the appropriate forms and instructions (PDF) and file your U.S. taxes from abroad. Save copies of all forms submitted for your records.