- Tax Returns for Foreign Students and Scholars

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Why use NRTaxReturn? What are the benefits? (back to top)

Preparing your non-resident tax return and tax forms is quick, easy, convenient, accurate and cost effective.

Will my computer and Internet work with NRTaxReturn? (back to top)

Any computer that can connect to the Internet with Microsoft Internet Explorer v.5.0 or higher that supports 128-bit SSL encryption and have cookies and Javascript enabled should work.

What do I need to prepare my tax return and tax forms? (back to top)
  • A computer, internet access, and Windows Internet Explorer v.5.0 or higher with cookies and Javascript enabled and SSL-128 encryption support.
  • Gather all of your tax statements, W2, 1042, 1099, etc. and all deductible information, mortgage interest payment, charitable contribution, expense receipts, etc. before start.
  • A printer is preferred so you can print your tax return or payment voucher if required. If not, you can save a digital copy or come back to print later.
How do I know if my browser supports 128-bit encryption? (back to top)

If you use Internet Explorer, at the top tool bar, under Help, there is an About Internet Explorer description showing the version number and cipher strength 128-bit, etc.

How are the security and privacy of my information protected? (back to top)
  • IRS regulations require that tax return information can only be used for the purpose of preparing the tax return.
  • NRTaxReturn does not disclose nor share your information to any 3rd party or outside organization.
  • NRTaxReturn implements 128-bit encryption, firewall to secure all tax information communication and enforces strict company policies on all employees to protect your information.
Can I prepare and file multiple tax returns from my account? (back to top)

You can only prepare and file single tax return from your account. If you need to file another tax return you will need to create (register) new account for either spouse or your children.

I am a tax professional, can I use NRTaxReturn? (back to top)

Yes, NRTaxReturn is designed for both individuals and tax professionals. You will find many useful features designed for tax professionals to manage client returns easily like sorting, filtering as well as volume discount with pre-purchased e-file credits.

Tax Information

I'm an F-1 or J-1 student and I had no U.S. income during 2017, or my only U.S. income was bank interest. Do I need to file any tax forms? (back to section)  (back to top)

Yes. You need to file Form 8843. This is the only form you will need to complete, which is a change from previous rules, which used to require that students with no income file both file 8843 and 1040NR or 1040NR EZ. F-1 or J-1 students with U.S. income from other sources, such as dividend income, salary or wages, scholarships or fellowships, prizes or awards will need to file form 1040NR or 1040NR EZ.

What about my F-2 or J-2 dependents? (back to section)  (back to top)

All F-2 and J-2 dependents must file Form 8843 whether or not they are students, even if they had no U.S. income of any kind in 2017, or if the only income they had was bank interest. If they have any other U.S. income, they must file 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ.

I'm a new student for the Spring 2018 semester but arrived in the United States  in late December 2017. Do I need to file a tax form? (back to section)  (back to top)

Yes. If you are in F-1 or J-1 status, or a F-2 or J-2 dependent, and were  in the U.S. for any part of 2017, even if it was just a few days, you will need to file a tax form. If you had no U.S. income in 2017, you will only  need to file Form 8843.

What happens if I fail to file my taxes? (back to section)  (back to top)

If you owe taxes and don't file, the IRS can assess penalty and interest and seize U.S. bank assests 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.

My bank sent me a form called Form 1099-INT for the interest I earned on my bank accounts. Do I need to include this amount on my tax return? (back to section)  (back to top)

It depends. Non-residents filing form 1040NR-EZ do not include U.S. bank or credit union interest as income. Non-residents filing form 1040NR would include this interest on Item L.

If my country has a tax treaty with the U.S. doesn't that mean that I do not have to file any tax returns? (back to section)  (back to top)

No. In order to obtain tax treaty benefits, you must file federal income tax forms 8843 and either 1040NR-EZ or 1040NR.

I'm married and have a child who was born in the U.S. Can I claim personal exemptions for my wife and child? (back to section)  (back to top)

Generally, no. Only students & scholars from certain countries can claim exemptions for their dependents (Mexico, Canada, Korea, Japan. and India.)

I am from one of the countries that can claim an exemption for my spouse and/or child. Can I claim them if they don't have a social security number or an ITIN? (back to section)  (back to top)

No. In order to claim personal exemptions for dependents they must have a valid social security number or an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). To apply for an ITIN for your dependents, fill out Form W-7 and take the required documentation to the IRS Office.

I am a student from India. Can I claim the standard deduction? (back to section)  (back to top)

Yes. Due to a tax treaty provision, ONLY students from India may claim the standard deduction on the non-resident forms. For 2017 the standard deduction is $6350 single or married filing separately. Note: Visiting Scholars and Researchers from India cannot claim the standard deduction.

My employer withheld Social Security and Medicare taxes from my salary. Can I get this refunded? (back to section)  (back to top)

Yes. F, J, and M visa holders are not subject to Social Security or Medicare taxes as long as they are considered a "non-resident alien for tax purposes" (IRS Publication 519). Refund of these taxes may be requested from your employer. If your employer is unable to refund these taxes, you may file Form 843 and Form 8316 for a refund from the IRS.

What is the deadline for filing tax forms? (back to section)  (back to top)

If you are an employee and receiving wages that are subject to U.S. income tax withholding, file your tax forms by April 17, 2018. Individuals filing only form 8843 must file by June 15, 2018.

User Registration and Login Information

Why do I need an e-mail address when registering for NRTaxReturn? (back to section) (back to top)

You need to enter an active, accurate e-mail address because we will send you confirmation, reminders, results and account password should you forget your password. If the e-mail address is incorrect, you may miss important information about your data.

What password should I use? (back to section)  (back to top)

Your username and password are the most important information to access your account and protect its security. You should use a combination of letters and numbers that you can remember but not easy to guess by others.

How can I change my user name and password? (back to section) (back to top)

You can log into your account with current user name and password, even though the e-mail may be inactive. You can then change your user name and password under Update profile.

Will I receive junk mails if I use my e-mail address? (back to section) (back to top)

No, NRTaxReturn does not sell nor share your e-mail address with any other organization. Your e-mail address is used only for us to communicate with you regarding your tax return and other services.

How do I create an account if I do not have an e-mail address? (back to section) (back to top)

It is critical that you have an accurate and active e-mail so you can receive confirmation and result. We suggest you create an active account at sites like Yahoo, MSN or Hotmail.

Forgot my password, what should I do? (back to section) (back to top)

At the log in screen, click the Forgot Password button to re-set your account password. We will send you an e-mail with the instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not receive it in half an hour, you should first check to make sure your ISP does not block our e-mail (from NRTaxReturn), then either try it again or contact us through our support e-mail.

When I click Forgot Password, I get a message that says my e-mail is not a valid e-mail? (back to section)  (back to top)

You need to check the spelling, then contact us through support e-mail. You probably have used a different e-mail address when registered.

I forgot my user name, what should I do? (back to section) (back to top)

If you forgot your user name, you need to contact us through support e-mail, provide your contact information and verify your identity. We will then help you retrieve your user information.

My e-mail has changed, the old e-mail does not work any more. I've forgotten my password. What should I do? (back to section) (back to top)

If you still remember your password, you can use the old e-mail and password to log in, then change your old e-mail to the current e-mail address in Update profile
If your old email address does not work anymore, and you have forgotten your password, please send an email to . Please include your old username, and the last 4-digit of SSN for security check purpose.

My e-mail has changed and I forgot my password? (back to section) (back to top)

You will not be able to use Forgot Password to retrieve your password. You need to contact us through support e-mail, provide contact information and verify your identity. We will then help you retrieve your password.

Can you send my password to my new e-mail address? (back to section) (back to top)

No, we can not send your password until we can verify your identity. If you know your old e-mail and password, use them to log in and change your user name. If you do not remember your password and your old e-mail is not accessible anymore, you need to contact us through support e-mail, provide contact information and verify your identity. We will then help you retrieve your password.

I typed in correct user name and password, but still can't login? (back to section) (back to top)
  • If you see an error message stating you have entered wrong user name or password, the system is probably right. You need to check your spellings or verify the user name you have used. The system is functioning properly.
  • If the system does not show any error message, but ask you to log in again, the problem may be that your browser cookie was disabled. You need to enable cookie so our system can recognize your computer.
How do I enable the cookie in my browser? (back to section) (back to top)
  • Close current browser, open a new browser window. Delete all temp internet files and cookies.
  • If you use Internet Explorer 5.0, go to Tools, Internet Options, Security, Custom level.. to enable cookies.
  • For Internet Explorer 5.0 and higher, change the privacy setting to Medium under Internet Options.

Use and Navigation of NRTaxReturn

How does NRTaxReturn data entry work? (back to section) (back to top)
  • NRTaxReturn is a unique type of tax software that allows you to file tax return and other forms for non-residents. You work with only the forms you need and it is quick, easy, clear and complete.
  • All computations, tax tables and rules are integrated into NRTaxReturn to make preparation easy. NRTaxReturn is the best tool to prepare and file your 1040NR-EZ tax return.
How do I navigate in NRTaxReturn? (back to section) (back to top)
  • NRTaxReturn has 6 major sections shown on the top of each page to indicate where you are in the return preparation process.
  • The left hand side path and the small red arrow indicates where you are within current, active section.
  • You can jump to any point in your tax return that you have already completed. However, if you jump backward and change anything, you may need to click through the return again by clicking Next on every page to make sure all computations and rules are checked.
I received several W2/1099, how do I enter multiple W2 or other tax Statement? (back to section) (back to top)
  • After you have started filling your tax return, click Tax Statement section on the top of the page. At the page showing all of the tax statements, check the ones you want to add and click Next.
  • Use Add button to add multiple records like W2, 1099-misc or any field that require multiple entries.
Can I start my return now and complete it later? (back to section) (back to top)

Once you started a return, our system will save your information automatically. If you are interrupted for any reason, you can log back into your account, find your saved return and continue.

How do I continue from where I left off last time? (back to section) (back to top)

All of the information and tax returns you prepared are saved in your account under Saved Activities section. Click Edit to retrieve the tax return or other information and click the section on the top or the path on left hand side to continue.

I have already completed my return. What do I do next to submit it? (back to section) (back to top)
  • Click on File section after you have completed your return, review the summary information carefully and submit.
  • You will go through a NRTaxReturn payment process, unless you have already paid for the service, with details of the payment information.
  • Upon completion, you will see your payment conformation number and you will be able to print the return for your record. You will also obtain a detailed instructions on what to do to submit your return.

Print Returns and Forms

When can I print my tax return and tax forms? (back to section) (back to top)

When you finished your tax return or tax form and completed the checkout process, you will be able to view and print your tax return and tax forms.

Is there a time limit on when I can print copies? (back to section) (back to top)

After your have paid for your tax return or tax forms, you can print copies anytime until October 15th. After October 15th you will have to use Browse History option to print your prior years tax forms.

Can I print previous year's tax return and forms? (back to section) (back to top)
  • If you purchased our premium package you will be able to view and print all of you paid tax return and tax forms using Browse History option.
  • You can also request a copy of your return from the IRS using Form 4506, though a fee of about $40.
What do I need to print my tax return and tax forms? (back to section) (back to top)

After you have submitted your payment, you can print your tax return and tax forms anytime until October 15th. You will need Acrobat Reader 6.0 or above to view and print you tax forms. If you do not have a printer handy, you can right click once on the name of the form and save the form as a pdf file on your computer.

I can't print, what should I do? (back to section) (back to top)
  • First make sure you have Acrobat Reader 6.0 or above. If you don’t have it, click on the Acrobat Reader Icon to download it for free.
  • If you can see the tax return on the screen but can’t print it, there may be a problem with the printer. You may want to try to switch to a different printer or PC, try Library, e.g.
  • You can save your tax form on your computer and try to print later.

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