- Tax Returns for Foreign Students and Scholars

Form 1040NR-EZ

U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents

General rule

In general, nonresident aliens must file Form 1040NR-EZ or Form 1040NR if they engaged in any trade or business in the U.S. during tax year and thus they had U.S. source income. Studying, teaching, and doing research are all considered to be activities in which the taxpayer is engaged in a trade or business.

Note: U.S. bank interest received by nonresidents is not considered a U.S. source income and is not taxable.

International Students and Scholars (F-1, M-1, J-1, Q-1 visas)

Nonresident aliens who are students, teachers, or trainees, and are temporarily present in the U.S. in F, J, M, or Q immigration status, must file tax return only if they have income that is subject to withholding, even if no tax was withheld. But even students and scholars who are not required to file tax returns should do so if they are eligible for refunds.

If your only U.S. income during tax year was U.S. bank interest, you must file only Form 8843

Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ

Nonresident aliens file either Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ. Form 1040NR is 5 pages long and can accommodate all types of income and expenses. Form 1040NR-EZ is only 2 pages long and is limited to specific situations. Nonresidents cannot file joint returns, and are very limited in claiming dependents. Choose the simplest and shortest form that will accommodate all your income and deductions.

You can use Form 1040NR-EZ instead of Form 1040NR if all of the following statements are true:

  • You do not claim any dependents.
  • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person's U.S. tax return.
  • Your only U.S. source income was from wages, salaries, tips, taxable refunds of state and local income taxes, and scholarship or fellowship grants.
  • Your taxable income is less than $100,000.
  • The only adjustments to income you can claim are the student loan interest deduction or the exclusion for scholarship and fellowship grants.
  • You do not claim any tax credits.
  • If you were married, you do not claim an exemption for your spouse.
  • The only itemized deduction you can claim is for state and local income taxes.
  • The only taxes you owe are income tax

When and Where to File

A nonresident who received any wages must file a tax return by April 17, 2018. If the only income was from scholarships or other income not subject to withholding, the return must be filed by June 15, 2018.

Note: Don't forget to attach your Form 8843 to your completed Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ

All Forms 1040NR and 1040NR-EZ must be mailed to:

Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215, U.S.A.

If enclosing a payment, mail Form 1040NR-EZ to:

Internal Revenue Service P.O. Box 1303
Charlotte, NC 28201-1303 U.S.A.

File Form 1040NR-EZ

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