Income Tax Information and Links
OIA does NOT have the expertise to assist you in preparing your tax return, but this page is provided to give you some guidance on what you need to know and what resources are there to assist you.
The general tax filing deadline in the US is April 15th.
If you did not have any US source income in 2016, but are a "nonresident alien for tax purposes" (as described below under Tax Determination), you still must file Form 8843. For those filing Form 8843 ONLY, the deadline is June 15th.
Those with complicated tax situations may wish to consult with a tax preparation service, professional tax accountant, or tax attorney who is knowledgeable about nonresident tax law.
- Tax Determination for F-1 and J-1 Status
- Tax determinations are complex and do not always follow the categories of immigration
law. Dependent upon the particular circumstances, you could be considered a "nonresident
alien for tax purposes" or "resident alien for tax purposes."
- Most F-1 and J-1 students are considered to be nonresident aliens for tax purposes during their first 5 years of presence in the US.
- J-1 scholars are considered to be nonresident aliens for tax purposes during their first 2 years of presence in the US.
- UTHSC Tax Residency & Payroll Information
For information about tax residency determination, payroll tax withholding, etc., please see the UTHSC Payroll Policy, FI0930, section about Non-resident Aliens.
- US Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes:
- F-1 & J-1 Students do not pay FICA for the first 5 years of presence in the US.
- Scholars in J-1 status are exempt from FICA for the first 2 years of presence in the US. After that point, they become resident taxpayers and are subject to FICA withholdings.
- Holders of H-1B status are subject to FICA withholdings, and are generally considered to be tax residents after their first 6 months of presence in the US.
- It is important to note that these are calendar years, so if you arrive at any point in a year, even on December 31, that will count as the first year of presence.
- If you are considered a nonresident alien for tax purposes, please be aware that some popular tax software, including TurboTax, only works for resident alien taxes.
U.S. Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Information
You may download any tax forms you need from their website by using the "Search Forms and Publications" function -- or click on the form below:
- 1040NR-EZ Instructions
- 1040NR Instructions
- Form 8843 Note: all non-resident aliens, including dependents in the U.S. must file this form
- Publication 519 : U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
- Publication 901 : Tax Treaties
- IRS website for international tax payers : Tax Treaties
You may go to the Memphis IRS office, 22 N. Front Street, downtown, or call 901-544-3243. The office is open Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Services provided.
Tax Preparation Software
Arctic International Tax Prep might assist you in completing your 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ tax forms. This is only for those who are classified as nonresident aliens for tax purposes (F and J status). There is a fee to use this software.
The State University of New York (SUNY) Office of International Student and Scholar Services maintains a website that is a good source of general income tax information for international students. (In fact, some of the material in this section on our website comes courtesy of their site, for which we are very grateful.)
Take note that some of the information, however, applies only to SUNY International students and residents of the state of New York.
OIA staff are neither qualified nor permitted to give individual tax advice. Those with complicated tax situations may wish to consult with a tax preparation service, professional tax accountant, or tax attorney who is knowledgeable about nonresident tax law.
Office of International Affairs
One Stop Student Services
910 Madison Avenue, Suite 105
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-8484
Fax: (901) 448-1370
Hours of operation:
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F