Tax season happens each spring in the United States. Anyone who works in the United States must report income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This requirement includes F-1 students. An F-1 student must report income received during a program of study in the United States, which may include the following:

  • Income from wages
  • Income from nonwage compensation
  • Grants, fellowships, or scholarships that exceed the cost of tuition and required  fees

In the United States, all workers (including F-1 students) must file a tax return each year to the U.S. government.  There are special rules for F-1 students who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes. After filling out your tax return, you will know how much, if any, tax you must pay. The IRS tax filing deadline is generally April 15th of each year.

If you are not eligible for a Social Security number but need to report income to the IRS, you can apply for an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). You can learn more at this ITIN page.  If you have any questions, talk to your designated school official. The IRS also has helpful information in the section for Foreign Students and Scholars under International Taxpayers at their website.

Filing Tax Forms

F-1 students who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes must file forms with the IRS even if they earn no income. Northwood University obtains the license for an international tax software program available via the web, GLACIER Tax Prep, and provides it for F-1 students to use.  The program will generate the necessary forms that must be printed and mailed to the IRS.