Nonresident Tax Return FAQs
A nonresident tax return is documentation filed with the U.S. tax office (IRS and/or State Government) which reports the amount of money you made and the amount of taxes you’ve paid within the year.
How to file a nonresident tax return?
You can file a tax return in three ways:
1. By hand- you can go to the IRS website, search for your required tax forms, print them, fill them out by hand, and mail them to the IRS
2. Electronically- using the same method above (by hand), you can fill out the PDF forms online on the IRS website, then print them out, and mail them to the tax office
3. Tax Filing Software- this is a paid option which is simpler than doing it by hand or electronically. By using tax software, there will be no need for you to calculate any numbers. Simply input the correct information the the tax software like your name and income numbers.
Once this is complete, the software will calculate your taxes for you and automatically generate your completed tax forms. The final step is to mail your generated/completed tax return to the tax office. You can learn more about tax filing with Tax Accountable here.
What is tax form 1040NR for nonresident tax returns?
Tax form 1040NR is the IRS tax form for nonresidents who has been present in the United States for less than 5 years and has not passed the substantial presence test.
If you are a nonresident and you’ve made income/money (from an on/off-campus job, a CPT job, an OPT job, or received compensation in the form of a scholarship (RA)) during the tax year, you must file both forms 1040NR & 8843.
What is tax form 8843 for nonresident tax returns?
Tax form 8843 is the IRS tax form for all nonresidents living in the U.S. If you are a nonresident who has not made any income/money (from an on/off-campus job, a CPT job, an OPT job, or received compensation in the form of a scholarship (RA)) during the tax year, you must file form 8843 only.
What tax forms do I need to submit for my nonresident tax return?
A nonresident alien may be required to submit form 8843 by itself or both 1040NR & 8843 to the IRS.
If an individual did not make any income during the tax year, then that person must submit form 8843 only. On the other hand, if an individual made income during the tax year, that person must submit both forms 1040NR & 8843 to the IRS.
Does a nonresident tax filer pay taxes on money from their home country?
No, income that an international student receives from their home country is not taxed. See more on this topic here.
What documents does a nonresident need to file a nonresident tax return?
Before preparing your tax return, you must gather all of your needed tax documents listed below (some documents may not apply to you):
2. Social security card/number
3. Bank routing & account number (in the event you receive a tax refund)
4. University Official (DSO) name
5. Contact information
1. W2 form
2. Additional W2 forms
Tax Deduction Documents:
1. Receipts for charitable donations to a nonprofit organization in the U.S. (ex. a church)
2. Receipts for any property taxes paid in the tax year.
3. Receipts for any sales tax on major purchases (ex. car, boat, house, etc.).
4. Receipts for any student loan interest paid within the tax year.
5. State & Local income taxes paid within the tax year (this can be found on your form W2 or 1042-S)
Nonresident tax return filing deadline. When is it?
The official tax deadline is April 15th, 2021. Be sure to file your tax return as early as possible to avoid having a delay on your tax return’s arrival to the tax office (IRS). Tax Accountable self-filing tax software will be available on January 15th, 2021.
How much does it cost to file a nonresident tax return?
Yes, tax filing can range from $30-$100. Typically, you pay more if you are required to file more tax forms. At Tax Accountable, to file form 8843 costs $9.99 and to file form 1040NR & 8843 together costs $34.99.
How to file a nonresident tax return?
Tax filing is very simple when using Tax Accountable self-filing software, the process is as follows:
1. Answer a few simple questions
2. Review your completed tax return
3. Print, sign & mail your completed return to the tax office
Learn more in our online tax course.
Am I a nonresident or resident on my nonresident tax return?
You will be considered a nonresident for tax purposes if you are an international in the U.S. who DOES NOT have a green card, DOES NOT pass the substantial presence test, nor are you in the U.S. on Asylum status.
So, if you do not have any of these three things, then you are a nonresident and must file form 8843 only, or you may be required to file both form 1040NR & 8843 if you meet the filing requirements.
Can I file a joint tax return with my spouse?
As a nonresident filing tax form 1040NR, you will not be able to file a joint tax return. If you were to select a joint tax filing status, the tax office will automatically change your return to married filing separately.
On the other hand, if you are a nonresident who is married to a U.S. citizen or resident (holder of a green card), then you are allowed to file a joint tax return. This means that both of you will file as residents and file tax form 1040 instead of form 1040NR for nonresidents. Learn more in a tax course.
How to check the status of my nonresident tax return?
You can check the status of your federal tax refund at any time by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website.
You can also call the IRS TeleTax System on (800) 829-4477 or the IRS Refund Hotline on (800) 829-1954. When you call or visit the IRS website, you will need the following information:
– The first social security number shown on the federal return
– Your filing status (single or married filing separately etc.)
– The exact amount of the refund shown on your federal return ($ amount of the refund)
What should a nonresident do If they owe money to the tax office?
If you underpaid your taxes, you need to pay the outstanding amount to the relevant tax office before the tax filing deadline. If you end up owing additional taxes with your return, you have various options to pay.
You can pay by check, bank transfer or use your credit or debit card. By law, the IRS may assess penalties to taxpayers for both failing to file a tax return and for failing to pay taxes owed by the deadline. Learn more about your filing requirements here.
Should a nonresident file a nonresident tax return if they had no income?
If you had no income or did not make any income from an on campus job, off campus CPT or OPT job, nor did you receive a stipend or money in the form of a scholarship, then you are not required to file tax form 1040NR. Instead, you must file tax form 8843 only.
How long does it take to get a refund?
Exact timelines are determined by the IRS on a case by case basis. Tax return processing time for paper tax returns (including non-residents 1040NR) is estimated at 4-6 weeks from the moment when the tax return is received within the IRS.
Please, allow a further 1-2 weeks for mailing. Please note that the IRS can take up to 6 months to process tax returns for nonresidents.
What is my tax residency status when filing a nonresident tax return?
There are essentially two types of residency statuses for an international student. The first is resident and the second is nonresident.
A resident is any individual who is permanently residing in the U.S., but does not have citizenship. So, if you have a green card, then you are considered a resident and can file taxes the same as a U.S. citizen.
A nonresident is any individual who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national. So, if you have an F-1 student visa but do not have a green card, then you are considered a nonresident and must file your taxes as a nonresident unless you pass the substantial presence test or you are married to a U.S. citizen or resident.
After reading the above, you should be able to decide your residency status for your nonresident tax return. To learn more, see our online tax course.
Can a nonresident get education credits?
No, nonresident tax filers are not allowed to receive any education credits unless they file their taxes as a resident. An international can file their taxes as a resident if they have a green card, are on asylum status, or if they pass the substantial presence test.
If you plan to file as a resident, you can use Turbotax, H&R Block, Tax Slayer, Tax Act, or any of the others.
Consequences of not filing a nonresident tax return?
Typically, the IRS does not penalize international students for not filing a tax return if they do not owe money. If an international student owes the tax office money, then they can be charged interest on the amount owed.
It is best to file a tax return even if you did not make any money during the year. You should still file form 8843 by itself. To learn more, you can enroll in an online tax course here.
How to file a nonresident tax return?
Use Tax Accountable’s affordable nonresident tax return software.
1. Go to our website and go to the file your own taxes tab
2. Click file now or choose the tax return (8843 only or both 1040NR & 8843) you want to file
3. Follow software promptings to complete your nonresident tax return
4. Pay ($9.99 or $34.99) for your tax return and your form will be sent to you through email
5. Print, sign, and mail your completed tax return to the IRS
How to get help filing my nonresident tax return?
If you need help filing your tax return or you need to have a question answered, Tax Accountable can help. Please contact us on our chat or support tab.