Filing U.S. Taxes

F-1 students, J-1 students, and J-1 scholars must file U.S. tax forms with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each spring.

All non-residents present in the U.S. in 2021 have an obligation to file the appropriate forms with the IRS by April 18, 2022.

If an F-1 or J-1 visa holder was present in the U.S. in 2021 and:

  • received income, they will file an income tax return (1040-NR)
  • did not receive income, they will file Form 8843

Students and scholars are responsible for filing the appropriate forms and maintaining tax compliance. In order to assist members of our international community, the University of Notre Dame offers an access code for Sprintax, an online tax filing system; this access code provides FREE federal tax filing and a $5.00 discount for state tax filings this spring. This resource is available to current ND students and 2021 ND graduates.

Frequently asked questions related to filing taxes can be found here.

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IMPORTANT: ISSA CANNOT assist with tax filing or tax document questions; we are neither trained nor authorized to do so.

Sprintax

ISSA has arranged access to Sprintax Tax Preparation, an online filing system, for FREE federal tax filing and a discount code for state filing for current international students, recent graduates, and scholars in F-1 or J-1 status. Sprintax offers step by step instructions through their online portal and a 24/7 live chat help line. You’ll also find info below for Sprintax-sponsored webinars that will provide additional information for filing your taxes.

The Sprintax code is sent out via email to all enrolled F and J students; contact us at issa@nd.edu if you did not receive the code. 

SPRINTAX INFORMATIONAL WEBINARS

While ISSA cannot advise on taxes, Sprintax offers free webinars that may provide helpful information for you to understand your tax status and the filing process.

The informational webinars will cover the same topics on each occasion:

  • An overview of tax for nonresident students and scholars
  • Who must file a 2021 US tax return
  • What income forms students/scholars may receive
  • Forms that need to be completed and sent to the IRS
  • We cover terms like FICA, ITIN and Form 1098-T
  • What happens if students don’t file, or misfiles
  • State tax returns
  • IRS stimulus payments
  • Sprintax overview

You can information on the Sprintax Youtube channel. 

If you need assistance with filing taxes for previous years, or you are late filing in Spring 2022, you will need to contact a tax professional who has experience supporting non-residents and F-1/J-1 students and scholars.

Filing State Taxes

While you can utilize Sprintax to file your state taxes, there will be a charge; the discount code that ISSA provides is only for $5. If you want to use Sprintax to file your federal taxes but file your state taxes on your own, you can look to the Department of Revenue for your state of residency/ies. If you lived in Indiana in the previous tax year, you will find more information for state filing as an international student here.

No Income/Scholarship Tax Filing

All international students and scholars and their dependents present in the U.S. who are non-residents for tax purposes must complete the Form 8843. This form is to be completed if you have no income and have not received money from a U.S. institution.

You can use the Sprintax system to prepare the Form 8843, or follow the instructions found here.

Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

The IRS issues Individual Tax Identification Numbers (or ITINs) to foreign nationals that have a tax reporting requirement but are not eligible for a SSN number. ITINs are intended for tax purposes only. The ITIN is required for F-1 students receiving grants, fellowships, or scholarships from Notre Dame.

More information about ITINs can be found here.

If you will utilize Sprintax for filing your taxes, their online filing software will help you complete the ITIN process.

ISSA can provide a copy of the ITIN Certification Letter for F-1 students and F-2/J-2 dependents.

To apply for an ITIN Certification Letter as an F-1 student, the student will need to gather the following documents:

  • A completed W-7 form.
  • If an F-1 student visa holder, not working on campus, and receiving a Notre Dame grant, fellowship, or scholarship:
    • Boxes F and H should be checked
    • Box H should include: Exception 2(C): Scholarship/fellowship income
    • Ensure that all sections are completed, including all of Section 6
  • A photocopy of student’s Notre Dame admission letter
  • A letter from the Notre Dame department which awarded the scholarship, fellowship, or grant, if that award is not listed on student’s admission letter
  • A photocopy of student’s passport biographical page
  • A photocopy of student’s F-1 visa (except for citizens of Canada/Bahamas)
  • A photocopy of student’s Form I-20
  • A photocopy of student’s I-94 record

To apply for an ITIN certification letter, please follow these instructions:

  • Go to ISSAlink and complete the ITIN Letter Request form:
    • All gathered documents from the list above must be ready to be uploaded
    • Once the form is approved, ISSA will send the student or scholar an electronic copy of the ITIN certification letter in an email with instructions

While ISSA can provide a certification letter for F-2 or J-2 dependents, the F-1 or J-1 primary visa holder should refer to irs.gov for more information on how to submit the ITIN packet for their dependents. Go to ISSAlink.nd.edu to request the dependent certification letter.

Tax Treaties

Several countries have tax treaty agreements with the U.S. allowing certain types of income to be exempt from federal income taxes. A list of those countries and the treaty can be found here. Tax treaties do not apply to state taxes.

If a student or scholar believes they are eligible to take advantage of a tax treaty between the U.S. and their home country, they must visit the IRS website for instructions on how to utilize this benefit.

Scams

No U.S. government agency, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will contact you by email, phone, or text. Students and scholars should disregard any unsolicited emails, phone calls, or texts, or contact ISSA to confirm no further action is needed. Should the IRS need information, they will contact F-1 and J-1 visa holders by mail.