Tax Filing FAQs

Who must file a tax return?
A person who is not a US citizen or resident must file a tax return that includes all U.S. income.

If you are a student or a research scholar holding an F-1 or J-1 visa, you must file a form with the U.S. tax agency, the Internal Revenue Service, even if you DO NOT have US income.

If you only have income whose source is outside the U.S., you will follow the same rules as someone who has no U.S. source income.

What if I DO have U.S. income?
You have U.S. income if you receive any payments in exchange for services - usually as a direct deposit from the University of Notre Dame including salary deposit, grants, stipends and scholarship device in excess of tuition and fees.

The tax forms you must file depend on your status for U.S. tax purposes: resident alien or nonresident alien. (see “How do I determine my status for U.S. tax purposes?”)

You may need the following in order to prepare your U.S. tax return:

  • You may need the following in order to prepare your U.S. tax return:
  1. Social Security Card (if you have one)
  2. Passport and Visa
  3. I-20 or DS-2019 form
  4. I-94 form
  • Your relevant income documents such as Forms W-2, 1042-S, and others, such as any Forms 1099 (e.g., 1099-NEC, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, and 1099-G). See “What tax forms should I expect to receive?”.
  • Copies of your tax returns from tax year 2021 (U.S. federal return and all state returns), if any
  • U.S. bank account information, specifically your routing and account numbers, so any refund(s) can be directly deposited into your bank account. Refunds cannot be deposited into a non-U.S. bank account.

What if I DO NOT have U.S. income?
If you are a nonresident alien for U.S. tax purposes and do not have any U.S. source income you are still required to file IRS Form 8843 with the IRS.

Sprintax has the capability to prepare this form. However, you can also prepare this form by completing Form 8843 manually and mailing it to the IRS following our step-by-step instructions.

How do I determine my status for U.S. tax purposes?
You are considered a resident alien for U.S. tax purposes if you meet either the Green Card or Substantial Presence tests. If you are a foreign national and do not meet any of these tests, then you are considered a nonresident alien for U.S. tax purposes.

The "Green-Card" Test
If an individual is a permanent resident alien (i.e. a green-card holder) at any time during the calendar year, he or she will have met the green-card test and be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes for that entire year.

The "Substantial Presence" Test
Nonresident aliens meet the substantial presence test if they have spent more than 183 days in the U.S. To meet the substantial presence test, and thus be considered a resident alien for tax purposes, an alien must at least:

  • be physically present for 31 days in the current year, AND
  • be physically present for 183 days (as calculated below) or more during the 3-year period consisting of the current year and the 2 immediately prior calendar years. 
  1. All days of presence in the current calendar year plus
  2. One-third of days of presence during the previous calendar year plus
  3. One-sixth of days of presence during the second-preceding calendar year

If you meet the substantial presence test for a calendar year, your residency starting date is generally the first day you are present in the United States during that calendar year.

Please Note:

  • Students on an F-1 visa or J-1 student visa and Teachers/Researchers on a J-1 visa are generally classified as "exempt individuals". An "exempt individual" is any person who is temporarily exempt from the substantial presence test. Time spent as an "exempt individual" does not count toward the 183 days in the U.S. 
  • Students present in the U.S. under an "F", "J", "M," or "Q" immigration status are exempt from the substantial presence test for 5 years.
  • Teachers/Researchers present in the U.S. under a "J" or "Q" immigrations status are exempt from the substantial presence test for any two years of the current and past six calendar years.

However, any part of a calendar year in which the student/teacher/researcher is present in the U.S. counts as a full year.

What if I am a resident alien for U.S. tax purposes and cannot use Sprintax?
If you qualify as a resident alien for U.S. tax purposes the tax rules are the same as for US citizens. Since the Sprintax software only prepares for nonresident alien tax returns, you may not be able to use their services. However, as a resident alien you are able to use any form of tax preparation available to U.S. persons, such as:

  • Turbotax, TaxAct, or any tax preparation software other than Sprintax
  • H & R Block, Jackson-Hewitt, or any commercial tax service
  • Any CPA firm

See "How do I determine my status for U.S. tax purposes?"

What tax forms should I expect to receive?

Form W-2

  • If you provided services in exchange for payment at the University, you should receive a Form W-2. A copy of a W-2 would have been mailed to your address of record by the end of January by the Notre Dame Payroll Department. You can also access it within InsideND.
  • If you had a job during the year with another employer, such as an internship or other where you were an employee, you should also receive a Form W-2 from each employer.

Form 1042-S
The University Payroll Department does not expect international students and scholars to receive Forms 1042-S before February 28, 2022. If you anticipate receiving a Form 1042-S (because you completed a treaty application Form 8233 / W-9 this year or in a prior year), please do not file your U.S. tax returns before receiving your Form 1042-S.

You may receive Form 1042-S under the following circumstances:

  • If you filled out a treaty application (Form 8233 / W-9) earlier with the Payroll Department
  • If you received a scholarship (above the amount of tuition)
  • If you are an athlete on a scholarship that exceeds the amount of tuition

You may be able to receive your 1042-S electronically if you elected that option on the FNIS website. You may contact the University’s Tax Department at ndatx@nd.edu for more information on how to make this election or questions regarding your Form 1042-S.

Other income documents (e.g., Forms 1099):

  • You may have received a Form 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC if you performed work as an independent contractor.
  • You may have received a Form 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, or other Form 1099 from a financial institution that reports dividends, interest, and other items of investment or passive income.

See "What if I DO have U.S. income?"

Why is the SSN field blank on my Form W-2?
The Social Security Number field is left blank when a Social Security Number is not on file for the recipient. Additionally, the Form W‐2 must match the Social Security Number and name on your Social Security card. If you do not have an SSN, have a correction to your SSN, or the name on your Social Security Card does not match your Form W-2, then the issued Form W‐2 is incorrect and you may need a Form W-2C (corrected W-2) after your payroll record is updated. If this is the case, please contact Payroll Services at (574) 631-7575 or payroll@nd.edu.

Please Note: Form W‐2C is not required for a change of address. If the address is wrong or outdated on your Form W‐2, you are encouraged to promptly correct your address through InsideND or by contacting Student Employment (for students) or HR (for other employees) to process the change. A corrected Form W‐2 is not required for a change of address and it will not be issued.

What if I need assistance filing U.S. tax returns after the deadline has passed (including prior year returns)?
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.