How to Pay Taxes in USA for International Students| North Loop Official Blog
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09 Mar 2020

How to Pay Taxes in USA for International Students

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How to Pay Taxes in USA for International Students

It’s that time of year again in the US - tax season! Millions of Americans will get down to start filing their taxes. As an international student who is a non-US citizen, you must be wondering if you have to pay US taxes and how? Read below to find some answers to common questions:

Do I have to pay US income taxes as an international student?

This depends on if you earned income while living in the US. For example, if you’ve earned income from the following sources, you’ll have to pay taxes on what you earned:
  • A job or any other type of income
  • Winning the lottery


You will need to file a US federal tax return if you earned income from the above sources. On top of federal taxes, you will also need to file state taxes. Note - this only applies if your state has income tax - some states do not and you don’t need to file a state return.
If you were getting income from a job, your employer has probably already deducted taxes from your wages - you can find these in a W-2 form provided to you by your employer.
Filing a tax return is required for all international students in order to maintain your student visa:
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How to Pay Taxes in USA for International Students

Even if you did not earn any income in the US, you still have to file Form 8843 (“Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition”) with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Please note that this isn’t a tax return - it is an informational statement required by the US government to prove that you are a nonresident alien for the purposes of tax filing.

What if I didn’t earn income?

So now that you’re ready to file, which document do you need to file? Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ are used by the IRS for international students.

Do international students need to file state taxes?

There are many factors that determine this. Of course, the first factor is if your state has state income taxes! Speak to a tax professional about state taxes - every state has different requirements for non-resident tax filers.

What happens if international students don’t file a tax return?

The US is very strict about its taxes. If you don’t file your taxes, you’ll face penalties, and may face issues with your current (and future) visas to the US.

What’s my residency?

If you are in the U.S. on a F, J, M or Q visa, you are generally considered a non-resident alien for all tax filing purposes. This means you don’t need to file taxes for any non-American sources of income.

North Loop’s partnership with SprinTax

SprinTax is the only online software for international students to file their taxes. We’ve partnered with them to make it easier for all our customers to file their taxes this season. All North Loop customers get 15% off SprinTax!

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This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended be advice. You must obtain professional advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax, investment or other professional advice from North Loop or its affiliates. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date. All opinions expressed do not reflect the views of North Loop nor are endorsed by North Loop.