Tax Information for International Students
F-1 Student Taxes
All students with non-immigrant visas are required to file taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Even if you did not earn any income in the US in 2020, you have to complete a form and mail it to the IRS. You will need to obtain the appropriate tax return forms online at www.irs.gov.
Although the U.S. tax filing process may seem somewhat complex, it will be relatively simple for most international students. Plan to spend 10-30 minutes on this process. If you need help, you may hire a tax preparer or contact Sprintax or Interntaxreturn.com, see below.
The tax deadline in the United States is April 15.
If you did not work and earn money in the United States in 2020, you only need to submit Form 8843. This form is mandatory for all international students, even if you did not work at all.
If you did work and earn money in the United States in 2020, you will need to submit Form 8843 and 1040NR. Instructions for the 1040NR can be found at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040nr.pdf.
You may also need to submit Form 540NR for your California State Taxes. Your employer should supply you with the required W-2 forms that you will need to complete the tax forms. If you have not received any forms, please contact your employer.
You may come from a country that has a tax treaty with the US, you may check that at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/tax-treaties.
Some international students may receive this form from your health insurance company to help you prepare your taxes. The health
insurance company is trying to let the IRS know that you are covered, but they can only do this if they know your social security number
(SSN). However, as an international student, you likely do not have a SSN.
In this case, you have two options:
1) Disregard and form and do not do anything
2) Reply back to the health insurance company to let them know you do not have a SSN to eliminate future correspondence for this matter.
If you DO have a social security number, then you probably did not receive this form.
If you did however, complete the form as necessary so they know your social security number and can therefore tell the IRS about your health insurance coverage for tax purposes.
IRS website for international student taxes:
There is also detailed information and the appropriate tax forms at:
Order IRS tax forms by calling toll-free 1-800-829-3676 or use the website.
Information about California State taxes is available at the Franchise Tax Board.
Contact Sprintax: www.sprintax.com/cabrillo, cost for federal tax forms is $37.95