Filing federal income tax forms is the personal responsibility of each international student. All F-1 and J-1 students and their dependants, regardless of whether or not they have earned money, are required to file an annual tax form. Tax forms must be filed between January and April of each year. There can also be immigration consequences for failing to file taxes. Applicants for permanent residency "green cards " are frequently asked to show proof of tax filing for previous years in the U.S.

All the tax forms can be found here or the common non-immigrant tax forms below. You can print a list of the items needed for a U.S. Tax return and a checklist provided by Dr. Don Seat, CPA.

If an international student has not earned any income (employment or scholarship), then they must at least file the form 8843.

The completed form 8843 must be sent to the IRS by mail at:

Commonly Used Forms:

Please be aware that each student/scholar is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of his/her income tax returns and any resulting penalties or interest. If your visa status has changed in the past year, or you believe you have complicated tax issues, please consult the Internal Revenue Service or a qualified tax professional.

Scam Warnings

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on