Tax Information

General Overview of Tax Regulations for Nonresident Aliens
(F and J Students/Scholars)


The information on this page is only to be used as a general source of information. Tax laws change and different situations apply to different individuals. If you are unsure of how to complete your tax forms, you should consult a professional who is familiar with US tax laws and with non-resident taxes. The Wake Forest Center for Global Programs and Studies cannot be held responsible for any errant or outdated information that may be contained within this web page. To check for updated information, please refer to the following website: Internal Revenue Service (International Taxpayers)

Please also note: It is STRONGLY encouraged that you use the Sprintax Non Resident Alien tax software which the University supports. The Wake Forest Tax Office can assist you with any IRS notices if and only if you use the Sprintax Software and keep a copy of the tax report you mailed to the IRS.

  • Form 8843

    Form 8843: Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition

    I. Purpose

    Form 8843 provides all F and J students/scholars with an exemption for the number of days spent in the U.S. If this form is not filed and you are a student who is currently studying in the US on an F-1 or J-1 visa, you will be responsible for paying taxes on your worldwide income (US income plus any income that was earned in your country of permanent residence) and you will not be eligible to take advantage of any treaty provisions that presently exist between your home country and the US

    II. Who Should File?

    If you were a student/scholar or the dependent of a student/scholar who entered the U.S. in F-1, F-2, J-1or J-2 nonimmigrant status and were present in the US for any length of time for the current tax year (i.e., the previous calendar year), then you will need to file form 8843. As a nonresident alien residing in the US in F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2 student/dependent status, you are required to file this form regardless of whether or not you had any earned income during the tax year. You will also need to complete the form if you are filing a separate tax return. Form 8843 may be submitted with your other tax form(s).

    NOTE: If you arrived in the US on or after January 1, 2017 for the first time, you are not required to file form 8843 for the 2016 tax year.

    III. Spouses and Dependents

    All spouses and dependents of F-1 and J-1 students/scholars currently residing in the US with the principle visa holder are required to complete form 8843. If your child is too young to sign the form, you may sign on his/her behalf. The form should be signed in the following manner for a minor who is unable to write his/her name:


    Father or Mother’s Signature For Child’s Name (Age of Child)
    (Father or Mother’s Printed Name) (Child’s Printed Name)
    (Relationship to Child) (Son or Daughter)

    If your spouse or child does not have a social security number and you are eligible to claim them as dependents on your tax form, they will need to apply for a Tax Identification Number (TIN). Form W-7 is used for this purpose. The completed form should be submitted to the IRS office located in Winston-Salem.

    For verification of identity, the applicant will need to present a copy of his/her passport when submitting the W-7 form. New rules now dictate that a completed tax form (i.e. 1040NR-EZ) must be submitted with the application for the TIN. For more information on the TIN, please contact the Center for Global Programs and Studies or go to The IRS will only issue a TIN to a nonresident/nonimmigrant for tax-related purposes.

    IV. Filing Retroactively

    If you were unaware of the fact that you were required to submit Form 8843 for previous tax years in which you resided in the U.S. in F or J student/scholar status, you may file retroactively for each year the form was not filed. Simply include a separate Form 8843 for each year that was missed. When filing forms retroactively, cross out the year in the upper right hand corner and write in the year for which you are filing.

    V. Completing the Form

    F-1 and J-1 students/scholars and their spouses and dependents need only complete sections 1 and 3 of the form. If you are filing form 8843 with another income tax form, it is not required that you complete the “Address” section of the form. If you are filing the form by itself, you will need to fill in the “Address” section.

    VI. Where to Send the Form

    All completed 8843 forms should be sent to the following address:

    Department of the Treasury – Internal Revenue Service Center
    Austin, TX 73301-0215

    (A street address is not necessary)

  • Form W-2 & Form 1042-S

    Form W-2/Form 1042-S

    Example W-2/1042-S

    Some of you may have received what is called Form W-2 and/or Form 1042-S. NOT everyone will receive these forms (ex: if no U.S. based income was received in the previous calendar year).

    You would have received these forms if any/all of the conditions listed below applied to you:

    1. You worked in some capacity and received wages in the U.S. during any point in the previous calendar year (income derived from employment is usually marked on the W-2)
    2. You received a scholarship/grant that was above the amount of tuition and/or was used towards housing, health insurance, additional fees, etc. (this type of income is usually marked on the 1042-S)

    Examples of what each of these forms looks like can be downloaded above. If you received either or both of these forms, you will likely be required to file a federal and state tax form.

    If either/all of the above conditions DID apply to you, and you did NOT receive a W-2 and/or 1042-S form, you must contact the payroll office at the institution from which you received your income from.

    If you received your income/scholarship from Wake Forest University, you may contact the WFU Payroll Office ( with your name, WFU ID number, and current local address, and they will re-send these documents to you.

  • Federal Tax Forms (1040NR, 1040NR-EZ)

    Federal Tax Forms (1040NR-EZ, 1040NR, 1040, 1040EZ)

    I. Who Should File?

    This form should be used by all foreign students/scholars who are currently residing in the US in F-1 or J-1 status and earned income for the previous calendar year.

    If income was withheld for Federal and State taxes, you are encouraged to file taxes to potentially receive that withheld money back.

    This form cannot be used by those who will be claiming dependents on their tax forms.The only students/scholars who are allowed to claim their spouse and dependents for US tax purposes are those whose permanent residency is listed as one of the following countries: Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Canada, and India. If you are a citizen or permanent resident of one of these countries and you will be claiming spouse or dependent deduction(s), you will need to file form 1040NR. A spouse or child cannot be claimed as a dependent unless they have a Tax Identification Number (TIN) at the time of filing.


    In order to ease the process of filing your federal tax returns, the Center for Global Programs and Studies has purchased codes from a company (Sprintax) that will allow you to access their services. The company has created an intuitive online program that will figure out everything from your filing status (resident vs. non resident) to tax treaties you may be eligible for and even if you’re eligible to claim dependents or not. Based on your responses to a series of questions, it will fill in all the appropriate forms for you.

    PLEASE NOTE: This software ONLY helps you prepare the requisite forms, it does NOT automatically submit the forms to the IRS. You are still responsible for printing out the generated forms, signing them, and sending them to the appropriate address. An instruction sheet is automatically printed out with the generated forms. Follow the instructions on that sheet carefully to ensure you file your taxes properly.

    NOTE: Your student account will be charged a nominal fee if it is determined you need to file a federal tax return. Sprintax will charge you directly if you are required to file a state tax return.

  • Tax Treaties

    Provisions of Tax Treaties with the US

    As a nonresident alien residing in the US in F-1 or J-1 status, you might be able to take advantage of a tax treaty provision between your home country and the US government. If your citizenship or permanent residency is listed as being in one of the countries below, you are able to exclude the entire amount of a fellowship, scholarship, or grant. This exclusion also includes any money that was received for the intended purpose of paying for room and board. If you are not from one of the listed countries, any money that you receive in a fellowship, scholarship, or grant that was specifically designated for room, board may be classified as taxable income. All F-1 and J-1 students/scholars currently residing in the US as nonresident aliens, regardless of country of citizenship, are allowed to exclude all money in a fellowship, scholarship or grant that is intended for the purpose of paying for tuition, books, and fees at a recognized institution of higher learning.Please keep in mind that these exclusions do not apply to any remuneration that was paid for services rendered (i.e. wages or salary). Any money that was a part of your fellowship, scholarship, or grant that was paid as wages for services rendered is classified as taxable income and will be so noted on the W-2 or 1042-S form that you receive from your employer.



    List of Countries that May Exclude the Entire Amount of a Fellowship, Scholarship, or Grant (Including Room and Board):

    Countries With Treaty Benefits for Scholarships/Fellowships

    Country Max. Yrs. In U.S. Amount Treaty Article
    Bangladesh 2 Unlimited 21(1)
    China, PRC Unlimited Unlimited 20(b)
    Commonwealth of Independent States* 5 Limited VI(1)
    Cyprus 5 No Limit 21(1)
    Czech Republic 5 Unlimited 21(1)
    Egypt 5 Unlimited 23(1)
    Estonia 5 Unlimited 20(1)
    France 5 Unlimited 21(1)
    Germany 4 Unlimited 20(3)
    Iceland 5 Unlimited 19(1)
    Indonesia 5 Unlimited 19(1)
    Israel 5 Unlimited 24(1)
    Kazakhstan 5 Unlimited 19
    South Korea 5 Unlimited 21(1)
    Latvia 5 Unlimited 20(1)
    Lithuania 5 Unlimited 20(1)
    Morocco 5 Unlimited 18
    Netherlands 2 Unlimited 22(2)
    Norway 5 Unlimited 16(1)
    Pakistan Unlimited Unlimited XIII(1)
    Philippines 5 Unlimited 22(1)
    Poland 5 Unlimited 18(1)
    Portugal 5 Unlimited 23(1)
    Romania 5 Unlimited 20(1)
    Russia 5 Unlimited 18
    Slovak Republic 5 Unlimited 21(1)
    Slovenia 5 Unlimited 20(1)
    Spain 5 Unlimited 22(1)
    Thailand 5 Unlimited 22(1)
    Trinidad and Tobago 5 Unlimited 19(1)
    Tunisia 5 Unlimited 20
    Ukraine 5 Unlimited 20
    Venezuela 5 Unlimited 21(1)

    IIa. Two and Three Year Exemption for J-1 Teachers and Trainees

    Many teachers and researchers residing in the U.S. in J-1 status are exempt for 2 or 3 years (depending on the treaty) from paying taxes on income that is earned from teaching or conducting research. In order to be eligible to receive this tax benefit, the nonimmigrant must meet the exemption guideline. A J-1 teacher or researcher who has been in the U.S. no more than 2 or 3 (depending on the treaty provision) out of the last 6 years meets the requirement. As with students, a J-1 teacher/researcher who has been in the U.S. for any part of a calendar year as an exempt individual must count that presence as a whole year for tax purposes.

    (all examples are based on a filing for the 2015 tax year)

    Dr. Lee, a J-1 research scholar from the Republic of Korea, arrived in the U.S. to work for a university laboratory on December 15, 2013. Even though he arrived in December of 2013, he would be considered as “temporarily exempt” for the whole 2013 calendar year. This means that he no longer qualifies for an exemption for the 2015 tax year because he has already met the two-year maximum stipulated by his country’s tax treaty (he was counted as being in the U.S. for 2013 and 2014). He would be treated as a “resident” for tax purposes in the 2015 tax year and would not be able to exempt income that he received as payment for his research activities.

    WARNING: A J-1 teacher or trainee from Germany, India, Netherlands, Thailand, or the United Kingdom who exceeds the two-year maximum will lose all treaty benefits and will be responsible for paying taxes retroactively on any income that was previously exempted.


    Dr. Clark is a J-1 professor from the United Kingdom who is currently teaching in the economics department of a university. He began his teaching duties in August of 2013. As per the treaty between the U.S. and the U.K., Dr. Clark was able to exclude all income that he received from his employment as a teacher for 2013 and 2014. Since he is filing for 2015 and he is still residing in the U.S. as a J-1 non-immigrant, Dr. Clark is no longer eligible to exclude any part of his income that was received from teaching, and, furthermore, he will now be responsible for paying taxes retroactively on all income that was excluded for 2013 and 2014.

    Countries With Treaty Benefits for Income From Teaching or Research:

    Country Max. Yrs. In U.S. Amount Treaty Article
    Bangladesh 2 Unlimited 21(1)
    Belgium 2 Unlimited 19(2)
    Bulgaria 2 Unlimited 19(2)
    China, PRC 3 Unlimited 19
    Commonwealth of Independent States* 2 Unlimited VI(1)
    Czech Republic 2 Unlimited 21(5)
    Egypt 2 Unlimited 22
    France 2 Unlimited 20
    Germany 2 Unlimited 20(1)
    Greece 3 Unlimited XII
    Hungary 2 Unlimited 17
    India 2 Unlimited 22
    Indonesia 2 Unlimited 20
    Israel 2 Unlimited 23
    Italy 2 Unlimited 20
    Jamaica 2 Unlimited 22
    Japan 2 Unlimited 20
    South Korea 2 Unlimited 20
    Luxembourg 2 Unlimited 21(2)
    Netherlands 2 Unlimited 21(1)
    Norway 2 Unlimited 15
    Pakistan 2 Unlimited XII
    Philippines 2 Unlimited 21
    Poland 2 Unlimited 17
    Portugal 2 Unlimited 22
    Romania 2 Unlimited 19
    Slovak Reppublic 2 Unlimited 21(5)
    Slovenia 2 Unlimited 20(3)
    Thailand 2 Unlimited 23
    Trinidad and Tobago 2 Unlimited 18
    Turkey 2 Unlimited 20(2)
    United Kingdom 2 Unlimited 20
    Venezuela 2 Unlimited 21(3)

    III. Income Exclusions for F1/J1 Students

    If you are from one of the following countries, a certain part of your income (i.e. wages, salary, tips) may be excluded from taxes for a designated period of time while you are residing in the US in F-1 or J-1 student status. If you are in J-1 or F-1 student status for a period of time that exceeds that which is designated by the treaty, you are classified as a resident alien of the US by the IRS for tax purposes and are no longer eligible to receive the benefits outlined by the treaty. In addition, you will no longer be able to file a tax form designated specifically for nonresident aliens.

    Special Provision for Residents of China

    The tax treaty between the U.S. and China is very unique in that it allows a resident of China to continue to take full advantage of all treaty benefits as long as he/she is classified as a student. This even applies in the case where a Chinese resident becomes a permanent resident of the U.S. and files as a resident alien for tax purposes.

    Countries With Treaty Benefits for Student Wages:

    *A new treaty between the U.S. and Japan no longer allows a $2000 exemption for qualifying students who entered the U.S. after March 30, 2004. Those students from Japan who qualified for the exemption and were in the U.S. in F-1/J-1 student status prior to the March 30, 2004 deadline, can continue to take the $2,000 deduction.

    Country No. of Years Treaty Can be Claimed Amount of Income that May be Excluded
    (should be noted on line 6 of Form 1040NR-EZ)
    Treaty Article Citation for Income
    Bangladesh 2 $8000 21(2)
    Belgium No Limit $9000 19(1)(b)
    Bulgaria No Limit $9000 19(1)(b)
    China (PRC) No Limit $5000 20(c)
    Cyprus 5 $2000 21(1)
    Czech Republic 5 $5000 21(1)
    Egypt 5 $3000 23(1)
    Estonia 5 $5000 20(1)
    France 5 $5000 21(1)
    Germany 4 $9000 20(4)
    Iceland 5 $9000 19(1)
    Indonesia 5 $2000 19(1)
    Israel 5 $3000 24(1)
    (old treaty)
    5 $2000 20(1)
    Korea (ROK) 5 $2000 21(1)
    Latvia 5 $5000 20(1)
    Lithuania 5 $5000 20(1)
    Malta No Limit $9000 20(2)
    Morocco 5 $2000 18
    Netherlands No Limit $2000 22(1)
    Norway 5 $2000 16(1)
    Pakistan No Limit $5000 XIII(1)
    Philippines 5 $3000 22(1)
    Poland 5 $2000 18(1)
    Portugal 5 $5000 23(1)
    Romania 5 $2000 20(1)
    Slovak Republic 5 $5000 21(1)
    Slovenia 5 $5000 20(1)
    Spain 5 $5000 22(1)
    Thailand 5 $3000 22(1)
    Trinidad and Tobago 5 $2000 19(1)
    Tunisia 5 $4000 20
    Venezuela 5 $5000 21(1)
  • Personal Exemption

    Personal Exemption

    Residents of Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, and India may be eligible to claim exemptions for their spouse and dependents. The amount of the exemption for residents of South Korea and Japan will be determined by whether or not any income was earned in the home country in the current tax year (i.e., previous calendar year). Any income earned in the home country will be prorated and subtracted from the total amount of allowable exemptions. A formula for prorating home-based income can be found in the instruction booklet for form 1040NR. Citizens from India are only allowed to claim a child as a dependent if that child is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Furthermore, an Indian citizen may not claim a spouse as an exemption if that spouse had any earned income in the U.S.

  • Filing Jointly

    Filing Jointly

    Most F-1 and J-1 students/scholars, regardless of marital status, will not be allowed to file a joint tax return with a spouse.

    There are exceptions that allow residents of Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and India to take their spouse as an exemption if they meet certain requirements.

    Also, those non-immigrants who are married to a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or someone who has met the substantial presence test and is treated as a resident alien for tax purposes may be eligible to file a joint return.

    Non-immigrants who claim a spouse as an exemption or a child as a dependent are required to fill out Form 1040NR.

  • Interest & Dividend Income

    Interest and Dividend Income

    International students/scholars on F-1 and J-1 visas are not required to pay taxes on interest income if that income is from a U.S. banking institution and cannot be categorized as being a significant financial gain. This exclusion provision also includes interest that is paid on certificates of deposit (CD) or money market accounts.

    Non-immigrants are, however, responsible for paying taxes on all dividend income earned from investments in the stock market. Dividend income will need to be reported on Form 1040NR. Dividend income is usually reported to the taxpayer on Form 1099-DIV

  • Social Security & Medicare Payments

    Social Security and Medicare Payments

    As an F-1 or J-1 student/scholar, you are not required to make Social Security or Medicare payments when you are still considered a non-resident for tax purposes (most F1 and J1 students are considered a non-resident for the first 5 years on the F1/J1 visa, after which, they become a resident for tax purposes. Most J1 scholars are considered a non-resident for the first 2 years on the J1 visa, after which they become a resident for tax purposes). If money was mistakenly deducted from your wages for either Social Security or Medicare, you are entitled to a refund and should contact your present or former employer. If the employer refuses to grant a refund, you will need to file Form 843 with the Internal Revenue Service. Some J-2 dependents who are employed may be responsible for paying Social Security and Medicare taxes if they were not students who worked on campus.

  • Where to Mail the Federal Tax Return

    Where to Mail your Federal Tax Return

    Include both 1040NREZ and Form 8843 – state forms should NOT be included, they will be mailed separately

    As a foreign student in F-1 or J-1 status, all of your tax materials must be sent to the following address:

    Department of the Treasury

    Internal Revenue Service Center

    Austin, TX 73301-0215

    1042S and W-2 Forms

    The designated copy(ies) of either your 1042-S or W-2 form should be attached to your tax return on the left hand side of the paper in the appropriated space. Do not, however, attach your payment to the form. All payment checks should be enclosed with your form but not attached.

    Determining Your Tax (Line 15 of Form 1040NR-EZ)

    In order to determine the tax on your annual income, you will need to refer to the table on page 22 of the 1040NR-EZ instruction booklet. Take the number that you wrote on line 14 of form 1040NR-EZ and use the number which is located in the second column to the right of that figure.


    Taxable Income $2015.00
    Tax $201.00

    Addressing a Check to the IRS

    If you owe taxes and are required to enclose a payment with your tax return, all checks should be made out to the “US Treasury.” Please do not make out your checks to the Internal Revenue Service or IRS.

    Deadline for Filing

    The deadline for submitting your 2016 tax return is April 18, 2017.

    IRS Home Page

    All forms and instructions may be downloaded from the IRS

  • North Carolina State Tax Forms

    North Carolina State Tax Form (Form D400)

    In addition to federal taxes, non-immigrant students and scholars are also required to file a North Carolina income tax form if they had earned income that was derived from a North Carolina source.

    Anyone whose adjusted gross federal income (line 10 on the 1040NR-EZ was above $1 is required to file the state tax return (see instructions of D400 to see if you are required to file or not).

    NOTE: The following information only covers the rules and regulations that govern the tax code of North Carolina. If you had earned income from another state, you will be responsible for filing a tax form for that particular state. Since each state has its own tax code, you will need to check tax provisions for that state to determine whether you need to file a state tax return. 

    • The vast majority of individual taxpayers in the state of North Carolina are required to file Form D-400 without TC ( N.C. Dept. of Revenue Individual Income Tax Return)
    • DO NOT try to file this before you file your federal taxes. You must fill this out AFTER finishing your federal taxes.

    Important Points Pertaining to Form D-400

    • Nonresident aliens are not allowed to take the N.C. standard deduction that is usually noted on line #11 of the form. EXCEPTION: Indian students are allowed to take this deduction, see example forms above for Indian students for further explanation.
    • When filing your state tax return, make sure that you include the proper W-2, 1042-S, etc. form(s). This information is always notated on the W-2,1042-S, etc. forms that you receive from your employer (i.e. “Attach to any state tax return that you file.”).
    • If, after you complete your state tax return, you determine that you are due a refund of taxes paid, you will mail your return to:

    N.C. Dept. of Revenue
    P.O. Box R
    Raleigh, NC 27634-0001

    • If you are not due a refund or if you are required to pay state taxes, your return will be mailed to:

    N.C. Dept. of Revenue
    P.O. Box 25000
    Raleigh, NC 27640-0640