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 The Wake Forest International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office cannot be held responsible for any errant or outdated information that may be contained within this webpage. To check for updated information, please visit: Internal Revenue Service (International Taxpayers)

Please also note: It is STRONGLY recommended that you use the Sprintax Non Resident Alien tax software which the University supports.


  • If you had an on-campus job or received a scholarship from Wake Forest University Reynolda Campus last year, you should have received a W-2 or 1042-S from WFU Payroll. If you did NOT receive this, please contact
  • If you were supposed to receive a W-2 or 1042-S for employment rendered or scholarships received at the Wake Forest University Bowman Gray Campus, please contact the Payroll office at the Bowman Gray Campus.
  • If you think you were supposed to receive a W-2 or 1099-MISC for employment rendered at an external company because you were approved to pursue a CPT or Academic Training opportunity, please contact the Payroll office at that company.
  • The WFU Tax Office may be able to assist with any IRS notices ONLY if you use the Sprintax Software and keep a copy of the tax report you mailed to the IRS. Please contact
  • Form 8843

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

    Who Should File? 

    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 U.S.

    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 U.S. 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, 2018 for the first time, you are not required to file form 8843 for the 2017 tax year.

    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 an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). 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 ITIN. For more information on the ITIN, please visit The IRS will only issue an ITIN to a nonresident/nonimmigrant for tax-related purposes.

    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.

    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)

    Who Should File?

    This form should be used by all foreign students/scholars who are currently residing in the U.S. 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.

    Sprintax Software

    In order to ease the process of filing your federal tax returns, ISSS 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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 “U.S. Treasury.” Please do not make out your checks to the Internal Revenue Service or IRS.

    Deadline for Filing

    The deadline for submitting your 2017 tax return is April 17, 2018.

    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.

    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

    • 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