All international students and scholars who were in the U.S. for any period of time during 2017 on a visa other than a tourist visa must file an annual income tax return or statement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Some students and scholars are also required to file Louisiana state tax return.
A tax return is a tax form used to report your income, calculate your tax liabilities and reconcile withholding taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Tax withholdings are the income tax that was deducted from each paycheck and sent to the IRS over the course of the year. By filing an annual tax return, it allows you to request a refund (if tax withholdings are more than tax liabilities) or remit payment (if tax liabilities is more than tax withholdings).
For international students and scholars, there are three tax filing status: Nonresident Alien, Resident Alien and Dual-Status. You must determine your tax residency status (can be found on your GLACIER Tax Summary Report if you are a GLACIER user) and use the tax form corresponding with your tax residency status to file tax return. File the right form allows you to report the income that is subject to U.S. taxes according to your particular situation and claim deductions and credits that apply to you.
As Resident Alien, you are subject to tax rules in the same manner as a U.S. citizen.
Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. taxes. You must report all interest, dividends, wages, or other compensation for services, income from rental property or royalties, and other types of income on your U.S. tax return. You must report these amounts whether they are earned within or outside the United States.
In the year of your tax residency status change, you are generally considered as a Dual-Status taxpayer. The U.S. income tax return you must file as a dual-status alien depends on whether you are a resident alien or a nonresident alien at the end of the tax year.
If you are a dual-status taxpayer who becomes a resident during the year and who is a U.S. resident on the last day of the tax year, you must file Form 1040. Write "Dual-Status Return" across the top of the return. Attach a statement to your return to show the income for the part of the year you are a nonresident. You can use Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ as the statement.
If you are a resident alien at the beginning of the year and a nonresident at the end of the year, you can file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ and attach Form 1040 as the statement. Be sure to mark "Dual-Status Statement" across the top.
For additional information, refer to the IRS web page Taxation of Dual-Status Aliens.
Please note, dual status does not refer to your citizenship, only to your U.S. tax residency status.
You can file your Louisiana state tax return at Louisiana Department of Revenue's website.
If you were in the U.S. under F and J visa in the calendar year 2017 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2017) and did not have any income, you still need to file tax form 8843. Form 8843 is an informational statement required by the U.S. government for nonresident aliens who entered the U.S. with visa types F, J, M, Q.
Below is the form and instructions (including deadline information and mailing instructions).
Disclaimer: The information supplied here is provided to you for your convenience. It is not intended to be a complete representation of all the I.R.S. Income tax regulations. The University disclaims all liability for the misinterpretation or misuse of these materials. In addition, the International Tax Office cannot provide personal tax advice and will not prepare and complete personal income tax returns.