Many international students choose to come to the United States to continue their education. There is one thing that can be very overwhelming for foreign students, which is taxes. You can avoid the difficulties of taxes in America by hiring a tax professional like an accountant or a  CPA to guide you.

Do international students need to pay taxes in the US?

Students who are studying in the U.S. must pay taxes according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You must file documents stating your earnings, or one stating that you didn't earn any income just like any US resident would when they are submitting their tax documents.

In the future, if you plan to live permanently in the US, paying taxes will benefit you when applying for a green card or citizenship. It is important to have your taxes done properly in order to avoid any penalties that may affect your stay in the US. 

Can International Students work in the US?

As an international student studying in the United States, it is common to seek employment to have extra spending money and to adjust to American culture. Both F-1 and J-1 visas are allowed to work part-time on-campus employment during periods of full-time study.

However, when the semester is over, the conditions differ. During the first academic year, F-1 students cannot work off-campus, but they may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. Following the first academic year, F-1 students may pursue off-campus employment: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT).

On the other hand, J1 visa students are able to work off-campus full time with the permission of their Alternate Responsible Office. To sum it up, International students must ask for permission when looking to work off-campus.

What is the difference between F-1 and J-1 Visa?

Through standalone visas, a foreign resident can study in the U.S. through two main options: the J-1 and the F-1. Through these visas, people from all over the world can gain skills in the United States that they can take back home with them.

An F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for international students who plan to study in the US. F-1 visas allow international students to stay in the US to be able to live and get an education for the length of 5 years. When applying for an F-1 visa, the applicant must show financial support for the first year of the program when requesting the initial document.

As with F-1 visas, a J-1 visa also allows you to study in the U.S. The J-1 visa holder is responsible for finding a program approved by the Department of State rather than obtaining a sponsoring employer. In this instance, each person who enters the U.S. under J-1 status must return home for at least two years before coming back to the U.S. J-1 visas usually last up to 18 months. When it is time to choose which visa you want to use to come study in America depends on your situation and future plans.

Did you know?

International students must file taxes on scholarships only if it was a US scholarship. You would use Form 1042-S to notify the IRS of the exact amount you got in scholarships.

How do I file a tax return as an International Student?

For those earning income, both federal and state tax returns are required, and for those without income, the non-employed federal form is required. You will be filing under nonresident, using Form 8843  in order to complete your tax return. Form 1040-NR (Federal tax return) must be filed for those who decide to work while attending school in America. It can be confusing to figure out where to begin when it comes to taxes.

As an international student, you already have a lot to worry about. A tax professional can ensure that your taxes are done correctly, and you will not have to worry about tax forms and just enjoy your studies in America.



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