Tax Information | Current International Students

The information provided on this website is general in nature and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified tax professional. By law, OIE staff cannot prepare your taxes for you or answer specific questions about your tax obligations. Consult an expert tax preparer if you have questions about your tax-filing responsibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who must file tax forms?

All international students who are considered non-residents for tax purposes (most international students who have been in the U.S. less than 5 years), regardless of whether you have earned any income.

When should you file tax forms?

Tax statements will be sent by your employer, university, bank, etc. after January 1st. The deadline for filing most forms is April 15th.

What tax forms should you file?

Note: These guidelines may vary, especially for students who have been in the U.S. for more than five years. If you have been in the U.S. for more than five years, you may be considered a resident for tax purposes and are strongly encouraged to seek professional assistance with your tax preparation.

What information do you need to file?

You will need a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to complete the Federal 1040 NR, Federal 1040NR-EZ, and State 1NPR forms. If you do not have a SSN or ITIN at the time you file taxes, you may apply for an ITIN in conjunction with filing your tax return. You do not need a SSN or ITIN to file the Form 8843.

You will also need any tax statements supplied by your employer, university, bank, etc. The most common forms students and scholars receive are:

Note: You may receive additional and/or different forms depending on your own personal circumstances, such as if you own a home, earned income through investments, etc.

How do you file your tax return?

There are numerous ways to file your tax returns.

Refunds

You may receive a refund from either the Federal Government or State of Wisconsin. Be advised the refunds are issued in U.S. dollars and my only be direct deposited in U.S. bank accounts. If you are completing your returns from outside the United States, please be advised that you will be mailed a check.

Tax Scam Warning

Tax scams often target international students. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS who uses threatening language and demands immediate payment, that is a sign that the caller isn't really from the IRS. Read more about this type of scam.

Panoramic View of campus