International Student and Scholar Services

Income Taxes

All F- and J- status students/scholars (and their dependents living with them) are required to file tax forms each year in the U.S. regardless of whether they earned income.

Failure to do so could result in a violation of their immigration status.

For those who earned money while working in the United States, filing a tax form could mean a refund.

Resident and nonresident filing

  • F-1 status individuals who have lived in the U.S. for more than any part of five calendar years file as a resident.
  • J-1 scholars who have lived in the U.S. for more than any part of two calendar years must file as a resident.
  • All others file as nonresidents.

Filing deadline

  • April 15 is the tax-filing deadline in United States. All forms must be postmarked on or before that date.
  • Federal forms 1040NR-EZ and 8843 must be mailed to:
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX  73301-0125
  • State form M1 and a copy of your Federal forms 1040NR-EZ and 8843 must be mailed to:
Minnesota Individual Income Tax
St. Paul, MN  55145-0010

Filing process

  • Sign up for the free Sprintax filing software when the Center for International Studies sends you the link. Email the center to request the access code.
  • This software is available only to St. Cloud State F-1/J-1 students, F-1 students on OPT, J-1 scholars, and their dependents.
  • Additional information will be emailed to students during spring semester.
  • If you earned income or received a room and board scholarship, you also will need to file a Minnesota Form M1 for state income tax.

Social Security and Medicare refunds

Nonresident students, scholars, teachers, researchers and trainees who are temporarily present in the U.S. (in F, J, M or Q status) may be exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes. (IRS code section 3121(b)(19).)

  • If these taxes were deducted from your paycheck, and you are exempt, you must first try to get a refund from your employer.
  • If your employer is unable to provide a refund, you must complete an 843 Claim for Refund and 8316 and mail them to:
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX  73301-0125.

Filing terminology

  • W-2: A form from your employer(s) that lists the income you received the previous calendar year.

  • 1098-T: A general tuition statement indicating the amount of tuition you paid the previous year; nonresident aliens cannot deduct education credits and should ignore this form.

  • 1099INT: A form indicating any interest earned in the previous year on your checking or savings accounts; you do not need to report this on your taxes and can therefore ignore this form.

  • 1099-MISC: If you were listed by your employer(s) as a contractor or consultant, you may receive this form in place of a W-2; it serves the same function.