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All F-1 and J-1 students are expected to file a tax form even if they have not worked in the U.S. The required forms may be accessed at www.irs.gov and are also available in the International Student Advising office.
In the United States, employers take an estimated amount from each employee’s paycheck each month. In January of each year, the employee receives a W-2 notice from the company of the amount of taxes collected in the previous year. This form is very important. Between January and April 15th, the employee must submit a tax form and the W-2 notices from each company they worked for during the year. Sometimes the estimated amount taken out by the company will be a little too high and sometimes a little too low. So, the employee sometimes has to pay something to the government and sometimes receives a refund.
Please be aware that the U.S. tax rules governing international students are quite different from those governing U.S. citizens and U.S. resident aliens. For example, a tax treaty between your country and the U.S. may mean that you can pay a lesser amount of taxes. It is important that you are well informed. We recommend that you go to the IRS web site www.irs.gov to research the rules and regulations which may affect you. Additional information specific to International Students can be found at the IRS Foreign Students and Scholars site.