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Education - USA 

US Tax Returns ...

Important Tax Forms Information.



All Form 1040 series are due on April 15th.

Who needs to file a US tax return?

If you live in U.S. or were present in the U.S. with a F or J non-immigrant status (even 1 day), you are responsible for meeting regulations established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For more detailed information, please refer to Publication 519: U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the United States federal government agency that collects taxes and enforces the internal revenue laws. It is an agency within the U.S. Department of the Treasury and is responsible for interpretation and application of Federal tax law.

What documents do I need to file my tax return?

You should have all the following documents:

  • Visa/immigration Status Information
  • Current and all previous passports
  • Form I-20 (for F status individual) OR Form DS-2019 (for J status individual)
  • Current US address and/or Foreign Permanent Address
  • U.S. Entry and Exit Dates for current and past visits to the U.S. (should be noted on your passport (s))

If you are filing a US tax return because of wages from an employer, you must have a Social Security Number which is issued by the Social Security Administration (you must have an active job at the time of application in order to qualify for one). If you are filing a US tax return because of money earned from a US source other than wages (such as interest), you must have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) which is issued by the IRS. To learn more about ITIN number, please click here

You may receive one or more of the following documents:

  • Form W-2: Wage and Tax Statement from PLU’s Payroll Office and/or your CPT/OPT employer if you received compensation for your work.
  • Form 1042-S: Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding from PLU’s Business Office if you have received scholarships in excess of tuition and mandatory fees charged to your student account.
  • Form 1099 series reporting various types of your income other than wages, salaries, and tips- a common case is your interest income report from your financial institution.

If you have questions about your Form W-2 from PLU, please refer your questions to the Payroll Office. If you have questions about your Form 1042-S from PLU, please refer your questions to the Business Office. 

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Am I considered a Non-Resident Alien or Resident Alien for Tax Purposes?

Most of you are Non-Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes UNLESS you have been in F or J status during any part of more than 5 calendar years. Here is more information if you wish NOT to be treated as a Resident Alien for tax purposes.

This status is for tax purposes only. Please do NOT mix this with your immigration status. All international students are non-immigrant, non-resident aliens for immigration purposes. 

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What tax form should I use?

  Residents         Have W-2, 1042-S, or 1099 form(s)  Have NO W-2, 1042-S,
 or 10992 form
  Non-Resident Alien
 Form 8843
  Resident Alien


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How should I file my tax return?

If you are considered a non-resident alien with NO W-2, 1042-S, or 1099 form(s), use Form 8843 and pay attention to the following:

  • Fill out the the form, sign and date at the bottom.

If you are considered a non-resident alien with W-2, 1042-S, or 1099 form(s), you need to use Form 8843 and 1040NR-EZ or 1040-NR. There are several online resources that can help you fill out these forms, including CINTAX and

If you are considered a resident alien with W-2, 1042-S, or 1099 form(s), you must file 1040-EZ or 1040.The Pierce Country Library System provides free tax advising online or in person. Another free online service is Please do research and find a best venue that fits your need.

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All Form 1040 series are due on April 15th. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day. If you also need to submit Form 8843 along with Form 1040 series, it is due at the same time.

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Where should I send my tax files to?

Electronic filing is encouraged for Form 1040 series. The mailing address for your federal tax return depends on the state or territory that you live in and on the type of Form 1040 that you are filing.

If you have a hard copy of your 1040 Federal Tax Returns and need to find the IRS mailing address.  For more information where to file paper tax returns, please see IRS Page Where to File Paper Tax Returns - With or Without a Payment.

If you are sending Form 8843 only or with Form 1040 series, U.S. citizens and residents with foreign addressee should mail to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215

For all other forms for USA citizens with foreign address, please see IRS Page INTERNATIONAL - Where to File Addresses for Taxpayers and Tax Professionals.

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I have additional questions!

If you have additional questions, please call the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040. If you have a general question about your tax filing or regulations, you should be pressing 2, 2 and then 3. Please note that the wait time may be long. If you are a non-resident alien for tax purposes, please mention your status AND also mention that you may need to speak to the advanced tax law department.

More Resources

IRS WebPages on                                                     Tax Issues for Foreign Students and Scholars.

U.S. Dep. of Homeland Security’s WebPages on      F-1 and M-1 Students: Obtaining a Social Security Number.

U.S. Social Security Administration’s WebPages on  Social Security Information for Non-Citizens.



Source: PI 
Date: 07-15-2015


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