Tax Information

All international students and who were physically present in the U.S. in F and J status the previous calendar year are required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to complete and submit certain U.S. tax forms, even if they did not earn any money. In general, U.S. tax forms from individuals must be submitted by April 15 (date may change due to holidays).  Any international students, scholars or dependents not receiving income from US sources (but who were physically present in the US) should file IRS informational Form 8843.  It is important to stay tax compliant - failing to file may impact the status of your current visa and make future U.S. visa applications difficult. 

Filing Your Taxes

In the U.S. there are two different types of income taxes:

Federal Taxes

All F1 and J1 students need to report their income, even if they had none, to the U.S. Federal Government. Some students will also have to file state taxes.

State Taxes

You need to file Oregon State taxes if you made more than the Individual Allowance, or if you wish to claim a refund on any Oregon State Tax that was withheld from your income. *If you have income in another state, other than Oregon, you will need to follow the tax procedures set by that state.

Tax Forms

Before you file, wait to receive all of your tax forms.  Depending on your employment or scholarship status, you may receive one or more of the following forms:

W-2: Issued by your employer at the end of January.

1099-MISC: Issued by paying agency/employer by end of January if you performed work as an independent contractor.

1042-S: Issued by UP or employer for your tax treaty benefit for Federal tax filing purposes.

1098-T: Tuition information only for American citizens and those filing as resident aliens. This tax benefit is not applicable to non-residents and not issued to international students.

1095: Proof of insurance issued by your health insurance company, keep this for your records.

Tax Services for International Students 

Taxes can be a complicated process for some international students.  For filing and support of taxes, we recommend using a tax service or preparer.  There are multiple resources in the Portland metro area that students could consider when filing for taxes.

The following not-for-profit organization provides free tax filing and help on limited scope* tax filing.

  • Metropolitan Family Services/Cash Oregon 
    • IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. Search for VITA programs near you
    • Portland IRS Office: Federal Building, 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, between Jefferson and Madison Streets. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Not all VITA volunteers are trained to assist with Nonresident alien taxes, so be sure to identify yourself as an international student.

* Limited scope applies to source of income, and nature of income. Scholarship income, wages and salaries from work, and student stipends are all within scope for tax filing. Different tax-aid services might apply income limit for tax payers to use their services. Please contact the organization for the updated limit. 

The following paid services and preparer specialize in assisting international students. Please note the fee for using these services may vary.

Additional Resources

Below is a listing of some of the publications you may need to file your taxes.  For additional forms and publications, refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Oregon Department of Revenue websites.  Remember to photocopy all completed forms for your reference before mailing them to the Internal Revenue Service and Oregon Department of Revenue.

Internal Revenue Service(IRS) - The IRS is the federal government office that manages US taxes and their website has comprehensive information on how to file your taxes. The IRS offers specific tax information forInternational Students and Scholars and offers Telephone and In-Person Assistance . 

Below is a listing of some of the forms you may need to file your federal returns:

Form 8843 - All international students, scholars and dependents must file Form 8843, whether receiving U.S. income or not. 

Form 1040-NR and instructions - For itemized deductions

Publication 519 - US Tax Guide for Aliens

Publication 901 - US Tax Treaties

State Tax Information - In addition to a Federal (US) tax return, you might need to file a state income tax return. These are some of the forms you may need to file your state returns: Form 40N and Instructions for 40N/P . 

IRS - Federal Tax Questions: 1-800-829-1040

IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. Not all VITA volunteers are trained to assist with Nonresident alien taxes, so be sure to identify yourself as an international student. Search for VITA programs near you: https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/  

Portland IRS office: Federal Building, 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, between Jefferson and Madison Streets. Office hours are Monday- Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, has put together a Federal Income Tax Brochure for international students and international advisors, you can download the brochure using the hyperlink. 

NAFSA's Federal Income Tax Resource Library for International Students . 

The International Student Services office cannot provide legal advice concerning your taxes, but we can offer suggestions about where to get help. You are ultimately responsible for complying with tax laws and should consult with your personal tax advisor if you have specific questions about your individual tax liability.