Students are working or have earned income on or off campus
International students who are employed in the U.S. are required to pay taxes and to complete a "tax return" each year. This is the method that the federal (U.S.) government and the State of Minnesota ensure that taxes paid are the correct amount. This is tracked through a student's social security number.
Students have taxes deducted from their paychecks every time they are paid. At the beginning of each year a review of taxes is completed by your employer(s) and sent to you, this is the form W-2. This totals the income and tax you paid for the previous year. In addition to this, some students receive a 1042-S. Form 1042-S is a statement of scholarship received by the student for expenses that do not include tuition and fees. These items will determine how much income and how much tax students paid in the previous year. Both of these forms are required to be sent by employer(s) and the College by the end of January each year.
Filing federal and state income tax forms is the personal responsibility of each international student and scholar. The Office of International Student Services will hold tax preparation workshops and will assist students with their tax preparation forms. International Student Services are not tax professionals. Please be aware that each student/scholar is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of his/her tax returns and any resulting penalties or interest.
A software package called GLACIER has been purchased in the past to assist students in the guided tax workshops to prepare federal tax forms. This software is very expensive and there is a small fee charged to international students who use it. During these workshops students are assisted in the preparation of the federal and state taxes. Present to assist international students are at least one member of the Office of International Programs and St. Scholastica Accounting students.
More information about income tax return assistance will be made available each year in January, for the previous year's income.
Students who are not or have not earned income (on or off campus)
Students who have never earned income on or off campus or did not earn income in the previous tax year still need to complete Form 8843. The federal government assesses the amount of tax you pay each year based on several factors. As a non-resident one of these factors is how many days each year you are present in the U.S. If you are/have worked in the U.S. and have been here for 5 years or more (this is determined by the total number of days present each year in the U.S. added together) then you will have to pay tax as if you were a U.S. resident or citizen (which means a higher tax rate).
In order to keep track of the number of days non-resident aliens are present in the U.S. you are required to complete the Form 8843. This is a simple two-page form. It is also possible to use the GLACIER program to complete the Form 8843.