Tax Preparation Resources for International Students and Scholars at UConn
DISCLAIMER: International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is not able to assist any student/scholar with IRS or CT State tax form preparation, or answer tax related questions.
International students and scholars in the U.S. may need to pay tax on income if you work in the United States. Even international students and scholars who have no income may need to file a Form 8843 tax form with the U.S. International Revenue Service (IRS) for tax years that you are here in the United States. A tax year is the same as a calendar year (January 1 – December 31). The type of paperwork you must complete, and the taxes you must pay depend on whether or not you have income, and whether you are considered a nonresident or resident for tax purposes.
Where can I learn more?
See Tax Assistance for Foreign Students and Scholars for information on who must file a tax return, who must file an 8843, determining if you are a resident or a nonresident for tax purposes, and more.
What if I have no U.S. income, and only need to file an 8843?
I have income and need to file my tax return. How can I do this?
International students may prepare their own tax returns or seek their own methods of filing tax returns. The IRS webpage lists options for filing tax returns. However, the following services specialize in tax preparation for international students and scholars and can be utilized at no cost.
UConn Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, offered at Storrs campus
If you are a current student or visiting scholar you can sign up for a free tax preparation services with a tax preparer through UConn’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. The VITA program will help to prepare federal and CT state tax returns. You must register in advance for an appointment. If you make an appointment, you must attend. If you do not attend your appointment, you will not be able to make another appointment. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sprintax tax preparation software, online
International students and scholars can prepare their federal tax return and 8843 form online using Sprintax. This service is free for current UConn students and scholars, as well as recent graduates who are on post-completion OPT, or Academic Training. Sprintax can also prepare your state tax return for a fee. Sprintax prepares tax forms for individuals who are non-residents for tax purposes. The software will have you complete a short questionnaire to determine whether you qualify. You will need to request an access code from ISSS to complete your tax return preparation. Email email@example.com if you would like to request an access code and a link to the Sprintax portal.
Social Security Number/ITIN Requirement
International students and scholars must have either a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) when filing a tax return. If you have authorized employment, you must apply for a SSN. Students, who receive scholarships that cover living expenses, but do not work, must apply for an ITIN to file your tax return. International students and scholars who are eligible to claim dependents on their tax return may also need to apply for an ITIN for your dependent.
Contacting the IRS
If you cannot find the answers to your tax questions here, please contact the IRS directly. Contact a Taxpayer Assistance Center. Alternately, you can use the Tax Trails webpage to find the answers to your question online. If you need assistance with Connecticut State tax matters, contact the Department of Revenue Services.