One of the first steps you will need to take to prepare for tax season is to determine your tax residency. This will affect the types of tax forms you will need to submit to the IRS and the types of treaty benefits you may be eligible for in the U.S.
While all F-1 and J-1 visa holders are nonimmigrants for immigration purposes, your visa status does not determine your tax residency. Your tax residency is determined by a combination of your visa status and the amount of time you’ve been in the U.S. In general F-1 and J-1 students are non-residents for tax purposes for the first five calendar years that they are in the U.S. (Note to students that arrived in the U.S. in December – this counts as your first calendar year for counting substantial presence!)
See the VITA program’s information on Determining Tax Residency and use their Substantial Presence calculator to determine if you are a resident or a non-resident for tax purposes.
For more information, contact: ISSS at email@example.com