General Tax Information
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. The following information is provided as a courtesy.
International students and scholars who have taxable income be responsible for paying tax to both federal and state governments. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the federal office that deals with tax matters in the United States. Students and scholars who received taxable income may owe tax and need to file an annual tax return with the IRS by April 15 of the year AFTER the income was earned.
Even international students and scholars who have no income may need to file a Form 8843 with the 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.
Watch the Income Tax Information Session video prepared by the UConn Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program run by the School of Business that explains all about income tax filing requirements including:
- tax documents
- tax treaties
- income tax filing requirements and more!
Before you can file your tax paperwork, you need to receive statements that report the income and tax withholdings for 2020. Each income statement is issued by the U.S. entity that provided the income.
If you worked at UConn:
If you are a current UConn employee, and worked at UConn during 2020, you can download your W-2 income statement through CORE CT (login to ess.uconn.edu). While in CORE CT, also verify that your mailing address is up to date.
If you worked at UConn during 2020, but no longer work at UConn, your W-2 income statement will be mailed to you by the UConn Payroll Office. If you cannot update your address in CORE CT because you are no longer an active employee, verify that the UConn Payroll address has your correct address information on file.
If you worked at UConn in 2020, and your income is subject to the benefits of a tax treaty, you will also receive a 1042-S form from the State of Connecticut related to your tax treaty benefit.
If your wages are subject to a tax treaty and you will receive a 1042-S, the State of Connecticut will mail your 1042-S to the address listed in CORE CT after March 15th. You must wait until you have received both the W-2 from UConn and 1042-S from the State of Connecticut before you file your tax return.
If you worked for an off-campus employer:
Your employer will send you or provide to you any required income statements, such as the W-2 form, by January 31. Make sure that your employer has your most up to date mailing address, or check with your employer to see if you access the W-2 form via a website.
If you received taxable scholarship or fellowship from UConn:
The UConn Tax and Compliance Office will prepare a 1042-S to report on your taxable scholarship or fellowship income and withholding.
They will mail the form to the address that you provided to UConn Tax and Compliance when you first received your taxable scholarship or fellowship. If this mailing address has changed, please report the change to UConn Tax and Compliance office as soon as possible, by emailing Taxcompliance@uconn.edu.
How do I file my tax forms? Which forms do I file?
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?
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 service with a volunteer 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 or utilize the program in future years. 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 provided 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 an extra fee. Sprintax prepares tax forms for individuals who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes. The software will have you complete a short questionnaire to determine whether you qualify to use the service. You will need to request an access code from ISSS that you will enter at "Checkout" to obtain your federal tax preparation at no cost. Email email@example.com and provide your full name and Peoplesoft number if you would like to request an access code and a link to the Sprintax portal.
International students may prepare their own tax returns or seek other options to file their tax returns. The IRS webpage lists options for filing tax returns.
Where can I learn more?
Tax Information Workshops
The University will provide two tax information workshops for international students and scholars to learn more.
The following topics and frequently asked questions will be discussed at the information sessions:
- Nonresident vs. Resident Alien tax status
- What is considered taxable income?
- What is an income tax treaty and how can I benefit from it?
- Who needs to file a 2020 federal and/or state income tax return?
- What documents do I need to prepare and file my income tax returns?
- Who needs to file Form 8843?
Workshop Dates: TBD.
Sign up is encouraged, but not required. Sign up here.
If you cannot come to a Tax Information Workshop, Tax Assistance for Foreign Students and Scholars provides an overview of important information such as 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. In addition, the UConn Tax and Compliance office also provides a Nonresident Alien Tax FAQ webpage.
8843 Party! Learn to File the Tax Form 8843
International students and scholars may be required to pay taxes in the state where they earned income, and file a state tax return. Your state tax return is filed for the state in which you worked or received taxable income. Each state has different tax rules. If you worked in Connecticut (on campus or off campus) and you are a Nonresident Alien, please visit the Nonresident Alien webpage for the Connecticut State Department of Revenue Services. This will help you to determine your residency status for filing Connecticut state taxes. If you worked in a state other than Connecticut, check that state’s tax office for filing requirements.
If you are a Nonresident Alien or a Resident Alien, the UConn VITA program can file your Connecticut state return with your U.S. state return. If you are a Nonresident Alien and use Sprintax to file your U.S. tax return, you can pay to have them file a state tax return for you as well.
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.
Students should maintain copies of of all income statements and submitted state and federal tax returns in case of audit. Also, you could be asked to show proof that you were tax compliant if you apply for future permanent immigration benefits in the U.S.