The following information does not constitute legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) or a qualified tax professional. Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services staff are neither licensed nor qualified to provide personalized tax advice. The following information has been prepared to assist Rutgers–New Brunswick's F and J visa holders in understanding general tax filing obligations and to answer some of the most common questions international students and scholars generally have about taxation in the United States. If you have questions that are not covered by the information provided, please contact a tax professional.
All international students, scholars, and their dependents are legally required to report presence in the United States to the International Revenue Service (IRS) each year—even if you did not work or earn income—by submitting Form 8843.
If you have earned income in the United States, you may need to file federal and state tax returns. See below for information on when and how to file federal and New Jersey state taxes.
See our FAQs for more, or visit one of the following sites:
About Filing Taxes with the IRS
Who needs to file +
All international students, scholars and their dependents are legally required to report to the IRS for each year they have been present in the US.
Even if no income was earned, Form 8843, is still required by the IRS each calendar year from you. Mailing instructions can be found on page 2 of the form. If you are only filing Form 8843, no social security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is required.
When to File +
Federal tax forms for the tax year being reported must be filed no later than April 15 of the following year. Individuals who for any reason are unable to file their tax forms by April 15 must submit an application for extension of the filing deadline on IRS Form 4868.
What is Your Tax Designation? (Nonresident or Resident) +
Do not confuse the immigration designations of "nonimmigrant" and "immigrant" with the tax designations of "nonresident" and "resident." In many cases, they are not the same—all F-1s and J-1s hold nonimmigrant status, yet many are residents for federal tax purposes.
F-1 and J-1 students are normally considered nonresidents for federal tax purposes only during the first five calendar years inside the United States (and this includes previous visa statuses inside the United States). Calculations should include any part of a calendar year. After five years, F-1 and J-1 students are presumed to be residents for federal tax purposes by the IRS.
J-1 professors and research scholars are normally considered nonresidents for federal tax purposes during their first two calendar years in the United States Calculations should include any part of a calendar year. After two years, J-1 professors/scholars are presumed to be residents for federal tax purposes by the IRS.
How to File Federal Taxes +
Nonresident Filing Status
Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services provides access to Glacier Tax Prep, a software program that will allow you to complete nonresident federal tax forms by answering a series of questions about your situation. This software is only intended for use by those filing as "nonresidents."
Individuals on F-2 or J-2 status must file their own tax return or Form 8843 separate from the F-1 or J-1 student or scholar, if both are nonresidents for federal tax purposes. In these situations, the F-2 or J-2 spouse must make sure that their tax return or Form 8843 is mailed out inside an entirely separate envelope from the F-1 or J-1’s tax return or Form 8843. Nonresidents for federal tax purposes cannot file jointly.
Resident Filing Status
Do not use the Glacier Tax Prep Program if you determined that you are a "resident" for federal tax purposes. Glacier Tax Prep does not do taxes for “resident” taxpayers, and you will waste one of our allotted spaces for someone else who needs help and is not filing as a "resident." “Residents” for federal tax purposes may wish to purchase a commercial tax software program such as TurboTax, or you may wish to access other commercial products (some free, some low-cost) listed online at http://www.irs.gov/
How to File New Jersey State Taxes +
You may need to file for every state you lived and/or worked. We are providing information here that is only relevant for New Jersey. If you have lived or worked in another state, please refer to that state’s taxation-related resources.
International students and scholars are nonresidents for tax purposes in New Jersey unless they own a “permanent home” in the state. A home is not permanent if it is maintained only during a temporary period to accomplish a particular purpose.
Individuals who live in New Jersey but have earned less than $10,000 in income in the applicable tax year do not need to file any New Jersey state tax forms. However, even if you earned less than $10,000 and you had New Jersey Income Tax withheld, we recommend calculating any possible tax refunds and filing if a refund is due.
Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services does not provide additional tax information on New Jersey tax filing. Individuals may obtain information directly from the state tax and instruction forms available at public libraries and online at http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/index.shtml
Where to Get Additional Assistance +
Students and scholars requiring more detailed assistance beyond the Glacier Tax Prep program and the information provided below should consult a qualified tax specialist. Be aware, however, that nonresident tax regulations are only a very small part of U.S. tax laws, so not all tax specialists are experts in nonresident tax matters. If you do work with a tax specialist, be sure to ask him or her what qualifications and experience they have with nonresident taxes.
Glacier Tax Prep +
PLEASE REVIEW THE INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS IN THIS SECTION CAREFULLY BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO LOG INTO GLACIER TAX PREP.
Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services provides access to Glacier Tax Prep, a software program that will allow you to complete nonresident federal tax forms by answering a series of questions about your situation. This software is only for those filing as "nonresidents."
DO NOT attempt to log in if you are filing as a "resident." We have a limited number of allotments per our license agreement and each log in exhausts one of them.