With the tax season upon us, it can be confusing to know what your filing responsibilities are for the year. Here are some helpful questions and answers for international students and scholars regarding the form 8843.
Do all nonresident aliens need to file a tax return?
Not all nonresident alien for tax purposes need to file taxes. Only students with U.S. sourced income such as wages, scholarships, fellowships, income exempt through tax treaty benefits, capital gains, etc. are liable to file a tax return. Please note that nonresident aliens for tax purposes are still responsible for filing the Form 8843 even if they did not earn any U.S. sourced income.
Do all nonresident aliens need to file the Form 8843?
All nonresident aliens for tax purposes exempting days of presence from the Substantial Presence Test need to file Form 8843, regardless of whether they need to file a tax return. This includes dependent spouses and children who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes. This form records the days of presence exempted from the Substantial Presence Test and is not the same as filing taxes. You can use GLACIER Tax Prep to prepare your Form 8843. Alternatively you can follow the instructions for the Form 8843 provided by the IRS.
What is the Substantial Presence Test?
The Substantial Presence Test (SPT) is one of the two tests that the IRS uses to determine whether international students and scholars are resident aliens for tax purposes or nonresident aliens for tax purposes. It measures whether or not the taxpayer has been present in the U.S. for at least 183 days total over a three year period using the IRS calculation. International students in an F, J, Q, and M visa status are able to exempt 5 years of presence from the SPT, while international scholars in a J or Q visa status are able to exempt 2 years of presence from the SPT. GLACIER Tax Prep is able to help calculate whether or not you pass the SPT as there are several nuances to the SPT.
Do all international students and scholars need to file Form 8843?
Not all international students and scholars need to complete the Form 8843. Those considered resident alien for tax purposes including spouses and dependents, do not have to file the Form 8843. Generally, students who have been in the U.S. for longer than 5 years and scholars who have been in the U.S. for longer than 2 years qualify as a resident alien for tax purposes. U.S. citizens also do not need to file the form 8843. GLACIER Tax Prep can assist in determining whether you qualify as a resident alien or nonresident alien for tax purposes.
Is a SSN or ITIN required to file Form 8843?
You do not need an SSN or an ITIN to file Form 8843. There is a place to enter your tax identification number if you have one, but you do not need a tax identification number to file this document.
When is the deadline to file Form 8843?
The deadline for Form 8843 depends on whether the Form 8843 is included with your tax return. If you are submitting a tax return along with your Form 8843, then the documents should be submitted by April 15, 2019. If you are filing the Form 8843 by itself because you did not have any U.S. sourced income, then the filing deadline is June 15, 2019.