Tax Filing Information for International Students & Scholars
Do I need to file tax?
As an international student (F-1) or scholar (J-1) physically present in the U.S. any time between January 1st – December 31st 2023, you are required to file tax forms with the IRS, even if you earned no income in the U.S. during the 2023 tax year, i.e. calendar year 2023.
How do I file tax?
You can use Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) or Sprintax to prepare your federal income tax. Before you start preparing your 2023 tax returns, please be sure you have received all your year-end tax statements including W-2, if you were employed in 2023, and possibly 1042-S, if you received grant, fellowship, or scholarship amount that exceeded your tuition. If you file your tax return without all the appropriate tax statements you will need to file a corrected form and you could be liable for penalties.
Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) and Sprintax can be found on myFinance tab in myWSU.
The United States has several different sets of tax laws, such as federal tax law and individual state tax laws, which are very complex. As an international student or scholar, it is important for you to comply with all federal and state tax laws that apply to you.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the government agency that collects taxes at the national level. As an international student or scholar, you are required to file tax forms each year with the IRS, even if you earned no income during the tax year. If you were present in the U.S. during 2023 and hold a non-immigrant visa other than B-1/B-2, you must file at least one U.S. federal tax form. F-2 and J-2 dependents must also file certain tax forms. If you were not in the U.S. at any time in 2023, you do not need to file a form. It is your individual responsibility to understand and meet your tax obligations. The deadline for filing tax return is April 15, 2024.
The Office of International Education has purchased special U.S. federal income tax filing programs, GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) and Sprintax to assist you in preparing your nonresident U.S. federal tax return. These services are web-based U.S. federal income tax filing systems specifically formulated for international students and scholars.
Resident Alien or Nonresident Alien
For federal income tax purposes, international students and scholars are categorized into resident aliens and nonresident aliens. Resident aliens for tax purposes follow the same rules as U.S. citizens but there are special rules for nonresident aliens for tax purposes, particularly to F-1 students and J-1 students and scholars who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes. Tax residency is NOT necessarily the same as residency according to immigration law. International students in F-1 and J-1 visa status who have been in the U.S. for more than 5 calendar years could be resident aliens for tax purpose if they meet the Substantial Presence Test.
If you have been in the U.S. for less than 5 calendar years, you are most likely a nonresident alien for tax purposes. You should use GTP or Sprintax to complete your federal tax forms. You should not use commercially purchased tax return software because it will file your tax return incorrectly.
If you are determined a resident alien, you may use commercially purchased tax return software to file your federal and state income tax. Alternatively, you may visit the IRS website to find free tax return preparation by Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Find a VITA Site Near You.
Depending on whether or not you earned income in the U.S. in 2023, you may receive some of the following documents for tax filing purpose.
Form W-2: Wage and Tax Statement is a tax form issued by the State of Kansas (employer) that summarizes wages paid and taxes withheld for a calendar year. It was sent in the mail on or before January 31. If you previously consented to view the W-2 electronically, you will not receive a printed form. You will need to logon to the State of Kansas Employee Self Service Portal to view and print the form. Visit the Kansas Employee Self-Service website to find details on viewing and printing form W-2. For questions about your W-2, please visit Wichita State University W-2 information.
- Form 1042-S: Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding is a tax form issued by the university (employer) to nonresident aliens that summarizes taxable income and the corresponding tax withholding related to that income received by the nonresident aliens during a calendar year. If you received grant, fellowship payment, or scholarship amount that exceeded your tuition, you are likely to be issued form 1042-S. It shall be mailed out by the State mid-March. For questions, please see below:
- Form 1098-T: Tuition Statement is issued by the university to all students who enroll in classes at WSU for the purpose of claiming higher education tax credits. International students and scholars who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes are not eligible for these tax credits. If you are a nonresident alien, you can keep Form 1098-T for your records, but you will NOT NEED this form to prepare your income tax forms.
- Form 1099: This form reports miscellaneous income. It can be interest on bank accounts, stocks, bonds, dividends, earning through freelance employment.
Filing FEDERAL Income Tax
GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) and Sprintax will determine your tax residency and prepare the required tax forms for you if you are a nonresident alien:
U.S. Tax Residency Status
Received Income in 2023
Tax Forms Generated
Yes or No
Do NOT use GTP or Sprintax
All nonresident aliens for tax purposes, including F-2 and J-2 visa holders, are required to file Form 8843 even if you had no income from the U.S. in 2023. You do not need to have a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to submit Form 8843.
If you are determined a resident alien, you should NOT use GTP or Sprintax to prepare your tax forms. You may use commercially purchased tax return software to file your state and federal income tax. You may contact United Way of the Plains for Free Tax Prep service or visit the IRS website to find free tax return preparation by Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Find a VITA Site Near You.
Filing incorrect forms can result in a fine plus interest. IRS is gearing up to crack down on the incorrect filing. Beware! The Government can audit the tax return for up to 7 years. You should keep the copy of your tax filing information for at least 7 years.
Filing STATE Income Tax
The State of Kansas offers KS WebFile, which is a free online application for filing Kansas Individual Income Tax Returns.
Alternatively, you may use Sprintax and pay a fee to file your state tax.
ALWAYS KEEP A COPY OF THE SIGNED RETURN FOR YOUR RECORDS. You will need this information when you file your tax next year. Also, if the government has any question about your return, it is always good to have a copy. It costs you money if you request a copy of the return from the government.
The Office of International Education has purchased U.S. federal income tax filing program, GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) and Sprintax, to assist all international students and scholars in preparing nonresident U.S. tax returns. These are web-based U.S. federal income tax filing systems specifically designed for international students and scholars. GTP and Sprintax are available free of charge to all Wichita State international students and scholars. They provide step-by-step instructions and assistance with the preparation of the appropriate tax forms.
Using GTP and Sprintax
- Documents needed before you start using GTP or Sprintax:
- Form I-20 (F visa) or DS2019 (J visa)
- U.S. Entry and Exit Dates for current and past visits to the U.S.
- Forms W-2 and/or 1042-S and/or 1099 (if received)
- Before you start preparing your 2023 tax returns, please be sure you have received all your yearend tax statements including W-2, if you were employed in 2023, and possibly 1042-S, if you received grant, fellowship, or scholarship amount that exceeded your tuition. The State of Kansas will send Form 1042-S around March 1. If you file your tax return without all the appropriate tax statements you will need to file a corrected form and you could be liable for penalties.
- Both GTP and Sprintax can help determine whether you are a resident alien or nonresident alien for tax purposes.
- After you completed all information in GTP or Sprintax, it generates the correct U.S. federal income tax forms – Form 1040NR, Form 8843, and other forms as applicable. If you did not earn any income in the U.S. in 2023, GTP or Sprintax will generate Form 8843 for you.
- If you use GTP and have questions or need assistance, click HELP on the top right corner of any GTP pages. If you use Sprintax, you may use the live chat function to ask for help.
- The GTP Tutorial Videos and FAQ page in GTP provide a lot of useful information related to Nonresident Alien tax. Please take advantage of this informative resource.
To Access GTP and Sprintax
- Login to myWSU and go to myFinances tab.
- Find GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) and Sprintax in International Student Tax Return Software channel.
- Choose either GTP or Sprintax. Current students do not need a code to access GTP or Sprintax through myWSU. If you have graduated, you can access Sprintax through myWSU. But if you prefer GTP, contact email@example.com to request an access code.
- Create a new account or login to your existing GTP/Sprintax account.
- If you did not file your federal tax in past years, both GTP and Sprintax can help you prepare Prior Year Federal Tax Return at a cost.
- After you finish the federal tax return with GTP or Sprintax, download and print the forms. Sign and follow the instructions to mail the forms to the relevant tax department.
- If you are also required to file a state tax return, you may use the free online application KS WebFile offered by the Kansas Department of Revenue, or use Sprintax and pay a separate fee to file your state tax return.
The deadline for filing tax return is April 15, 2024.
Please note that GTP applies to U.S. federal income tax only. Kansas State tax must be filed separately. You may use Sprintax to prepare your state tax at a cost. Or you may visit the KS WebFile website and use its free application to file Kansas State Income Tax.
A Word of Caution: There were reports in past income tax filing seasons of some F-1 students filing incorrect tax returns in order to receive tax credits or increase the amount of their tax refunds beyond what is lawful. The Office of International Education would like to caution against such practices. Any benefits from this may be severely offset by future interaction with USCIS or other U.S. government agencies, where such incorrect filing may surface and be seen as a violation with serious penalties.
GTP Q&A Live Sessions - GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) offers 2-3 Q&A live sessions every week. Login to your GTP account to check live session schedule and join the Zoom session.
GTP Tutorial Videos - Overview tutorial and short videos explaining each step of tax filing are available in GTP.
GTP FAQ - The page in GTP provides a lot of useful information related to Nonresident Alien tax. Please take advantage of this informative resource.
Sprintax Videos & Webinars - Sprintax's YouTube channel carries a lot of short videos that cover many different topics and questions. Sprintax also offers 2-3 webinars every month.
Some countries have tax treaty agreements with the U.S. that exempt certain amounts of U.S. source income and/or scholarship/fellowship payments from taxation.
If you are from a tax treaty country and received a treaty exemption for part of your earned income, you will receive a Form 1042-S, which shall be sent out by the State before March 1. Please contact the Payroll Office if you have not received this form. This is in addition to your Form W-2. Both forms are necessary in order to file your taxes.
If you received scholarship funds during the previous year you shall receive a Form 1042-S by March 15.
Using GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) or Sprintax to file your nonresident tax return you will be guided through the questions of whether or not you are eligible for a tax treaty.
For more details on tax treaties, please refer to U.S. Tax Treaties (IRS Publication 901).
As a reminder, the IRS will NOT initiate email contact with a taxpayer without consent. The IRS has included the option for the taxpayer to insert an email address in the
tax return. If the taxpayer inserts an email address, the IRS may choose to send an
email; however, any email from the IRS will NOT include links to claim a refund or
ask for any secure information such as social security number, date of birth or bank
If you receive an email that appears to be “from the IRS”, you should not click on any links or otherwise provide data.
Please note: Wichita State University is not permitted to assist any student/scholar with any IRS tax form preparation or tax related questions. The information provided is intended for your benefit. Any questions or concerns should be directed to GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP), Sprintax, a certified tax preparer or a local IRS field office.