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Before you begin, be sure you have all of the necessary information with you:
- All tax forms
- I-20 (F-1 status)
- DS-2019 (J-1 or J-2 status)
- SSN or IITIN
- Address information - current U.S. address and foreign address
- U.S. entry and exit dates for current and past visits to U.S.
- Academic institution and Immigration Advisor's information (name, address, phone)
- Scholarship/fellowship grant letter (if any)
- A copy of last year's federal income tax return (if filed)
Who must file form 8843?
All nonresident aliens present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status must file Form 8843 "Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition"--even if they received NO income during the past year.
Form 8843 is NOT an income tax return! It is merely an informational statement required by the U.S. government for certain nonresident aliens (including the spouses or dependents of nonresident aliens).
A SSN or IITIN are not required if you ONLY complete Form 8843.
Form 8843 must be filed if an individual is:
- present in the U.S. during the previous year
- a non-resident alien
- present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status
If an individual meets all three qualifications above, the individual MUST file Form 8843, regardless of the individual's age and even if the individual is not required to file a U.S. income tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ).
Resident or Non-Resident for Tax Purposes
WINDSTAR Tax Prep will first determine your tax residency status (resident or non-resident alien for tax purposes).
WINDSTAR is designed only for non-resident aliens. Students in the U.S. five years or more are considered to be "Resident Aliens" for tax purposes only and not related to your immigration status.
If you have determined that you are a resident alien, based on the substantial presence test or marriage to a U.S. citizen or another resident alien, then you will generally have the same federal income tax requirements as a U.S. citizen... See Publication 17: Your Federal Income Tax Guide.
Substantial Presence: Non-resident aliens generally meet the substantial presence test if they have spent more than 183 days in the U.S. within the last three years. Having substantial presence in the U.S. generally means you will be considered a resident alien for tax purposes only.
Any person who is temporarily exempt from the substantial presence test.
Time spent in this category does not count toward the 183 days in the U.S. that normally will convert a non-resident alien into resident alien for tax purposes.
F-1 and J-1 students maintaining status are exempt from the substantial presence test for 5 years.
J-1 scholars are exempt from the substantial presence test only if they have been in the U.S. no more than 2 out of the last 6 years.