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Filing U.S. Taxes

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All foreign nationals must file U.S. tax paperwork every year.  Foreign nationals who did not earn income during the year will only need to file the IRS Form 8843. 

Before filing taxes, foreign nationals must determine if they are considered a “nonresident alien for tax purposes.”  It is important to note that tax status is different than immigration status.

Foreign nationals in the U.S. will complete a substantial presence test to determine whether or not they will file their taxes as a nonresident alien or a resident for tax purposes. 

International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa are exempt from the “substantial presence test” if they have been in the U.S. for five years or less.  Any part of the calendar year in which the person was present counts as a full year.

Non-student J-1 visa holders are exempt from the “substantial presence test” if they have been in the U.S. no more than two out of the last six years.  Any part of the calendar year in which the person was present counts as a full year.

To meet the substantial presence test, foreign nationals who are not exempt must count the days that they were physically present in the U.S.  Calculate the total number of days present in the U.S. based on the formula below:

  • 31 days during the current year, and
  • 183 days or more days cumulatively based on the formulas below
    • All of the days in the current year, plus
    • One-third of the days of presence in the year before the current year, plus
    • One-sixth of the days of presence in the year two before the current year

Juilliard foreign nationals who are considered a “nonresident alien for tax purposes” may obtain a free license to use the Glacier tax program.  Juilliard hosts a series of tax workshops every spring semester on Glacier.

Foreign nationals may also need to file state taxes.  Please refer to your state of residency to determine if additional forms need to be submitted.

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