If you receive money earned in the U.S. or a scholarship/tuition waiver from a U.S. school, this money is considered U.S. income and is subject to federal income tax by the U.S. government. The Internal Revue Service (IRS) is the federal agency, which is responsible for federal income taxes.
The tax year is from January 1 - December 31st each year. Some of this earned U.S. income may be non-taxable (exempt) by tax treaties the U.S. has established with many countries. Tax treaties are specific to each of these tax treaty agreements. The effect of these treaties is to reduce the amount of income that is considered taxable by the U.S. government.
Services for International Students provides a tax workshop on the CWU Ellensburg campus each year before the income tax filing due date, April 15th. Tax consultants will be available to answer tax questions and to help with instructions for filling out the tax forms. The staff in ISS is not qualified to advise on tax issues so international students are advised to attend this tax workshop or to seek services of a professional tax consultant.
All international students must file one U.S. tax form. The form 8843 indicates to the U.S. federal government that you are an international student and considered a non-resident of the U.S. for income tax purposes. This is important if you also may have earned income from outside the U.S. during the tax year. If you do not file this form, the out-of-country income may be taxable.
W-4 The form you fill out when you accept on campus employment.
W-2 The form will be sent to you by your employer(s) sometime in the January of the year following the previous January 1 -December 31st income tax year. It shows how much money you earned in each positiion you held during the tax year, how much tax money was withheld for the federal government income tax, and how much Social Security tax, if any, was withheld. Remember, non-residents are not subject to Social Security withholding, so if money was withheld, you should talk to your employer about getting it back.1099-INT This form will be sent to you by your bank. It shows the amount of interest income you earned last year. While U.S. residents are taxed for this income, non-residents are not subject to taxes on interest. Please bring this form with you to the tax workshop because you may need to indicate the interest earned on your tax form.1042-S This form will, in most cases, be sent to you by CWU if you received a scholarship or graduate assistantship. If you received a tuition waiver you will receive a letter from ISS. The scholarship or waiver which went for tuition or books is non-taxable income. However, if your scholarship included money for room and board, this income is taxable and must be reported.
1040NR or 1040NR-EZ You will need one of these forms to file a federal tax return. The latter is a simplified version of the 1040NR and will be what most of you will use.
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