International Programs and Services

Figure Out Your Taxes

Federal and state taxes must be postmarked by April 15.

Most international students and scholars are expected to pay taxes on any income earned in the United States from the time they arrive in the country. Income can include salary, scholarships, fellowships, and money earned from US mutual funds or US bank accounts.

Taxes are reported by April 15 each year for the 12-month period beginning January 1 and ending December 31. Tax forms are filed with both the federal government, through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and in the state where income was earned.

F-1 and J-1 students and their dependents are usually considered non-residents (NR) for tax purposes during their first five years in the US. Non-residents file federal form 1040NR, long form, or short form 1040NR-EZ. Scholars are also typically considered NR for their first two years in the United States.

To determine your tax liability, use the IRS Substantial Presence Test. It calculates the number of days you are in the US, which determines if you are considered a resident—specifically for tax purposes.

Being a resident for tax purposes is not the same as being a resident for immigration purposes.

All non-residents in F or J status and each of their dependents must file federal form 8843 and Statement of Non-Residence every tax season by June 15, even if no income was earned.

If taxable income was earned the filing deadline is April 15.

General tax return information on the Financial Services and Operations website lists documents you need to file your taxes. Michigan Tech has licensed GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) to assist you with your US federal income tax return. The software provides a step-by-step guide. Access it at Financial Services and Operations via log-in with your ISO user name and password.  Once you log in, please watch the video tutorial before you enter any information.

If you have questions, email us at We cannot offer professional tax advice, but we can refer you to appropriate people who can help you do it correctly.