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Student Services

Tax Filing Info for International Students

Who Needs to File a U.S. Tax Return?

If you were present in the U.S. with a F or J non-immigrant status (even 1 day), you are responsible for meeting regulations established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

For more detailed information, please refer to Publication 519: U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

You should have all the following documents:

  • Visa/immigration Status Information
  • Current and all previous passports
  • Form I-20 (for F status individual) OR Form DS-2019 (for J status individual)
  • Current U.S. address and/or Foreign Permanent Address
  • U.S. Entry and Exit Dates for current and past visits to the U.S. (should be noted on your passport(s))

If you are filing a U.S. tax return because of wages from an employer, you must have a Social Security Number which is issued by the Social Security Administration (you must have an active job at the time of application in order to qualify for one). If you are filing a U.S. tax return because of money earned from a U.S. source other than wages (such as interest), you must have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) which is issued by the IRS.

To learn more about ITIN number, please click here

You may receive one or more of the following documents:

  • Form W-2: Wage and Tax Statement from MCTC’s Payroll Office and/or your CPT/OPT employer if you received compensation for your work.
  • Form 1042-S: Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding from MCTC’s Business Office if you have received scholarships in excess of tuition and mandatory fees charged to your student account.
  • Form 1099 series reporting various types of your income other than wages, salaries, and tips- a common case is your interest income report from your financial institution.

If you have questions about your Form W-2 from MCTC, please refer your questions to the Business Office. If you have questions about your Form 1042-S from MCTC, please refer your questions to the Business Office. The best way to contact them is to submit your question to ASK US!

Most of you are Non-Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes UNLESS you have been in F or J status during any part of more than 5 calendar years. Here is more information if you wish NOT to be treated as a Resident Alien for tax purposes.

This status is for tax purposes only. Please do NOT mix this with your immigration status. All international students are non-immigrant, non-resident aliens for immigration purposes.

You have a Non-Resident Alien status and do have the W-2 form, 1042-S or 1099 form(s).

You should use:


You have a Non-Resident Alien status and do NOT have the W-2 forms, 1042-S or 1099 forms.

You should use:

You have a Resident Alien status and do have the W-2 form, 1042-S or 1099 form(s).

You should use:


You have a Resident Alien status and do NOT have W-2, 1042-S or 1099 form.

You should use:

If you are considered a non-resident alien with NO W-2, 1042-S, or 1099 form(s), use Form 8843 and pay attention to the following:

  • Fill out the top part of the form, sign and date at the bottom.
  • Part III – Item 9: Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Ave S, Tacoma, WA, 98447, 253-535- 6900.
  • Part III – Item 10: Heather Jacobson, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue S., Tacoma, WA, 98447 253-535-7264.
  • You should be able to answer the rest of the items on your own.

If you are considered a non-resident alien with W-2, 1042-S, or 1099 form(s), you need to use Form 8843 and 1040NR-EZ or 1040-NR. There are several online resources that can help you fill out these forms, including Sprintax, which costs about $40.

If you are considered a resident alien with W-2, 1042-S, or 1099 form(s), you must file 1040-EZ or 1040.

An online service isTurboTax. Please do research and find a tax service that best fits your need.

All Form 1040 series are due on April 15th. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day.

If you also need to submit Form 8843 along with Form 1040 series, it is due at the same time

Electronic filing is encouraged for Form 1040 series. If you are sending Form 8843 only or with Form 1040 series,

mail them to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215

If you have additional questions, please call the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040. If you have a general question about your tax filing or regulations, you should be pressing 2, 2 and then 4.

Please note that the wait time may be long. 

If you are a non-resident alien for tax purposes, please mention your status AND also mention that you may need to speak to the advanced tax law department.

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