Tax Information



IMPORTANT UPDATE (3/19/2019)WE ARE NOW OUT OF CODES! While there are no more codes for fee-free access to filing your federal taxes, you may still use the Sprintax program for a small fee of $35.95.


UPDATE (2/22/2019): Were you unable to make the International Tax Workshop this past Wednesday? You can now check out to the entire slideshow, along with audio, on the Payroll website!


For the current 2019 U.S. tax filing season (2018 tax year), Cranwell International Center, in coordination with International Graduate Student Services, International Support Services, and the Controller’s Office, is pleased to provide current international students and scholars at Virginia Tech with access to the Sprintax online tax software to assist you with your tax filing obligations. 

In order to receive an access code to use the tax software, you must first complete the Request for International Tax Software Access Form (no longer available) codes will only be sent out once a week on Friday afternoons. Please note that you must provide your VT email address.  If you do not receive your code by Friday at 5:00 pm, please email us at rather than filling out the form again.  

There will be an International Tax Workshop on Wednesday, February 20, from 5:30 - 8:30 PM in Litton-Reeves, Room 1670. Please plan to attend if you have any questions about your tax status and your filing obligations. This is your opportunity to learn from an expert from the Controller’s Office who will be able to answer your questions. Otherwise, keep in mind that faculty and staff in Cranwell International CenterInternational Graduate Student Services, and International Support Services are not tax experts and are not able to give tax advice. The workshop will be available via video after the live session, but access to one-on-one meetings will be limited after this date. 

Should we run out of access codes for the Sprintax program (or if you are not a current international student or scholar), please be sure to choose a software specifically for Non-Resident Tax Preparation when filing. A few examples of available software include:



You are also able to file your taxes without any software by downloading the necessary forms and instructions directly from the IRS website

In addition, please be sure to review the detailed information on this webpage to help you better understand your tax obligation and how to submit the required tax forms. 

DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this page is intended as general information and should not be considered legal tax advice. Individuals should consider consulting a professional tax advisor of their choosing for an assessment of their individual situation.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government agency that collects taxes. As a nonresident F-1 or J-1 student, you may need to file forms each year with the IRS, even if you earned no income. It is your individual responsibility to understand and meet your tax obligations. U.S. tax laws can be complex and confusing and the laws that apply to internationals are not the same as those that apply to U.S. citizens. 

Resident versus Nonresident

In legal terms, noncitizens of the U.S. are called "aliens." There are three types of aliens for tax purposes: (1) nonresident; (2) dual-status; and (3) resident. These categories are for tax purposes only and are not related to your immigration status. You may be in F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status and considered a resident for tax purposes.

Foreign nationals in a nonresident tax status cannot file Federal tax returns electronically (i.e. e-file; TurboTax, H&R Block; TaxSlayer, etc.). Instead, you are required to file a paper return. Dependents of F and J visa holders in a nonresident tax status must file Form 8843, if they were in the US in 2018.


Substantial Presence

Non-Resident aliens generally meet the Substantial Presence Test (days of presence in the U.S.) if they have spent more than 183 days in the U.S. within the last three years and are NOT an exempt individual. Having substantial presence in the U.S. generally means you will be considered a resident alien for tax purposes.


Exempt Individual

This includes 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.

Even if you pass the substantial presence test, you might still be considered a nonresident for tax purposes if you qualify for The Closer Connection Exception to the Substantial Presence Test for Foreign Students. Form 8843 will need to be submitted to the IRS with your federal tax return if you are in a U.S. residence tax status under the Substantial Presence Test

  • Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement: W-2 forms are mailed to current and former employees. This form shows how much you earned last year and how much was taken out for taxes. You will only receive this form if you have been employed. This can also be accessed through HokieSpa if Virginia Tech was your employer. If you had more than 1 employer in 2018 you will receive multiple W-2s.
  • Passport
  • I-20 (F-1 status) or DS-2019 (J-1 status)
  • Social Security number OR Individual Tax Identification number (generally not required if you will file only Form 8843)
  • 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 or host sponsor information (name, address, phone)
  • Scholarship/fellowship grant letter (if applicable)
  • A copy of last year's federal income tax return (if filed)
  • 1042-S (if applicable): The 1042-S form will only be given to nonresident alien students who have received scholarship or fellowship money that exceeds tuition and related fee charges. You will not receive a copy of the 1042-S form if you only have a tuition waiver on your account and do not receive any checks. If you expect to receive a 1042-S form, wait until it is issued before filing your tax return. You should receive this by mail before March 15th.
  • Form 1099 (if applicable): The 1099 form documents miscellaneous income. For example, if you had CPT authorization to work as an independent contractor, rather than as an employee of an organization, you might receive Form 1099 instead of Form W-2 to document your earnings.

If you did not receive an income from a U.S. source in 2018 and you are a nonresident alien, you must file Form 8843 (Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition) and mail it to the address below by June 17th, 2019:

Department of the Treasury

Internal Revenue Service Center

Austin, TX 73301-0215

Filing online is not an option at this time. 

If you did receive wages or taxable scholarships from a U.S. source in 2018 and you are a nonresident alien, you must file the following forms:

1. Form 1040NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return) should be mailed to one of the following addresses by April 15th, 2019:

If you are not enclosing a payment, mail to:

Department of the Treasury

Internal Revenue Service

Austin, TX 73301-0215

If you are enclosing a payment, mail to:

Internal Revenue Service

P.O. Box 1303

Charlotte, NC 28201-1303

* Do not use Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ.  

2. Form 8843 (Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition) should be mailed along with your Federal tax return by June 17th, 2019.

3. Form 760 (Virginia Resident Individual Income Tax Return) should be mailed to one of the following addressed by May 1st, 2019:

If you are not enclosing a payment, mail to:

Virginia Department of Taxation

P.O. Box 1498

Richmond, VA 23218-1498

If you are enclosing a payment, mail to:

Virginia Department of Taxation

P.O. Box 760

Richmond, VA 23218-0760

The Commissioner of the Revenue office in Christiansburg, VA is open to assist taxpayers with completing their Virginia state tax returns. If you need assistance with this, you can visit their office Monday - Friday from 9:00 - 11:30 AM and 1:30 - 3:30 PM. They are located at: 


Montgomery County Government Center

755 Roanoke Street, Suite 1A

Christiansburg, VA 24073


Phone: 1-540-382-5710