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Office of International Student Services
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
By law, international students are required to file a tax return. Tax returns must be postmarked each year no later than April 15. International students should first determine whether they are a "resident" or "non-resident" for tax purposes. This information is intended for international students in F-1 or J-1 status. If you have another status or visa type, please consult with the international student advisor.
Keep copies of your tax forms for at least 3 years. The IRS requires individuals to keep tax records for at least that long. Additionally, if you make a mistake on your tax return and need to correct it, you will need to have copies.
Most nonimmigrants need to count the number of days they've been in the U.S. over the past years to determine whether they are a nonresident or resident alien for tax purposes. However, F-1 and J-1 students are exempt from counting days and are considered nonresidents for tax purposes if they have been in the U.S. for no more than 5 calendar years. Most F-1 and J-1 students at Knox fall into this category.
If you are in F-1 or J-1 status now, and have been in the U.S. for 5 or fewer calendar years, you are a nonresident alien for tax purposes. If you are in F-1 or J-1 status now and have been in the U.S. for any part of more than 5 calendar years, you should visit this IRS webpage to take the Substantial Presence Test and see whether you are a resident or nonresident alien. You can also ask the international student advisor if you're unsure.
International students studying abroad, who were in the U.S. during the previous tax year, should file tax forms. Please reference the advice above to determine whether you should file as a nonresident or resident. If you worked during the previous tax year, contact the Business Office for assistance getting your W-2. Contact the international student advisor if you have questions about your tax return.
Recent graduates and alumni on OPT should complete tax returns for the previous year. If a green card or H-1B status is in your future, it is especially important that you file a yearly tax return while in F-1 status. Follow the guidance above to determine whether you should file as a resident or nonresident alien. If you worked at Knox College in the previous tax year, you should receive a W-2 from the College in the mail. Please be sure the Business Office or Alumni Office and the international student advisor have your current address.
Form 8843: Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition
Determining Alien Status (If you've been in the U.S. for more than 5 years, reference to determine if you are a "resident" or "non-resident" for tax purposes)