This information is provided as a guide only. International students, scholars and employees should seek professional guidance from the appropriate government agency, a qualified accountant or attorney in order to understand and meet specific tax obligations.
U.S. income tax is collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS has a special set of regulations, tax forms and publications for international students, scholars and employees in the U.S. A copy of these regulations can be found in IRS publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens on the IRS website at www.irs .gov.
Individuals determined to be a Nonresident alien for U.S. tax purposes pay federal income tax on the income received from U.S. sources. Resident aliens for tax purposes are generally taxed the same way as a U.S. Citizen and pay taxes on their worldwide income. The annual deadline to file the appropriate tax forms with the IRS is no later than April 15th .
All nonimmigrants (H-1B, J-1, E-3, TN, etc) can use Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) to determine if you are a US Nonresident or Resident Alien for Tax Purposes. Glacier Tax Prep is only for use by Nonresident Aliens. If GTP determines that you are a Resident Alien for Tax Purposes, you can use commercial tax preparation like TurboTax or you can schedule an appointment with a qualified tax accountant or attorney. You will need your User ID and password to access GTP. Form 1098-T is applicable to Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes only. Please visit https://www.glaciertax.com/Login
For U.S. Nonresident Aliens and Resident Aliens who DID NOT have earnings during 2013, FORM 8843 must be filed.
For U.S. Nonresident Aliens (NRA) who received income during 2013, FORM 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ and 8843 must be filed.
Documents needed to complete the forms:
- 2 - Wage and Tax Statement (Wages on which you DID NOT claim a tax treaty exemption)
- Salary on which you claimed a tax treaty exemption)
For U.S. Resident Aliens (RA) who received income during 2013, FORM 1040 or 1040EZ and 8843 must be filed.
Documents needed to complete the form:
- -2- Wage and Tax Statement (Wages)
- 1098T, if applicable
US Nonresident Aliens and Resident A liens for Tax Purposes who reside in Pennsylvania and who did earn income during 2013 are required to pay state income tax and must file a FORM PA-40 by April 15, 2014.
For U.S. Nonresident Aliens and Resident Aliens who reside in New Jersey and who did earn income during 2013, FORM NJ-1040 must be filed by April 15, 2014.
Documents needed to complete state forms:
- (Wages or Salary)
- f applicable
*Note, if you lived in another state during the tax yea r and you received income while living there, you will need to file a tax return for that state as long as that state has an income tax.
Should you need to file local taxes, you should receive a FORM from the tax collector assigned to the municipality in which you live. The City of Philadelphia does not require residents to file a personal income tax return.
- -2 (Wages or Salary)
*Note: you may apply wage tax paid to Philadelphia as a credit toward your local earned income tax liability.
Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) https://www.glaciertax.com/Login
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - (800)-829-1040 www.irs.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue - (717)787-8201 www.revenue.state.pa.us
New Jersey Department of Treasury - (800)323 -4400 www .state.nj.us
Local Taxes in PA - (866)466-3972 www.newpa.com
City of Philadelphia - (215)686- 1776 www.phila.gov
The Substantial Presence Test
A resident alien for tax purposes is a person who is a U.S. citizen or a foreign national who meets either the “green card” or “substantial presence” test as described in IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
- F and J student visa holders are considered resident aliens after five calendar years in the U.S.
- J researchers and professors are considered resident aliens after two calendar years in the U.S.
- H-1, TN, and O-1 visa holders are considered resident aliens once they meet the “substantial presence” test.
A non-resident alien for tax purposes is a person who is not a U.S. citizen and who does not meet either the “green card” or the “substantial presence” test as described in IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
- F and J student visa holders are considered non-resident aliens during their first five calendar years in the U.S.
- J professors and researchers, are considered non-resident aliens during their first two calendar years in the U.S.
- H-1, TN and O-1 visa holders are considered non-resident aliens until they meet the “substantial presence” test.
The “Substantial Presence Test”
A foreign national in non-immigrant visa status may be considered a resident alien for tax purposes as soon as he/she meets the “substantial presence” test for a calendar year (January 1 to December 31). To meet this test, the person must be physically present in the U.S. on at least:
- 31 days during the current calendar year and
- 183 days during the three-year period that includes the current calendar year and the two years immediately preceding. The individual should count: all the days he/she was present in the U.S. in the current year, 1/3 of the days present in the U.S. the preceding year, and 1/6 of the days present the year before that.
Exceptions to the time counted toward the Substantial Presence Test for students and scholars in F-1 and J-1 status (and their dependents):
- A J-1 professor or researcher who is complying with the requirements of the visa, does not count days for the first two calendar years.
- An F-1 or J-1 student, who is complying with the requirements of their visa, does not count days for the first five calendar years.
The treatment of non-immigrant employment visa holders under the ACA is determined by their federal tax status – while still a "non-resident alien" for U.S. tax purposes, H1-B, TN, O-1 and E-3 holders are not obligated to maintain ACA coverage. Once they become a "resident alien," these visa holders then become subject to the ACA, just like a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.