U.S. Tax Information for International Students and Scholars

Who must file tax forms for the 2023 tax season?

If you were physically in the U.S. in F or J status anytime between January 1 - December 31, 2023 you're obligated to send one form, Form 8843, to the U.S. tax agency IRS (Internal Revenue Service), even if you had no income. For the 2023 tax season, if you earn over $0 of US source income, you may need to file a federal tax return with the IRS. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may also need to file a state tax return(s).

If you would like to read more about taxes check out the Tax Guide for Aliens

Tax Filing Deadline:

April 15th, 2024 is the last day for residents and non-residents who earned U.S. income to file federal tax returns for 2023. If you have no income and are just filing the 8843, this form is due June 15, 2024.

Resident or Non-Resident for Federal Tax Purposes:

Generally, most international students & scholars who are on F, J, M or Q visas are considered non-residents for tax purposes. International undergraduate students on J1 & F1 visas are automatically considered non-resident for their first 5 calendar years in the US, whilst Scholars/Researchers on J visas are automatically considered non-residents for 2 out of the last 6 calendar years in the US. If you’ve been in the US for longer than the 5 or 2 year periods, the Substantial Presence Test will determine your tax residency.

How to File:

We have teamed up with Sprintax to provide you with easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for non-resident students and scholars in the U.S. We (and all other university staff) are not qualified or allowed to provide individual tax advice.

After you log in to Sprintax, it will ask you a series of questions about the time you have spent in the United States and in which immigration status, looking back over a period of years. Sprintax will then determine your tax status. If it determines that you are a "Non-Resident Alien" (NRA) for federal tax purposes, you can continue to use it to respond to a series of guided questions. Sprintax will complete and generate the forms you need to print, sign, and mail to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). If it determines you are a resident alien for federal tax purposes, you won't be able to continue using the software.

Step by Step guide on How to File Your Non-Resident Tax Forms (F and J)

1)      Gather the documents you may need for Sprintax

2)      Create a Sprintax Account:

You will receive an email from the international student office providing you with a link to the USF Sprintax page, and this is where you will set up your account. This page will cover the costs of the federal tax return and 8843 at no cost to you. Open your new Sprintax account by creating a UserID and password or if you have an existing account on Sprintax you can log in using your existing credentials.

3)      Follow the Sprintax instructions

If you had No U.S. Income: Sprintax will generate a completed Form 8843 for you and each of your dependents (if you have any).

With U.S. Income: Sprintax will generate your "tax return documents", including either a 1040NR-EZ or a longer form 1040NR, depending on your circumstances.

4)      If required, complete your state tax return (with U.S. income only) 

After you finish your federal return, Sprintax will inform you if you need to complete a state tax return. This will only apply to you if you earned income in a state with an income tax in 2023; the State of Florida has no state income tax. If this page applies to you, they will give you the option to use Sprintax for an individual fee. However, it is your choice to use them or to do the state tax return on your own.

5)      Mail your completed federal and/or state forms to IRS and/or state tax authorities

Remember to read the mailing instructions that Sprintax provides. If you have dependents, each one must mail their 8843 in a separate envelope.

Need Sprintax Support?

If you need help while using Sprintax, contact them:

24/7 Live Chat Help

Refer to their FAQs

Email at

Sprintax Educational Tax Videos and Blog:

You also have access to the Sprintax YouTube account where there are a number of educational videos on Non-Resident taxes to provide further clarity on the subject of using Sprintax and Non-Resident Taxes. There is also a Sprintax Blog which go through tax-related topics and can be of use to you.

Tax Resources at USF

Understanding Tax Requirements in the U.S. for International Students and Scholars

The Office of International Services created a video called Understanding Taxes for International Students and Scholars. This video is meant for students and scholars who are completing taxes in the United States for the first time, and covers general FAQ as well as a brief Sprintax tutorial.

Sprintax Software Assistance Sessions (In-Person)

Once tax season has begun, the Office of International Services also hosts Sprintax Software Assistance Sessions multiple times a week to assist international students and scholars with utilizing the Sprintax Non-Resident Tax Prep tool. Staff will be available to help with interpreting your immigration documents, clarifying instructions, and providing a brief Sprintax tutorial.

Assistance sessions for Spring 2024 (2023 tax year) will be offered in person in BEH 255  February through April 2024 on the following days and times:

Tuesdays @ 2 pm to 4 pm in BEH 255
Fridays @ 10 am to 12 pm in BEH 255

Sprintax Webinars (Online)

If you would prefer to learn directly from the non-resident tax professionals at Sprintax, they are offering several webinars for international students and scholars throughout the tax season. These sessions are free to you, but you must RSVP at the links below. Topics to be covered include: an overview of taxes for nonresident students and scholars, who must file a 2023 U.S. tax return, what income forms students/scholars may receive, forms that need to be completed and sent to the IRS, terms like FICA, ITIN and Form 1098-T, what happens if students don’t file or misfile, state tax returns, IRS stimulus payments, and a Sprintax overview. These webinars will be offered at the following dates/times:

Thursday, December 14th @ 1pm EST Register here
Thursday, January 25th @ 12pm EST Register here
Wednesday, February 7th @ 1pm EST Register here
Wednesday, February 28th@ 12pm EST Register here
Monday, March 11th @ 4pm EST Register here
Thursday, March 28th @ 3pm EST Register here
Wednesday, April 3rd @ 2pm EST Register here
Thursday, April 11th @ 1pm EST Register here
Monday, April 15th @ 11am EST Register here

Sprintax also offers some webinars specifically for OPT participants, and they will be offered at the following dates and times:

Thursday, November 16th @ 12pm EST – Register here
Wednesday, December 13th @ 1pm EST – Register here
Tuesday, January 23rd @ 1pm EST – Register here
Wednesday, February 28th @ 2pm EST – Register here
Thursday, March 21th @3pm EST – Register here

USF Payroll & Tax Services for Nonresidents

To access the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator, learn more about tax treaties, or view additional information about paying taxes as a nonresident, please visit here.

Students employed by USF departments or who have a taxable scholarship, receive an email with sign up instructions for Sprintax Calculus.  Signing up allows payroll to be sure to apply tax treaties and withhold properly.  NOTE: Students who have used Sprintax to file taxes can use the same login for Sprintax Calculus.

If you have questions about the payroll process of withholding taxes or Sprintax Calculus, send an email to

USF OIS Contact 

Most questions will need to go directly to Sprintax but for general inquiries you can email: 


The Office of International Services and the University of South Florida are NOT permitted to assist any student or scholar with any IRS tax form preparation or tax-related questions. The information provided is intended for your benefit. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Sprintax, a certified tax preparer, or a local IRS field office.