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As a nonresident student with an F-1 visa, you must file forms each year with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), even if you earned no income.

Taxes and the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government agency that collects taxes. It is each individual’s responsibility to understand and meet their tax obligations. Generally, tax returns are due every April based on earnings from the previous year.

While employers do deduct money from your paycheck throughout the year and send it to the IRS, it may not equal the exact amount owed at the end of the year. If you paid too much, you may be eligible for a refund. Or, perhaps not enough was deducted and you will owe more. Salary from a job is not the only kind of earnings taxed; many types of income are taxable. Even if you did not work and do not owe any taxes, you still need to submit a form to the IRS.

U.S. tax laws can be complex and confusing, and the laws that apply to international residents are not necessarily the same as those that apply to U.S. citizens. The resources on this page should help you to better understand your tax obligations, learn where to research additional information, and successfully submit your tax forms.

Please note: DigiPen staff and faculty are not able to give tax advice about individual cases, as we are not tax professionals.

  • Which Tax Forms Should I Use?

    Some tax forms may sound and look very similar to one another, but correctly identifying and filling out the correct one is very important to prevent confusion and delays. We outline the forms you may encounter as a student on an F-1 visa.

  • Important Concepts and Resources

    Don’t understand some of the terms or concepts being described in your tax forms? We offer some common tips for international students and list some resources to help you prepare your tax returns.