Tax Returns

Each April, Americans and visitors file tax returns to report total earned income from the previous year. If the IRS determines you have paid more taxes in the previous year than necessary, you can receive a full or partial tax refund.

International Engagement (IE) offers the following information about filing taxes in the US. The staff of IE are not tax experts and cannot address any personal tax questions. However, we have purchased a tax filing system made especially for international students, to make your tax filing easy.

Should you file a tax return?

Answer the following questions to determine your situation and see what kind of tax returns you must file.

1) Were you in the United States at any time in the 2016 year?

No, I was not in the US: You do not need to file income tax returns this year. You do not know need to come to a tax workshop, and you should not expect to receive any tax forms.
Yes, I was in the US: You must file a tax return this year. There are different forms to fill out depending on your situation. Keep reading to learn what you need to fill out.

Did you receive U.S. income in the previous year (either through employment or a scholarship)?

No: All you need to file is Form 8843, due June 15. You do not need a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). You will also not receive a tax refund because you did not pay any income taxes in the previous year. You can also use the Sprintax Prep software to complete this form. Please see below for instructions on using Sprintax. If you need personal assistance in filing the Form 8843, register for one of our Sprintax Workshops.
Yes:  You will need to file the Form 8843 and the 1040NR, due April 18. Request an Access Code to SprintTax Prep software in February and March. International Engagement offers tax workshops for using SprintTax Prep software several times each spring. Register for a Tax Workshop.

Was the U.S. income from a UCA scholarship?

No: You will not receive a 1042-S from Student Accounts.
Yes: You will receive a 1042-S from Student Accounts on March 15. Use this form to file your tax returns using SprintTax Prep. If you would like assistance, register for a Tax Workshop.

Was the income from a U.S. employer?

No: You will not receive a W-2 from your employer.
Yes: You will receive a W-2 from your employer in January. If your employer was UCA, you can access your W-2 through myUCA. Use this form to file your tax returns using SprintTax Prep. If you would like assistance, register for a Tax Workshop.

Note for Students with Scholarships and Employment

If your income was from both a scholarship and an employer, you will use both the Form 1042-S and the W-2. Do not file your tax returns without both of these documents.

Filing your Tax Return

SprintTax Prep

If you received U.S. income in the previous year, you can use SprintTax Prep software to file your income tax returns. To use SprintTax Prep you must have an Access Code. Check your UCA email in March for an Access Code from SprintTax Prep and instructions on file your tax return. If you do not receive an access code, please email Tyler Copeland at To complete your tax returns using SprintTax Prep, you will need the following documents:

  • Passport
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • W-2 if you worked in the previous year
  • Form 1042-S if you received a significant US scholarship in the previous year


Do not use a tax service other than SprintTax Prep. Many local services are not familiar with nonresident taxes and may file your forms incorrectly!

Tax Workshops

If you need assistance in filing your federal tax returns are offered in March and April of each year. You can register for a 2016 Tax Workshop here.


Frequently Asked Questions about Taxes