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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

International Student Taxes

The Office of International Education specializes in immigration matters, not taxes. If youu require additional information or have specific questions, please direct your inquires to a qualified tax professional or call the IRS International Customer Service at (267) 941-1000.

A Note About Tax Preparation Software

International students should be careful about using Turbo Tax, 1040.com or other similar tax preparation software to file taxes; they are often intended for U.S. citizens only and do not utilize the correct tax forms for non-residents. The Slutzker Center for International Services provides SU and ESF international students and scholars with free access to Sprintax Tax Prep Software.

What Do I Need to Do?

As an international student or scholar in the U.S., it is important that you understand the U.S. tax requirements of your status. Even if you did not work or earn income in the U.S., you are legally required to file a Form 8843 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. tax authority if you were in the U.S. during the past year. You may complete the form online, print it out and mail it to the address indicated. Please note that if you have a dependent (F-2 or J-2) in the U.S. during the past year, they will need to file their own Form 8843 regardless of whether or not they worked as well.

If you worked in the U.S. or received a stipend, grant or allowance over a specified amount of money in the past year, you are legally required to file a tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ). If last year was your 6th year in the U.S. in F or J status, you may be considered a resident for tax purposes. You may be required to file a resident tax return on Form 1040, Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ.

OIE has arranged free access to a non-resident tax software preparation program called Sprintax. Sprintax will guide you through the preparation process of your federal non-resident tax return, prepare the necessary documents and determine if you are due a refund or owe taxes. Additional services for state tax filings will be available to you for a fee paid directly to Sprintax. Students who are residents for tax purposes CANNOT use Sprintax.

IRS Form 8843: Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition

All nonresident aliens must file the following Form 8843 regardless of whether or not they received income in the U.S. if they were:

  • In the U.S. during the previous calendar year, and
  • in F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, M-1, M-2, Q-1, or Q-2 visa status

Nonresident students who have received income and also those who have not received any income are both required to file this form.

Filing the IRS Form 8843

  • Item 9: When asked to provide the Name, Address, and Telephone number of the academic institution that you attended during the previous academic year, please enter:

    Academic Institution:
    SUNY College of Environmental Science Forestry
    1 Forestry Drive
    Syracuse, NY 13210
    (315) 470-6500
  • Item 10: When asked to provide the Name, Address, and Telephone number of the Director of your academic program, you should enter information for the Associate Provost for Instruction and Dean of the Graduate School as indicated below.

    Director of Academic Program:
    Associate Provost for Instruction and Dean of the Graduate School
    Scott Shannon
    SUNY College of Environmental Science Forestry
    1 Forestry Drive
    227 Bray Hall
    Syracuse, NY 13210
    (315) 470-6599

Sprintax Tax Prep Software (FREE!)

The Slutzker Center for International Services provides free access to Sprintax Tax Prep software for the preparation of U.S. federal income tax returns for international students and scholars who are:

  • Considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes; and
  • Current SUNY ESF students and scholars; or
  • ESF students/alumni who were participating in post-completion OPT during the previous calendar year

Obtaining a Sprintax Tax Prep Access Code:
Each person who uses Sprintax Tax Prep must have a valid access code. To request an access code, please email the Office of International Education. Since there is a limited number of access codes, please be sure to provide all of the requested information and submit the online form in a timely manner.

Tax Payer Identification Number (ITIN)

International students who are not eligible to apply for a U.S. social security number (SSN), or who do not meet the Social Security Administration's evidence requirements for an SSN, may apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) from the Internal Revenue Service if they have a valid tax reason for needing an ITIN, as explained in the Form W-7 instructions. If all you are required to file is the Form 8843, you would not qualify for an ITIN.

Tax Helplines:

  • Federal Taxes - 1-(800)-829-1040
  • NY State Taxes - 1-(800)-225-5829