Tax Information for International Students and Scholars

Please note that the following information should be regarded as a general guideline to taxes only. OISS staff is not trained or licensed to answer questions regarding individual tax returns.

The deadline to file taxes for the previous calendar year is April 15 of the following year.

In the U.S. you are required to file a return even if you do not owe any taxes.

Students or self-funded visiting scholars, who did not work but were present in U.S. need to file Form 8843 Statement for exempt individuals only. Filing a complete tax return is not required. Form 8843 is available at OISS or can be prepared using GLACIER Tax Prep software.


In general international students and scholars are required to file non-resident tax returns if they meet the following conditions:

  • Students on F and J visas are presumed to be non-residents for tax filing purposes for up to five (5) calendar years (including OPT or academic training).
  • Scholars on J visas are presumed to be non-residents for tax filing purposes for up to two (2) calendar years.
  • Scholars on H visas are presumed to be non-residents for tax filing purpose if they have been in the U.S. for less than 183 days in the preceding calendar year.

If you have been in the U.S. in your respective status for longer than the time indicated above, or if you have changed your immigration status, you may have to file a resident tax return. For help determining your tax filing status request a GLACIER Tax Prep access code from OISS and let the software determine your tax filing status. Your tax residency is defined by U.S. tax laws and is used for tax filing purposes only. Your tax residency (i.e. resident alien, non-resident alien, dual status) determines your tax obligations and your tax deductions, credits and exemptions. Your tax residency status and your visa status are two separate issues.


Use GLACIER Tax Prep software to file non-resident tax returns (federal taxes). You must request an access code from OISS to access the software. Access Codes are available late February, OISS will send an email when the access codes are available. To obtain an access code come to OISS and present your University of Nevada, Reno ID, or email your request to with your full name and NSHE ID number. To prepare your taxes you will need your passport, I-20 or DS-2019 or I-797 notice (if you changed your status in the U.S.), W-2 (summary of earnings) and/or 1042-S forms and any other tax filing forms you may have received. If you have not received your W-2 from the University, contact the Payroll Office (Ross Hall, Room 102, phone: 775-784-6653) to request your W-2 or go to Business Center North: Payroll. Form 1042-S is issued by the Controller's Office to those who received room and board scholarship or took advantage of tax treaty benefits. Email to request the 1042-S if you have not received it yet. Check your Employee Self-Service account first to make sure you did not receive an electronic version of the W-2 and/or 1042-S.

TAX WORKSHOPS - offered by the Controller's Office and OISS. These workshops will provide a brief overview of tax filing procedures and will include a demonstration of GLACIER Tax Prep software for non-resident aliens. Separate workshops will be provided for students (F-1 and J-1) and scholars (J-1 and H-1B).

TAX LAB - for those who need help with the software or are not sure how to answer some of the questions, we offer hands-on-assistance labs for GLACIER Tax Prep software only; OISS will announce the location and dates.


For those filing as a resident for tax purposes, see the Internal Revenue Service: Resident Tax Filing Options for options to prepare and file your resident tax return.

Federal Income Tax Brochure prepared by NAFSA which provides an overview of the U.S. taxation system and points out additional resources.

Internal Revenue Service

  • Download non-resident tax forms: 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ and 8843
  • Download resident tax forms: 1040EZ, 1040A, 1040
  • E-file the resident tax return
  • Ask questions regarding resident taxes: 1-800-829-1040

Local IRS office: 200 S. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89501, phone: (775) 824-2218

  • Obtain tax forms and publications - no help with tax return preparation
  • Help with completing forms for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Non-resident tax information

  • Information about non-resident taxes, tax treaties and international tax law

Tax Treaties: Publication 901

  • Provides a summary of tax treaty provisions for various countries for students and scholars (teaching and research).

State Income Tax: There is no state income tax in Nevada, therefore no need to file the state income tax return. You must still file a federal tax return. However, if you worked in another state during the tax filing year, you may be required to file a state income tax return for that state.


(reportable and non-reportable income)

Reportable Income

  • Income that is "sourced" in the United States (lawful employment in the U.S.).
  • Scholarships from a U.S. institution for room and board only. Such financial aid is subject to federal income tax withholding at 14% rate unless the payments are exempt from tax under a tax treaty.
  • Stipends, fellowships, graduate assistantships, or any other financial aid which require that the recipient perform services in exchange for financial aid (reported on forms 941 and/or W-2).
  • Income partially or totally exempt from tax under the terms of a tax treaty.
  • Income that is "effectively connected with U.S. trade or business" (any income or interest received from real property located in the United States in a form of rents, profits and royalties, capital gains on securities sold on the U.S. stock market, dividends).

Non-reportable Income

  • Income from foreign sources
  • Scholarships, grants or any other type of financial aid received from sources outside the U.S.
  • Scholarships from a U.S. institution which covered tuition, books & fees only.
  • Interest income which comes from the following sources and is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business:
    1. interest from deposits in any U.S. bank, savings and loan association, credit union or insurance company
    2. portfolio interest on investments sold in foreign markets.

Refund of Social Security and Medicare taxes: Students and Scholars in F and J status are not subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes as long as they are considered non-resident aliens for tax purpose (5 years for students and 2 years for scholars). You can request a refund from your employer, or if this is not possible, you may file Form 843 and Form 8316 with IRS. Forms are available at the Internal Revenue Service.


View the 2016 Tax Workshop PowerPoint here!