Tax Info for F-1 International Students

Do International Students Need to File Taxes?

Read on to find out!

The big question for many F-1 international students have is: Do I even need to file taxes this year? 

The truth is, it depends on your situation. Remember that if you are an F-1 international student filing taxes, it’s always best to talk to a tax professional if you’re not sure what to do.

However, F-1 international students filing taxes usually fall into two groups:

  1. F-1 students that did not work while studying, like most of our English as a Second Language students
  2. F-1 students who are approved for  OPT or CPT, like many of those in MCC’s Associate in Business Administration, Marketing, or Accounting programs, or F-1 students participating in approved on-campus employment

Find more info for international students at MCC International on Facebook and Instagram and #F1VisaInfo.


For F-1 International Students that DID NOT work:

If you’re an F-1 international student, you probably did not work. If you didn’t work, you do NOT need to file income taxes, but you DO need to submit Form 8843

You can read about Form 8843 on the IRS website, and/or access the form directly by clicking the link to the IRS website below:


For F-1 International Students that DID work through approved on-campus employment or through an approved OPT or CPT program:

Some F-1 international students receive income from participating in approved on-campus employment or are approved for CPT or OPT programs, including some of our Associate degree students.

If that’s you, then YES you do need to file income taxes using Form 1040NR. And file them on time!

Read more about Form 1040NR on the IRS website and/or access the form directly using the link to the IRS website below:


What is the deadline for submitting my tax forms?

Usually, the deadline to file taxes is April 15. This year, the IRS has changed the deadline to file tax returns on the federal level to May 17th, 2021. Keep in mind that this change does not affect state deadlines. Check your state’s website to find out if you have state tax filing obligations and to see what the deadline to file is on the state level.


Do you need help doing your taxes? Or, are you unsure which forms to submit?

MCC cannot provide tax advice, but we encourage you to see a tax specialist or take advantage of the free tax preparation resources in Chicago.

Type your zip code into this IRS website to see the locations that may offer free tax prep help for taxpayers who qualify.

Still have questions? Contact your local tax preparer.


Do you want more information for international students like you?

We’d love to connect! Follow us @MCCInternational on Facebook and Instagram. Get new information for F-1 international students every Wednesday by following #F1VisaInfo.

Do F1 Students need to file taxes
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