#1 – What is subject to income tax?

Non-residents are subject to taxation on income earned in U.S., including compensation for services, scholarships, prizes and awards, honorarium payments, and reimbursement of expenses.

#2 – What do I have to do?

All international students MUST file either Form 1040NR or Form 8843. An international student is required to file Form 8843 if you meet all of the following conditions:

  1.  You do not have any income subject to tax (or income less than $12,000 for Indian students who are able to claim the standard deduction).
  2. Your scholarships do not exceed the tuition and books expense; AND
  3. You do not have any tax withholdings

#3 – Can I use free online software? 

Free online software (ex. Turbo Tax) is NOT designed to handle the special rules for international students; therefore, using the software will give you the wrong tax liability, which could result in PENALTIES! Moreover, free online software offers free federal tax return but requires additional fees to file a state tax return. DO NOT USE THEM!

#4 – Where can I go for help? Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).

Every spring semester, Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) (an on-campus association of accounting students) offers FREE income tax preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This is the single best resource international students have to fulfill the annual tax filing requirements. IRS-certified volunteers will be able to help you file either a federal return 1040NR or Form 8843 and state return MO-1040, claim your salary or scholarship exemptions, and get your FICA taxes back if employers mistakenly withhold them. You are strongly encouraged to utilize this free service every year.

VITA is a free tax service for Truman students, faculty, and the Kirksville community, sponsored by Beta Alpha Psi. IRS-certified volunteers will be able to help you file federal and state tax returns as well as Form 8843. You are strongly encouraged to use this FREE service every year. For more information, visit, call 660-785-6064, or email

Forms for State of Missouri Tax Returns can be found at

Please check the Beta Alpha Psi website ( for information about free income tax preparation.