UPDATE, March 31, 2017: Cranwell International Center no longer has access codes available for the Windstar Tax Software. Windstar is not accessible without a code, so you will need to purchase tax software on your own, should you choose to use any. Please be sure to choose a software specifically for Non-Resident Tax Preparation. A few examples of available software include:
You are still able to file your taxes without any software by downloading the necessary forms and instructions.
For the current U.S. tax filing season (2016 tax year), Cranwell International Center, in coordination with International Graduate Student Services, International Support Services, and the Controller’s Office, is pleased to provide international students and scholars at Virginia Tech with access to the online Windstar Tax Software to assist you with your tax filing obligations.
In order to receive an access code to use the Windstar Tax Software, you must first complete the Request for International Tax Software Access Form - please note that codes will only be sent out once a week. If you do not recieve yours, please email us rather than filling out the form again.
In addition, please be sure to review the detailed information on this webpage to help you better understand your tax obligation and how to submit the required tax forms.
There will be an International Tax Workshop on Wednesday, February 22, 5:00-8:00pm in Whittmore Hall, Room 300. Please plan to attend if you have any questions about your tax status and your filing obligations. This is your opportunity to learn from an expert from the Controller’s Office who will be able to answer your questions. Otherwise, keep in mind that faculty and staff in Cranwell International Center, International Graduate Student Services, and International Support Services are not tax experts and are not able to give tax advice. The workshop will be available via video after the live session, but access to one-on-one meetings will be limited after this date.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this page is intended as general information and should not be considered legal tax advice. Individuals should consider consulting a professional tax advisor of their choosing for an assessment of their individual situation.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government agency that collects taxes. As a nonresident F-1 or J-1 student, you may need to file forms each year with the IRS, even if you earned no income. It is your individual responsibility to understand and meet your tax obligations. This year's deadline is April 18th, 2017.
U.S. tax laws can be complex and confusing and the laws that apply to internationals are not the same as those that apply to U.S. citizens.
In legal terms, noncitizens of the U.S. are called "aliens." There are three types of aliens for tax purposes: (1) nonresident; (2) dual-status; and (3) resident. These categories are for tax purposes only and are not related to your immigration status. You may be in F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status and considered a resident for tax purposes.
Nonresident aliens generally meet the Substantial Presence Test (days of presence in the U.S.) if they have spent more than 183 days in the U.S. within the last three years and are NOT an exempt individual.. Having substantial presence in the U.S. generally means you will be considered a resident alien for tax purposes.
Any person who is temporarily exempt from the substantial presence test. Time spent in this category does not count toward the 183 days in the U.S. that normally will convert a nonresident alien into resident alien for tax purposes. F-1 and J-1 students maintaining status are exempt from the substantial presence test for 5 years. J-1 scholars are exempt from the substantial presence test only if they have been in the U.S. no more than 2 out of the last 6 years.
Even if you pass the substantial presence test, you might still be considered a nonresident for tax purposes if you qualify for The Closer Connection Exception to the Substantial Presence Test for Foreign Students. Form 8843 will need to be submitted to the IRS with your federal tax return if you are in a U.S. residence tax status under the Substantial Presence Test.
- Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement: W-2 forms are mailed to current and former employees. This form shows how much you earned last year and how much was taken out for taxes. You will only receive this form if you have been employed. This can also be accessed through HokieSpa.
- I-20 (F-1 status) or DS-2019 (J-1 status)
- Social Security number OR Individual Tax Identification number (generally not required if you will file only Form 8843)
- Address information (current U.S. address and foreign address)
- U.S. entry and exit dates for current and past visits to U.S.
- Academic institution or host sponsor information (name, address, phone)
- Scholarship/fellowship grant letter (if any)
- A copy of last year's federal income tax return, if filed
- 1042-S (if applicable): The 1042-S form will only be given to nonresident alien students who have received scholarship or fellowship money that exceeds tuition and related fee charges. You will not receive a copy of the 1042-S form if you only have a tuition waiver on your account and do not receive any checks. If you expect to receive a 1042-S form, wait until it is issued before filing your tax return.
- Form 1099 (if applicable): The 1099 form documents miscellaneous income. For example, if you had CPT authorization to work as an independent contractor, rather than as an employee of an organization, you might receive Form 1099 instead of Form W-2 to document your earnings.
If you did not receive an income from a U.S. source in 2016 and you are a nonresident alien, you must file Form 8843 (Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition) by June 15th, 2017.
Form 8843 MUST be mailed to the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Center, Austin, TX 73301-0215 - filing online is not an option.
If you did receive wages or taxable scholarships from a U.S. source in 2016 and you are a nonresident alien, you must file the following forms:
Form 8843 (Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition) by June 15th, 2017.
- Form 8843 MUST be mailed to the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Center, Austin, TX 73301-0215 - filing online is not an option.
Form 760 (Virginia Resident Individual Income Tax Return) by May 1st, 2017.
- Form 760 must be mailed to one of the following addresses:
- If you are not enclosing a payment, mail Form 760 to the Virginia Department of Taxation, P.O. Box 1498, Richmond, VA 23218-1498.
- If you are enclosing a payment, mail Form 760 to the Virginia Department of Taxation, P.O. Box 760, Richmond, VA 23218-0760.
Form 1040NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return) by April 18th, 2017.
- Form 1040NR can be processed through the Windstar Tax Software and sent by mail to one of the following addresses:
- If you are not enclosing a payment, mail Form 1040NR to the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Austin, TX 73301-0215.
- If enclosing a payment, mail Form 1040NR to the Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 1303, Charlotte, NC 28201-1303.
Since the WIndstar Tax Software provided does not assist in filing your Virginia State Taxes, please note that you can reach out the the Commissioner of Revenue office in Christiansburg, VA.
For complex questions and returns, you will need to set an appointment or the office will not be able to assist you due to limited staff availability during the high demand tax season. Simple questions and returns can visit the office between the hours of 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-3:00pm.
Commissioner of Revenue
755 Roanoke Street, Suite 1A
Christiansburg, VA 24073
If you do not have a car or ride, you can take the Blacksburg Transit - take the Two Town Trolley route from Squires Student Center (Stop #1110), followed by the Explorer route from the New River Valley Mall (Stop #1800). The Commissioner of Revenue is located at the Montgomery County Government Center (Stop #2100) in Suite 1A.
You can download the slideshow presented at the International Tax Workshop below:
Federal Taxes due Tuesday, April 18th
VA State Taxes due Monday, May 1st
Form 8843 due Thursday, June 15th