Income Tax Information for International Students and Scholars at Florida Tech
Disclaimer: the following information does not constitute legal advice nor should it be considered a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) or a qualified tax professional. The staff of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) are neither licensed nor qualified to provide personalized tax advice.
Understanding your U.S. Tax Obligations
International students and scholars in the U.S. have certain U.S. tax obligations. All international students, scholars, and dependents are required to file a U.S. (federal) tax return even if you do not have U.S. source income. Below are a few things you need to know:
- If you receive U.S. source income, including wages, stipend, or scholarship funds, you will likely have federal and state tax withheld from your checks (unless you benefit from a tax treaty.)
- The U.S. tax system is a pay-as-you go system in that there may be automatic tax withholdings from your paycheck, stipend or financial aid. These means that in some instances your available income will be reduced by the tax withholdings. When you file your annual tax report in April of each year, you will calculate the exact amount of tax due. Some years you may get a refund and in others you may owe additional taxes.
- The Controller's Office provides more specific tax filing information in the spring of each year.
- In addition to filing a federal return, if you worked in another state on CPT, OPT, OPT STEM, you may be required to also file a state tax return for that particular state; information about filing state returns should be addressed to a professional tax preparer.
Tax Filing Season:
The tax year is from January 1 to December 31 of any given year. You file your tax return in the spring of the following year with a filing deadline of mid-April. It is extremely important that you pay attention to deadlines.
Foreign National Information Request
If you are considered a Nonresident Alien (NRA) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and become employed by Florida Institute of Technology OR are a student with taxable scholarships, you will be subject to entering personal information into a software provided by the university called Foreign National Information System (FNIS).
The Controller's Office will enter information into FNIS which will generate an email to you with a link to the system and your user ID and password. The email will be sent to your @my.fit.edu email. Please check your @my.fit.edu email account for this email. After you have completed the information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating that you have completed this process.
Click FNIS Request for detailed instructions on how to complete the FNIS Request.
Resident Alien Tax Filing
If you are a “resident alien for tax purposes,” the ISSS Office suggests that you seek professional tax assistance from a reputable tax preparer (ex: H & R Block, Liberty, Hewitt-Jackson, to name a few).