Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Global Education: Tax Information

2021 Tax Information

2021 Tax Instructions

International students must prepare and file tax statements or a “tax return” for the 2021 year. Taxes are due April 15, 2022 and are taken very seriously in the US. Please read this guide very closely to make sure you comply with tax requirements.

Taxable Income

Employers withhold taxes from your paycheck and send it to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It may not equal the exact amount due at the end of the year. If your employer pays too much, you are eligible for a refund. Please note that there is no longer a minimum earned income threshold for federal taxes.

This guide is intended to help you understand your tax obligation and what you need to submit. It is not legal advice and Global Education cannot give specific tax advice. If you have questions, please contact a tax professional.

Determine your residency status 

  1. If you arrived after December 31, 2016, you are a non-resident for tax purposes. Please continue reading below for directions if you had income or not.
  2. If you arrived before December 31, 2016, you are a resident for tax purposes and may file a 1040 or 1040EZ if you had income in 2021. You may file your taxes through TurboTax, H&R Block, or other tax software or consult a tax accountant. If you are a resident for tax purposes, you do not need to follow further instructions on this document.

Please review the flow chart on the bottom right of this page for assistance on determining what to file.

I am a non-resident but I did not work in 2021:

You must file Form 8843. See "Tax Forms" section on this page for instructions.

  1. This form must be mailed. Do not bring to GEC.
  2. Missed this form in previous years? Google 8843 and the year to download missing forms.
  3. Use this Tax Form Wizard to fill out the Form 8843: https://www.internationalstudent.com/tax/form/

I am a non-resident and I did work in 2021:

You must file a 1040NR if you had any income in 2021. Do not use TurboTax, H&R Block or other widely advertised tax software. These programs are intended for residents only and do not support the NR form. If you are non-resident for tax purposes,

  1. Collect the required documents:
    • Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement: W-2 forms are sent to you by your employer(s) in January. This form shows how much you earned last year and how much was deducted for taxes.
    • Immigration Documents: passport, I-20, I-94
    • Social Security Number or ITIN
    • Current US Address and Foreign Address
    • WCTC Address and phone number
    • Copy of last year’s tax return, if you filed
    • 1042-S: If you received a scholarship or fellowship money that exceeds tuition and fee-related charges, you will get a form indicating this taxable income. (uncommon)
      1. Scholarship/fellowship grant letter

  1. Determine how you will file:
    • Self-File
      1. The IRS allows you to file your documents online
    • File by Mail
      1. Collect all the required forms and mail to the IRS (not recommended)
    • International Student Tax Preparation Service (recommended)
      1. Sprintax: Sprintax will talk you through creating your Federal and State returns. There is a fee associated with this service. Please email me if you choose to use this product and I will send you a $5 coupon code.
      2. Glacier: Glacier Tax Prep will help you file your Federal Return only. You will still need to paper file your state taxes.
  2. Complete the following forms:

    • WI State Taxes: Form 1NPR
      1. Form 1NPR Instructions
      2. Note: If you did not earn more than $2,000 in 2021, you do not need to file WI state taxes but will then be ineligible for a refund of any paid tax.
    • If you earned income in any other state in 2021, you are responsible to pay state taxes in any addition state.

Tax Services for International Students

Stimulus Check Information

Protecting yourself from Scams

Sprintax Webinars

Sprintax is offering a number of free webinars.  [New for 2021 tax filings!]

These informational webinars will cover topics including:

  • An overview of tax for nonresident students and scholars
  • Who must file a 2021 US tax return
  • What income forms students/scholars may receive
  • Forms that need to be completed and sent to the IRS
  • We cover terms like FICA, ITIN and Form 1098-T
  • What happens if students don’t file, or misfile
  • State tax returns
  • IRS stimulus payments
  • Sprintax overview

Wednesday, February 2nd @ 1pm EST – Register here

Thursday, February 10th @ 12pm EST – Register here

Wednesday, February 23rd @ 12pm EST – Register here

Wednesday, March 2nd @ 3pm EST – Register here

Tuesday, March 15th @ 1pm EST – Register here

Thursday, March 24th @ 3pm EST – Register here

Wednesday, March 30th @ 12pm EST – Register here

Wednesday, April 6th @ 1pm EST – Register here

Tuesday, April 12th @ 1pm EST – Register here

Thursday, April 14th @ 12pm EST – Register here