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Income Tax Overview
This page provides some general information about United States and Wisconsin taxes on income. It also provides information on where to get help with questions you may have about the details of completing your tax forms. Staff members at the Office of International Education (OIE) are not tax specialists and cannot advise international students and scholars regarding taxes.
As a Foreign National student or scholar, you may need to file tax forms each year with the IRS, even if you earned no income. It is your responsibility to understand and meet your tax obligations. The deadline to file taxes is typically April 15 if you were present in the United States in the previous calendar year (before January 1).
IRS tax forms can be printed from the links below. Occasionally, the Milwaukee Public Library offers U.S and Wisconsin tax forms (hard copy) at the library entrance.
In addition to the IRS tax forms, you will need a W-2 form from any employers from the past year in order to file your taxes. Employers must provide the W-2 form to their employees by January 31. Marquette W-2 forms can be printed from the “My Jobs” section of the CheckMarq account. Students who were enrolled at another university during the previous tax year should contact the appropriate office at their former campus. Students who were performing OPT or CPT during the previous tax year should contact the human resources office at their former employer.
U.S. Federal Income Taxes - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
IRS representatives have stated that all international students are required to file federal income tax returns even if they do not owe any tax payments. These forms are available for printing at the IRS website. Of special interest to international students is Publication 519: U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens and Publication 1915: Understanding Your IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The Foreign Students and Scholars page of the IRS website also provides helpful information.
For students who earned U.S.-source income in 2020, including scholarships, those federal forms are probably the 1040NR-EZ and the Form 8843 or the 1040NR and the Form 8843. The deadline for sending completed forms and any payments is usually April 15. (On March 17, 2021 the IRS extended the filing deadline to May 17, 2021.)
Wisconsin State Income Taxes - The Wisconsin Department of Revenue
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue website is a great resource. Most international students/scholars will need to file the individual Form 1NPR. However, you should always read the instructions for any tax form to be sure you are using the correct form. The forms must be sent to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue by April 15. (The WI Department of Revenue has also extended the deadline to May 17, 2021.)
Tax Preparation Assistance and Resources
Glacier Tax Prep: If you were employed at Marquette in 2020, you may be familiar with the Glacier payroll system. This system also provides tax preparation assistance for a moderate fee. The Glacier Tax Prep software will determine if you are a resident or a non-resident for tax purposes and will offer a step-by-step process to complete your federal tax forms. Learn more and purchase an individual access code for Glacier Tax Prep.
Sprintax is another tax preparation software. It is an online system that is especially designed for international students and scholars and will guide you through each part of the federal 1040NR tax return process for a moderate fee. Learn how Sprintax works.
In addition to information session for Marquette students on Wednesday, March 3 at 2 pm CST, Spryntax has provided additional resources for Marquette students, Scholars and Faculty.
The Sprintax team will also be hosting a series of free open tax webinars to provide helpful information around nonresident tax filing obligations. You can find the details and registration links below for the webinars. Each webinar will cover the same topics listed below.
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021 10:00 AM EDT – Register here
- Wednesday, May 5, 2021 1:00 PM EDT – Register here
- Wednesday, May 12, 2021 11:00 AM EDT – Register here
- Friday, May 14, 2021 10:00 AM EDT – Register here
In addition, Spryntax will offer three Nonresident Tax Overview sessions for student who were authorized for/performed OPT/CPT on:
- Sprintax Nonresident Tax Overview for OPT/CPT (E) on Apr 28, 2021 11:30 AM EDT – Register here
- Sprintax Nonresident Tax Overview for OPT/CPT (E) on May 6, 2021 1:00 PM EDT – Register here
- Sprintax Nonresident Tax Overview for OPT/CPT (E) on May 13, 2021 9:00 AM EDT – Register here
All of the informational webinars will cover:
- An overview of tax for nonresident students and scholars
- Who must file a 2020 US tax return
- What income forms students/scholars may receive
- Forms that need to be completed and sent to the IRS
- 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
Internal Revenue Service - The IRS number for toll-free recorded tax information is 1-800-829-1040.
The Milwaukee IRS office is located at 211 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53203. You may receive individual assistance by visiting or calling (414) 231-2100. The office is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Be sure to inform whomever you speak with about your United States legal status (such as F-1 or J-1) so that you may receive information that is accurate for you.
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers on-site assistance with tax questions. You can learn about Milwaukee VITA and get free tax prep help. The closest VITA site to Marquette is at MATC.
Due to COVID-19 these sites and services may be limited.
Other fee-based help for completing your tax forms may be available from websites or tax preparation companies. (OIE cannot recommend or endorse tax preparation sites, organizations or software.)
Other State Forms
If you need tax forms from states other than Wisconsin, you can link to other state websites from the Internal Revenue web site (see information above on IRS). State forms and information materials are available for download and printing.
Remember to keep photocopies of your tax records and filings. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recommends that these documents be retained for seven (7) years.