Payroll Services IRS Announcement 4/6/04

Foreign Students/Scholars Filing Requirements

In general, nonresident aliens in the U.S. must file tax returns if they engage in any trade or business in the U.S. The earning of personal service income (wages or nonemployee compensation) in the United States is included within the definition of being engaged in a U.S. trade or business. In addition, the receipt of scholarship or fellowship income by a nonresident alien in F, J, M, or Q nonimmigrant status is considered to be income connected with a U.S. trade or business. The tax form used by all nonresident aliens in filing on U.S. income is either the 1040NR or the 1040NR-EZ. The Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ cannot be filed by nonresident aliens.

As a general rule, nonresident alien students and scholars studying, researching or teaching in the U.S. must file a Form 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition each year if they are present in the United States in F, J, M, or Q nonimmigrant status. The Form 8843 must be filed even if the student or scholar has zero income to report. Nonresident alien students and scholars are required to file a tax return if they have any amount of U.S. income that is subject to taxation, even if no tax was withheld.

Nonresident Aliens with a filing requirement must complete and mail a paper Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ.


Already Filed Incorrectly?

If you have already filed a Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ using any electronic method, software or service, you will need to correct your filing by completing a Form 1040X, (Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) AND attaching the correct form-a Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ-to the Form 1040X.

In order to complete the Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, you will need a copy of the return that you filed electronically. It contains information you must write on your amended Form 1040-X. If you do not have a printed copy of that return, you can request a transcript by calling 1-800-829-1040, or order by mail using Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Form). Specify the type of transcript you are requesting. The IRS does not charge a fee for transcripts, which are available for the current and three prior calendar years. You should allow two weeks for delivery.

Forms 4506-T can be found under “Forms and Publications” or can be ordered by calling the toll-free forms and publications order line at 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

For assistance with this issue, call 1-800-829-1040 or non toll-free, call 1-215-516-2000 or review Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

Amended returns for nonresident aliens are submitted to the Internal Revenue Service Center, Philadelphia, PA 19255.

FROM: Lowell G. Hancock, Internal Revenue Service 4/6/04 via email