Everyone living in the U.S. who has earned income is required to pay taxes, even if they are not a citizen. This includes students, scholars and dependents. You must pay both federal and state taxes, and you may be responsible for Detroit city taxes, depending on where you earn your income.

Common Types of Income:

  • Wages for on-campus or off-campus work.
  • Wages for services as an independent contractor.
  • Scholarship income that is used for incidental expenses such as room and board, travel or optional equipment, or money received as payment for teaching, research or other services required.

Tax treaties

If you are a resident (not necessarily a citizen) of a country with which the U.S. has a tax treaty, you may be exempt from paying federal income tax on income earned in the U.S., or entitled to be taxed at a reduced rate. You can find out if your home country has a tax treaty with the U.S. from Publication 901 on the Internal Revenue Service site.

If you work for Wayne State University, qualify for and choose to claim a tax treaty exemption, you must obtain Form 8233 from the Payroll Office. When your period of time or amount of exemption has expired, the Payroll Office will automatically begin to withhold taxes. You must complete a new Form 8233 each January.  

Even if you earn less than the amount exempted by the treaty, you still must file Form 1040NR-EZ or Form 1040NR.

Tax resources

Attend the annual Tax Workshop, which is typically held sometime in February each year. This workshop is the best place to get all of your questions answered, and you will learn: 

Tax workshops

Global Detroit's Tax Workshop for International Students

Friday, March 1st, 2024 @ 12pm EST - TBD

Sprintax Nonresident Tax Webinars

In these tax webinars, international students, scholars and professionals will be run through everything they need to know about nonresident tax for the 2023 tax season. Topics will include who must file, tax residency, FICA, State returns, implications of misfiling as well as how to use Sprintax to prepare a compliant tax return.


Tax software

We have selected Sprintax for tax preparation software.  Federal returns and Form 8843 preperations are free.  If you choose, you can upgrade your account and also file your State Tax return(s).

2023 Sprintax Access Codes 

  • 2023 Tax Year Sprintax Access Codes are now available.  Click here to request your access code.
  • A Sprintax Information/Instruction sheet is available here.

For those students that previously used the GLACIER Tax Prep software you can still login and access your past tax returns.

Additional resources

You can learn more on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website:


Below are some common questions about taxes. Our tax laws are complex, so they do not cover every situation, but there are resources to help you!