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.
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.
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:
- How to file your federal and state taxes using free Sprintax tax preparation software.
- Forms you'll use, such as Form 1040NR and Form 8843.
- Tuesday, March 15, 1 p.m. EST – Register here
- Thursday, March 24, 3 p.m. EST – Register here
- Wednesday, March 30, noon, EST – Register here
- Wednesday, April 6, 1 p.m. EST – Register here
- Tuesday, April 12, 1 p.m. EST – Register here
- Thursday, April 14, noon EST – Register here
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).
2021 Sprintax Access Codes
- 2021 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.
You can learn more on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website:
- IRS Foreign Students and Scholars webpage.
- Social Security/Medicare and Self-Employment Tax Liability of Foreign Students, Scholars, Teachers, Researchers and Trainees.
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!
When are taxes due?
Income taxes must be paid by April 15 each year.
I earned very little income. Do I still have to file taxes?
Yes, you have to file taxes if you earned any income.
I didn't earn any income last year. Do I have to file taxes?
Yes. If you didn't earn any income in the U.S. during the previous year, you and your F-2/J-2 dependents must still file federal Form 8843 by June 15 of each year.
What if I don't file my tax return?
If you owe taxes and don't file, you can be penalized by the IRS and assessed interest on what you owe. The IRS can even seize your U.S. bank assets for repayment. There can also be immigration consequences if you don't file your taxes. For instance, applicants for permanent residency ("green cards") are asked to show proof of tax filing for previous years in the U.S. You should always pay your taxes on time.
Should I keep copies of my tax return(s)?
Yes. Make copies of all forms and send the originals to the IRS.
- Where can I get tax forms?