If you are working in the United States, it’s important to know and understand some details of the U.S. tax system such as what taxes you will need to pay as well as which tax forms you will need complete when taxes are due.

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Federal Income Taxes

If you are a nonresident alien for tax purposes, you are subject to taxation of income from U.S. sources.  To learn more about your tax responsibilities, visit the following Internal Revenue Service (IRS) resources:

You may be eligible from exemption from federal income tax withholding based on a tax treaty between the United States and your country of residence. To apply for an exemption, you must submit the IRS Form 8233 to the organization responsible for withholding your federal income taxes.

A helpful resource when filing taxes is the free tax return preparation called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).  VITA programs can be found at

Social Security Taxes

During the first 5 years of study, lawfully employed nonresident F-1 visa holders are not subject to social security withholding or reporting requirements. Therefore, wages received by nonresident F-1 status holders should not have taxes withhold until they become resident aliens for purposes. This generally does not occur until their sixth tax year in the U.S.

If social security tax is withheld in error contact your employer who withheld the tax for assistance. You may not request a refund on your income tax return.

Social Security Number

International students in F-1 status are only eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) if they have secured on-campus employment or been authorized for off-campus employment. To apply for your SSN, you will need to take the following items to the Social Security Administration building located at 200 N. High Street:

  1. Passport
  2. I-94 (white card in passport or printed from or I-797 showing current immigration status
  3. I-20 showing CPT authorization on Page 2 (if applicable)
  4. Employer offer letter
  5. Completed SSN application form (

Once you have received your SSN, please update the University. To do so, please submit a completed W-9S form ( along with a copy of your social security card to   

Individual Tax Identification Number

An Individual Tax Identification Number can be issued to an individual who:

  • does not have a social security number,
  • is not eligible to work in the United States, and
  • needs a tax ID number.

There are two ways that you can apply for an ITIN: you can take required materials to the Internal Revenue Service office at 200 N. High St., or you can apply to an IRS acceptance agent, who will examine the identity documents and then mail the application to the IRS.  The Form W-7 is then processed by the IRS and an ITIN will be issued in about 6 weeks. Be prepared to provide the following documents:

  1. Passport
  2. Visa
  3. I-94 (white card in passport or printed from or I-797 showing current immigration status
  4. I-20
  5. Completed Form W-7

A letter from the IRS should be issued with 6 weeks, assigning your ITIN. Once you have received your ITIN, please update the University.  To do so, please submit a completed W-9S form ( along with a copy of your ITIN to

Common Tax Forms

Form W-2
IRS Form W-2 is issued to anyone who worked and was paid wages by an employer during the previous year, unless all wages paid were exempt under a tax treaty at the time they were paid.

Form 1042-S
IRS Form 1042-S is issued to anyone who received a nonqualified scholarship or any amount, such as a stipend, paid as exempt under a tax treaty

Form 1098-T
IRS Form 1098-T, "Tuition Statement," is provided by Franklin University to taxpayers who pay tuition expenses so that the taxpayers can claim certain credits, if applicable, on their tax reports. Non-Resident Aliens do not need to receive these forms. However, Form 1098-Ts are available to everyone that had tuition expenses of some kind. Even if you are not eligible to permanently stay in the U.S., you may become a resident alien for tax purposes. Form 1098-Ts should only be used by Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes, or U.S. Citizens.