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1040NR EZ and 1040NR

NRAs who are temporarily present in the United States on an F, J, M or Q visa are considered by law to be engaged in a trade or business in the United States and must file an income tax return (and 8843) if they have income that is subject to tax such as wages, tips, scholarship/fellowship. prize money, etc. or if they have been granted a tax treaty.

Failure to comply with IRS regulations can produce serious consequences. Even if no taxes are owed, it is required by law to comply with filing procedures. Penalties range from additional costs plus interest for any tax not paid to incarceration if convicted of tax fraud or evasion. One's visa status, and ability to re-enter the United States at a future date, may also be put at risk.  F-1 and J-1 visa holders who apply for a change to H1-B status can be asked by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) to submit copies of previous years' income tax forms as part of their H1-B application.  Applicants for permanent residency (green card) status can be asked to show tax forms filed for previous years.  A person who appears at a U.S. consulate abroad for consular processing of a permanent residency visa application may be asked to produce U.S. income tax forms from their previous years in the United States.

1040NR EZ:

  • Completed by NRAs (non-resident aliens)
  • A two page tax form used for reporting “simple” income – employment wages, taxable scholarship, prizes, taxable reimbursements (such as the Trader Fund). 
  • Specifically, the form is used by:
    • NRAs whose total US income for 2015 was more than $4,000.  This is the personal exemption amount.  Your total US income includes employment income, taxable scholarship, grants, prizes, etc.
    • NRAs who were granted a tax treaty no matter the amount. (If the tax treaty was for less than the personal exemption amount of $4,000, you still need to file a US federal tax return.)
    • NRAs who earned less than $4,000 in 2015 but who wish to get back from the IRS a portion of the taxes that were withheld.  (If you earned less than $4,000, you do not have to file but the IRS keeps the taxes that you paid.)
  • Form may not be used by NRAs who have
    • Must have no passive income (dividends, royalties, etc.)
    • No additional personal exemptions
  • Hints for filing your 1040NR EZ with the IRS:
    • Include your social security number or ITIN number on the form
    • Make a copy of your completed form before mailing it to the IRS
    • Sign and date the form as it is not valid without a signature
    • Staple all attachments to your tax form, including your W-2 and/or 1042-s to ensure that nothing is separated from your tax return
    • The IRS will never contact you by email.  Do not respond to scam emails purporting to be from the IRS.  The IRS will always contact you by mail.
    • If you receive any inquiries from the IRS after filing your tax return, be sure to respond to the IRS by the stated deadline. If you cannot meet the deadline, be sure to send a letter to the IRS stating what is delaying your response. This will prevent extra penalty actions from being taken for not responding at all. 
    • One may contact the IRS with general questions or specific questions related to completing a tax form.
  • Due date for filing the 2015 1040NR EZ -- 18 April 2016 (due to holiday in Washington, DC)

Form 1040NR:

  • Sometimes completed by NRAs. 
  • A five page tax form used for reporting more “complicated” income such as self-employment compensation, investments, as well as the types of income that can be reported on a 1040NR EZ. 
  • Specifically, the form is used by:
    • NRAs who qualify for a tax treaty and wish to claim a tax refund for employment taxes that were withheld before the tax treaty was granted.  (This type of income would be listed on the W-2.)
    • NRAs who earned investment income, sold or bought a house, or had self-employment income (honorarium), or other "complicated" income
  • Hints for filing your 1040NR with the IRS:
    • Include your social security number or ITIN number on the form
    • Make a copy of your completed form before mailing it to the IRS
    • Sign and date the form as it is not valid without a signature
    • Staple all attachments to your tax form, including your W-2 and/or 1042-s to ensure that nothing is separated from your tax return
    • The IRS will never contact you by email.  Do not respond to scam emails purporting to be from the IRS.  The IRS will always contact you by mail.
    • If you receive any inquiries from the IRS after filing your tax return, be sure to respond to the IRS by the stated deadline. If you cannot meet the deadline, be sure to send a letter to the IRS stating what is delaying your response. This will prevent extra penalty actions from being taken for not responding at all. 
    • One may contact the IRS with general questions or specific questions related to completing a tax form.
  • Due date for filing the 2015 1040NR -- 18 April 2016

Contact Us

Devon Slough, International Taxation Officer
(804) 287-6007
Maryland Hall, Room G-15
Monday–Friday, 8:45 a.m.–2:45 p.m.