International Students and Scholars U.S. Tax Reporting Obligations
All F and J status holders studying or doing research in Georgia have an obligation to file an annual tax report or return with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and possibly with the Georgia Department of Revenue. All F and J status students are required to file an IRS Form 8843 for each of their first five calendar years in the U.S. — even if they have no income. If income is earned, either through wages or scholarships which exceed tuition, then a tax return is also required to be filed each year by 15 April.
Complying with the U.S. tax requirements can be very complex and time consuming with limited resources for international students and scholars. Therefore, colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia (USG) make available to our international students and scholars tax compliance software called Sprintax. Sprintax is a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) software package that will prepare your U.S. tax return—at no cost to you. Using the software is a very simple, step-by-step process with built in FAQs and a “Live Help” feature. If you must also file a Georgia tax return, Sprintax will prepare that as well for a cost of $25.95. If you transferred to Georgia and/or did an internship in another U.S. state, Sprintax can prepare any other state’s income tax report for the same price of $25.95.
Please do not use the software intended for U.S. citizens unless Sprintax refers you to that software. You are not complying with U.S. regulations if you use the wrong software.
You will receive a special link to Sprintax from your international student office or through your campus portal. If you are not sure where to get the link, check with your home campus international office. Each student may use the link once. The following FAQ is provided to answer many of your questions about U.S. taxes.