U.S. Taxes

As an international student in the U.S. you are obligated to file a U.S. federal tax return for each calendar year you spend in the country. Even if you did not work or receive income in the United States you are still legally obliged to file a federal tax return with a Form 8843 with the IRS to declare no earnings.

The deadline for filing your tax return is April 15 each year.

The deadline refers to the date the envelope is postmarked by the post office. If you decide to use Sprintax to do your state taxes as well, it can take a few days to process so plan ahead.

  1. You may get a refund!
  2. It is required by law: failing to file may impact the status of your current visa and make future U.S. visa applications difficult. If you owe taxes and don't file, the IRS can charge penalties, interest and seize U.S. bank assets for repayment. Fines and penalties can often amount to more than the original tax debt. There can also be immigration consequences for failing to file taxes. Applicants for permanent residency or "green cards" are frequently asked to show proof of tax filing for previous years in the U.S.
  3. Avoid penalties: if you miss the April deadline you may face late filing penalties. The earlier you file, the better.

Maybe. You should email hello@sprintax.com to check for sure. International students should access Sprintax to determine their tax filing requirement.

The Office of International Programs has arranged free access to Sprintax Tax Preparation for our F-1 students. Sprintax will guide you through the tax preparation process, arrange the necessary documents and check if you’re due a tax refund.

How to Use Sprintax
  1. Collect all of the necessary documents. U.S. Tax documents are issued by the Business Office, Payroll Office, and sometimes your Bank.
  2. Register at https://sprintax.com/minotstateu and follow the simple instructions.
  3. Complete the online questionnaire.
    Note - Under “Academic institution or host sponsor information” enter: Libby Claerbout, Director of MSU International Programs, 500 University Ave West, Minot, ND 58707 (701) 858-3348.
  4. On the "Review Your Order" page, enter the user/discount code, unique to Minot State students: Sp20MSU151F.
  5. Sprintax will prepare your tax return and check if you are due a refund.
  6. Follow the instructions from Sprintax on how to fully complete the process. Some documents might need to be printed and physically sent by postal mail.  
  7. Keep a copy of your tax return for your records.

State Taxes
You may also be required to file a state tax return. Sprintax will inform you if this is necessary and will prepare your state taxes for an additional fee of $25.95 which you must pay personally. Keep in mind that it takes a minimum of 3 days for Sprintax to prepare state tax forms, so do not wait until the last minute.

Informational Webinar
Sprintax will also hold a webinar specifically for Minot State students to assist with the process of filing their taxes.

March 25, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. (central)  » Register Here

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to connect to the webinar.

You only need a U.S. Social Security Number if you have been previously issued one, usually as part of working an on-campus job. If you have previously been assigned a U.S. Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, you must use it to file your U.S. taxes.

You do not need a U.S. Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number if you did not work and only need to submit a Form 8843. 

More information about U.S. Social Security Numbers can be found here.

F-1 students should only use tax filing services that are specifically designed for "non-resident aliens," such as Sprintax.

If you use a tax preparation service that is not intended for international students or scholars, your tax return will be incorrect and the IRS will demand that you pay back the refund along with additional penalty fees. Minot State students who filed with Turbotax or H&R Block in the past, against the advice of the Office of International Programs, have had their refunds audited and revoked. They have had to pay large sums of money back to the U.S. government as a result.

If you filed incorrectly (or forgot to file) in the past, Sprintax can help you submit the proper documentation to the IRS to amend your tax status. 

***COVID Stimulus checks: Filing taxes incorrectly in past years may have resulted in you incorrectly getting a stimulus check from the U.S. government. To find out more information about whether you are entitled to keep a stimulus check or if you must return it, read this Sprintax information. Any questions about stimulus checks need to be sent directly to Sprintax at hello@sprintax.com.

For 24 hour assistance, email hello@sprintax.com or use their chat feature while logged in.

Sprintax Tax Videos
You also have access to the Sprintax YouTube account where there are a number of educational videos on non resident taxes.

The Office of International Programs staff are not tax experts and cannot provide tax advice. We have purchased Sprintax to help you file your own taxes. Sprintax will help you navigate U.S. federal tax forms, residency status, tax treaties, exemptions, and deductions.

Click here if you are looking for a TL11A for your Canadian taxes. Remember that Canadian taxes are a totally separate process from U.S. taxes.



Please note that staff members at the Office of International Programs are not trained in taxes and are not able to answer tax questions. Any MSU employee or another student’s advice cannot be relied upon since they are not acting as a tax prepare. Filing income tax forms is your personal responsibility and you are ultimately responsible for their accuracy.

Page last updated January 28, 2021