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Where to Get Help | Questions and Answers | All Required Forms
Required Forms: Federal | State | Local | No Earned Income

Filing Your Taxes:  2010 Version (for the 2009 calendar year)

Please note:
The Multicultural and International Center is not able to assist with individual tax questions.  Please read the following information carefully and direct any questions you may have to either the IRS website, the PA Department of Revenue, or the NJ Division of Taxation.

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Questions and Answers

Why do I need to file tax forms? (any of these reasons mandate you filing taxes)
• Because you received income in year 2009
•  Because you owned property in the year 2009
•  Because you lived in the United States at any time during the year 2009

What is considered income?
• On-campus employment
• Scholarships
• Fellowships
• Graduate assistantships
• Paid Optional or Curricular Practical Training (paid internship, practicum, co-op, or full-time position)

What is not considered income?
• Tuition paid
•  University fees paid
• Books purchased
•  Health insurance purchased

How do I know which forms to use?
• You will use different forms depending on how long you have lived in the United States
• The Substantial Presence Test will determine if you are a Nonresident Alien (NRA) or Resident Alien (RA) for tax purposes.  NRA’s use form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ to file federal taxes.  RA’s use form 1040 or 1040-EZ to file federal taxes.
•  Students in the F, J, M, or Q visa status are exempt from counting days of presence for the first 5 calendar years in the U.S.  This is a once in a lifetime exemption from needing to calculate days according to the Substantial Presence Test.  Any previous years in the derivative or nonstudent J or Q status count toward the 5-year exemption from counting days.

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Forms

Paying your income taxes is a very important thing to do as an international student.  Each person earning income or wages must pay Federal, State, and Local taxes each year.  Even if you did not earn income for 2009, you still must file form 8843 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The deadline to file your taxes for the year 2009 is APRIL 15, 2010.  Links to forms you will need are below.

If you DID earn U.S. income during the year 2009:
• You must file Federal IRS FORM 8843
•  If you have determined you are an NRA, you may use FORM 1040NR EZ or FORM 1040 EZ
•  If you have determined you are an RA, you may use FORM 1040 or 1040 EZ o To determine which 1040 form to use, see instructions in previous section
•  You must file FORM PA-40 (for PA residents) or FORM NJ-1040 (for NJ residents)
•  You must file local taxes (depending on where you live, you may automatically already pay these)

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Federal Taxes (Apply Online)

FORM 8843. Required for all (see the above explanation).
• Instructions and Form for FORM 8843
• Example of FORM 8843 from year 2008 - **please note: this is last year’s example!  You will need to use 2009 version**

For U.S. nonresident alien students (NRA) who did earn income during 2009, you must file form 1040NR EZ. 
• Instructions for FORM 1040NR EZ
• Form for FORM 1040NR EZ

For U.S. resident alien students (RA) who did earn income during 2009, you must file form 1040 EZ. 
• Instructions for FORM 1040 EZ
• Form for FORM 1040EZ

You may file your federal taxes online. Get assistance online in finding the appropriate filing source.

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State Taxes
Pennsylvania
For U.S. nonresident students who reside in Pennsylvania and who did earn income during 2009, you must file form PA-40.  File your Pennsylvania state taxes online.

New Jersey
For U.S. nonresident students who reside in New Jersey and who did earn income during 2009, you must file form NJ-1040. File your New Jersey state taxes online.

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Local Taxes
Should you need to file local taxes, you will receive a form from the town in which you live.  This form needs to be filled out and sent in to the tax office with the appropriate payment. 

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If you DID NOT earn income during the year 2009:
• You must file Federal IRS FORM 8843
• It is not necessary to file a state tax return with Pennsylvania or New Jersey. 

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