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Tax Terms

Federal Income Tax Brochure published by NAFSA: Association of Internaitonal Educators

Nonresident Alien – If you are not a U.S. Citizen, you are considered a nonresident alien unless you meet the Green Card Test or Substantial Presence Test. IF you meet one of these two tests, you may be considered a resident alien for tax purposes only. For more information on these tests please see the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, IRS Publication 519. For more information see the VU Human Resources International Tax Information Sheet.

Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, is used  to report wages paid to employees and the taxes withheld from them. The form is also used to report FICA taxes to the Social Security Administration. Relevant amounts on Form W-2 are reported by the Social Security Administration to the Internal Revenue Service.

Employers must complete a Form W-2 for each employee to whom they pay a salary, wage, or other compensation. The Form W-2 reports income on a calendar year (January 1 through December 31) basis, regardless of the fiscal year used by Vanderbilt for other Federal tax purposes. However, this refers to the time period in which an employee has been compensated, not necessarily the actual dates of employment. After the final payroll in December, employment is normally compensated and subject to tax in the following year.

You should receive your W-2 form from Vanderbilt in the mail by the end of January.

W-7 – Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). For use by individuals who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

ITINIRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is for federal tax purposes only. IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

1042-S – Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income

1040NR – The forms 1040NR and its “easy” version 1040NR-EZ are to be used by nonresident aliens filing a tax return. Nonresident aliens (eg F-1, J-1, etc. holders) who have been in the US for less than 5 years should use the 1040NR form.

1098-T – Form 1098T is a form used to report certain tuition payments to the individual and the IRS. It can be used by U.S. tax residents (citizens, permanent residents, and residents under the substantial presence test) to claim certain tax credits.  Persons who are ‘nonresident aliens’ are not issued the form as you can not take any of those credits.

1099-INT – 1099 forms report various types of income other than wages, salaries, and tips. The 1099-INT form is used to report Interest Income from a Savings or Money Market bank account. You will receive this form by mail from your bank by February.

Form 8843: Special Filing for F-1, F-2, J-1 and J-2 Persons:
Persons in F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status must file Form 8843 even if they received NO income in 2011. If you are required to file an income tax return, you should also include Form 8843 with your income tax filing. Form 8843 is not an income tax return; it is merely an informational statement required by the US government and sent to the IRS.

Form 8843 must be filed if an individual is:

  • present in the U.S. during 2011
  • a nonresident alien
  • present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status

If an individual meets all three qualifications above, the individual must file Form 8843, regardless of the individual’s age and even if the individual is not required to file a U.S. income tax return as a non-resident alien for tax purposes (i.e. Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ).

In general, you do not need to have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taypayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to file Form 8843. However, if you have an ITIN or SSN you should put that number on the 8843.

An exception to this rule is for individuals who are eligible to be claimed as dependents on a U.S. income tax return. Such individuals must have an SSN/ITIN. Only nonresident aliens from a very limited number of countries may claim an exemption for their dependents on their U.S. income tax return (Form 1040NR). In such a case, any dependent who is claimed must have a SSN/ITIN. An exemption for spouse and/or dependents is only applicable if the country of tax residence is:

  • American Samoa
  • Canada
  • Korea
  • Mexico
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • India (applicable only to F-1 and J-1 students)

You can request an ITIN along with your tax filing for you dependents who can be claimed on your US tax return. Just include a completed W-7 with the 1040-NR or 1040NR-EZ.