Office of International Services

Taxes and Nonresidents

If you are in the United States as a visa holder (such as F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, H-1B, H-4, etc.), the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service considers your status to be nonimmigrant.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. government agency responsible for collecting taxes determine your tax status as either nonresident alien or resident alien.  Residency for tax purposes is determined by the visa type you are here on, length of time you have been in the U.S. and your prior visa status.  It is possible to be considered a resident alien for tax purposes even though you have a temporary visa status.  This determination is done by the Substantial Presence Test (http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=96352,00.html).

Nonresident Alien Tax Status

If you are in Nonresident Alien tax status the forms you complete are:

Form 1:

1040NR-EZ (or 1040NR): All students/employees who are in nonresident tax status except those noted in the next paragraph should be able to use the 1040NR-EZ which is a simplified form. Read the first section of the instructions titled, "May I use Form 1040NR-EZ?" to confirm this is the form for you.

Form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040nre.pdf
Instructions: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040nre.pdf

Students/employees from India, Korea, Mexico, and Canada who had income subject to federal and state withholding taxes and have dependents with them should use Form 1040NR.

Form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040nr.pdf
Instructions: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040nr.pdf
Note: Students from India, the form and instructions reference standard deduction.

Graduate students who were part of the Graduate Support Plan will also be receiving a letter from the Graduate School stating how much they received as "qualified scholarship". This income is not taxable but must be reported as scholarship. Report this income on Lines 5 and 8 of the 1040NR-EZ or Lines 12 and 30 of the 1040NR.

Form 2:

Form 8843: All students/employees in nonresident tax status complete the top, Part I, and Part III only of the form and include it with their tax return.

Form includes instructions: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8843.pdf

These two forms are mailed to the Internal Revenue Service Center listed in the instructions of the Form 1040NR (or 1040NR-EZ).

Form 3:

NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNMENT (File 1 form) http://www.dor.state.nc.us/downloads/individual.html

Form D-400 (without TC): If your earnings were more than $5,500 in 2011, you are required to file a state tax form. You will find the form and instructions at the above link. Be sure to note the special format instructions provided before the link opens.

The State uses different definitions for the terms, "nonresident", "part time resident", and "full time resident" than the federal government. Nonresidents as defined by the state form are individuals who live in a state other than North Carolina, but work in North Carolina. Part time residents are defined as individuals who moved into North Carolina from another state within the United States. Transfer students from another state would be considered part time residents. Full time residents are individuals whose entire US income received were received in North Carolina.

Students/employees who worked in a different state in addition to North Carolina in 2011 will file Form D-400 as a part time resident. They will need to check on the filing requirements of the other state. They may need to use Form D-400 with TC if they had dual state taxes deducted on the same income. This state tax return is mailed to one of the two addresses at the end of the form depending on if you owe additional taxes or are receiving a refund.

To assist you with completing this return the non-resident tax specialist has put together a guide. It is not meant to replace the instructions that are provided by the North Carolina Department of Revenue for completing your State tax return. It is meant to supplement those instructions.

Filing your 2011 North Carolina Income Tax Return

Resident Alien Tax Status
If you are a resident for tax purposes, you will need to complete the tax forms for U.S. residents—either the IRS form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.

Online tax programs are also offered free of charge through the IRS website to encourage electronic filing.  You can only use these forms if have passed the substantial presence test and are in Resident Alien Tax Status. Please see:  http://www.irs.gov/efile/index.html

If you need additional help, you can hire a tax preparer or obtain assistance at a local library. Resident tax forms are available from the IRS website http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html or at local libraries and post offices.

While we are not allowed to recommend specific individuals we have heard from other foreign national students or other professionals that the person listed below has been able to assist other students with their tax returns. Please be advised that if you contact a tax preparer, there is a cost for the services they provide and you are still responsible for the accuracy of information provided in your tax return.


Dual Status
H-1Bs, O-1s, and TNs:

  • If you were in the U.S. for the entire year of 2011, you are considered a resident for tax purposes and should complete one of the resident tax forms (1040, 1040A, or 1040-EZ).
  • If you entered the U.S. between January 1, and July 2, 2011, you may be considered a Dual Status resident and may file a resident return and a non-resident return. 
  • If you did enter the U.S. after July 2, 2011 but this was not the first time for you in the U.S. since 2007 (you were in the U.S in either 2008 or 2009), you would be considered a dual resident and would file returns as both a resident and nonresident.   You will need to use paper forms for the non-resident return.


The best source for information about Dual Status residency is from the IRS publication 519 "U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens." http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p519.pdf

Please see chapter 6 starting on page 34. It breaks down the process step by step with illustrations and examples.

Phone Numbers

IRS International Tax Section 215-516-2000

NC Department of Revenue 877-252-4052

Additional Information

According to the Internal Revenue Service you do not need to file form 1040NR if...your wages were less than $3,700 AND you have no other need to file a return to claim a refund of over withheld taxes, to satisfy additional withholding at source or to claim income exempt or partly exempt be treaty...

If you are confused about your tax status or have other issues relating to tax issues please e-mail International Employment and Taxation at foreignnationaltax@ncsu.edu