We are all subject to taxation in the U.S.  Even as an international student and scholar in the U.S., you are subject to taxes.  In some cases your tax obligation matches that of everyone in the U.S., and in some cases, you will have different rules. 

F-1 students and J-1 students and scholars will receive email instructions on calculating residency and other details as soon as information is available.  You may find the information below as a starting point while you wait.

Taxes for International Students

Tax Residency

If you are an international student in F-1 or J-1 status, you must first determine if you are a resident or non-resident for federal tax purposes.  F-1 and J-1 students are exempt from counting days of presence for the Substantial Presence Test (SPT) if in the U.S. for any part of 5 calendar years.   

J-1 scholars and trainees are exempt from counting days of presence for the SPT if in the U.S. for any part of 2 of the preceding 6 years (you must include any time spent in exempt status as a student).

IRS Electronic Toolkit for Non-resident Alien VITA/ICE Site

IRS U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens

Are you an Exempt Individual?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has information on the IRS website to help you determine if you are exempt. The IRS also provides a Decision Tree to help you determine if you are exempt. Another version of this Decision Tree can be found by clicking here.

Tax Software

Non-Residents for Tax Purposes: Each year, DISSA purchases tax software for those who are classified as “non-resident for tax purposes” and will send you an email when we are ready to distribute the passwords to use the software.

Residents for Tax Purposes: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has many options for free file tax software.

Volunteer Assistant Programs at University Park campus

Residents for Tax Purposes: The Volunteer Income Tax Assistant Program (VITA, an IRS-sponsored volunteer program) and managed at University Park through Penn State Cooperative Extension (College of Agricultural Sciences), Penn State Law, and Smeal College of Business.