Foreign Student Tax Filing Rules: Better, But an Urban Myth Persists

5 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2008 Last revised: 19 Sep 2014

John A. Bogdanski

Lewis & Clark Law School

Abstract

In recent years, the tax filing burdens on international guests at U.S. institutions of higher learning have lessened, at least somewhat. Students and scholars whose only U.S.-source income is a small amount of wages (and interest on a U.S. bank account, if they have one) need not file an income tax return. However, there is some confusion about how much of a tax filing burden remains. One relatively obscure IRS publication asserts - and many schools' international student advisors repeat, on the internet and otherwise - that every nonresident student and scholar in the country must file a residency statement with the IRS each year, regardless of whether he or she has any income. The soundness of this assertion is open to serious question. Thus, a significant portion of the tax filing that is being churned out by international students and their host institutions across the country each year may not be legally required.

Keywords: income tax, international student, foreign student, tax return, tax form

JEL Classification: K34, H24, I28

Suggested Citation

Bogdanski, John A., Foreign Student Tax Filing Rules: Better, But an Urban Myth Persists. Tax Notes, Vol. 117, p. 1236, December 24, 2007; Lewis & Clark Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1087502

John A. Bogdanski (Contact Author)

Lewis & Clark Law School ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States
(503) 768-6653 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lclark.edu/~bojack

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