Tax filing information 2020

All international students and scholars are required to file a return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year they are in the U.S. If you were in the U.S. in 2020 in F or J status you MUST file a tax return.

Tax filing deadline:

The deadline to file 2020 tax returns is Thursday, 15 April 2021.

Tax workshop:

If you have any questions or concerns about filing your 2020 tax returns please attend our Tax Workshop on Tuesday, 16 March at 1-3 p.m. This workshop is organized via Zoom. Please email UAF International Programs & Initiatives  letting us know you want to attend and we will send you a Zoom link.

Tax forms to be completed:

Form 1040-NR: ALL individuals in F- or J-status who had U.S. source income (pay from the university, tuition awards and/or other scholarships). See instructions for the Form 1040-NR.

Form 8843: ALL individuals in F- or J-status who are non-residents for U.S. tax purposes MUST COMPLETE and submit this form even if you did not have any U.S. source income (pay from the university, tuition awards and/or other scholarships). Forms MUST also be submitted for dependents in F-2 or J-2 status.

How to complete the above-mentioned forms:

You can complete the forms online, print them out, sign them, and mail to the IRS with required documentation.

You may be able to e-file your tax return (see the IRS website for more information).

If you want to use tax software:

  • Non-residents for tax purposes should use Sprintax software to prepare their taxes.

  • Residents for tax purposes should NOT use Sprintax. Residents for tax purposes may file income tax returns electronically using commercially purchased tax software like TurboTax or H&R Block.

If you have any questions about tax status (resident or non-resident) please contact our office or check your Glacier account.

Documents needed:

It is extremely important that you have all required documents and tax forms needed before you prepare and file your 2020 tax return.

Following is a brief description of the tax forms you may have received:

  • Form W-2: shows the amount paid by the university during 2020, through payroll. You will get a W-2 if you were employed in any UA/UAF job and you did not claim tax treaty benefits. W-2s were mailed by 31 January. If you did not receive your W-2 via mail, you can access it through your UAOnline account.

  • Form 1042-S: will show the amount of money that you received in qualified, U.S. tax reportable scholarships (such as room and board) or tax treaty benefits for either payroll income or reportable scholarships (or both). The university is required to mail Form 1042-S to you NO LATER than 15 March. You may also receive this electronically through your Glacier account in Glacier Online Tax Compliance if you selected that option.  

  • 1095-B or C: documents that you were covered with health insurance meeting the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and are not subject to a tax penalty for not having health insurance. This is only applicable for people who are U.S. residents for tax purposes. If you are a non-resident for tax purposes, disregard the form. However, if you receive the form, you should keep it in your tax documentation file.

  • Form 1098-T: shows the tuition and fees paid during 2020. If you registered for spring 2021 semester before 31 December 2020, you may have 2021 tuition and fees showing on the 1098-T. This has no relevance for international students who are non-residents for U.S. tax purposes. It is referred to as the "useless" form.  However, you should keep it in your tax documentation file.

  • Unusual Income types: Under IRS guidelines capital gains and stock/mutual fund dividends are taxable to the individuals receiving them whether they are U.S. residents for tax purposes or not. This includes stock market and mutual fund transactions as well as virtual currency transactions like bitcoin. Failure to report these transactions appropriately can lead to penalties and interest.

Additionally, the following documents and information are needed to prepare your taxes:

  • Passport
  • F-1/J-1 Visa
  • I-20 (if you are in F-1 status)
  • DS-2019 (if you are in J-1 status)
  • Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number (not required if only Form 8843 filed)
  • U.S./foreign address and phone number information
  • Entry and exit dates for your current and past visits to the U.S. We recommend getting your travel history.
  • Academic institution information and contact person: Reija Shnoro, Student Senior Immigration Advisor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, PO Box 757760, Fairbanks, AK 99775, Tel: 907-474-7583.

Where to file:

Please check the form instructions for the correct mailing address.

~The UAF IPI staff members are not tax professionals. We cannot give tax advice or review tax returns.~