Getting Ready to File Your 2018 Federal Tax Return

February 7, 2019

International students and scholars in the U.S. have certain U.S. tax obligations, including filing an annual federal tax return. If you had no U.S. source income in 2018, you must complete and submit the IRS Form 8843.

If you have had U.S. source income, there are a few things you can do now in preparation for filing your 2018 federal tax return (generally due on April 15, 2019).

  1. International students and scholars with U.S. source income must have either a U.S. social security number (SSN) or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). If you had taxable income in 2018 (wages and/or taxable scholarship) and don't have either an SSN or ITIN, you should submit your application now.
  2. To be eligible for an SSN, you must be working on campus and/or be a PhD student. For information about the SSN and ITIN, click here. If you are not eligible for an SSN because you are not working on campus, make an appointment with Ozan Say to apply for an ITIN. As soon as you receive either of these numbers, please update your student record with your school's registrar or if you are not a student with the Employee Services.
  3. Collect your income statements usually the form W-2 (which are now available from Yale payroll - check your email) and/or form 1042-S which is released in mid-March.
  4. In late February 2019, OISS will email you the access codes to the FNTR software (a federal tax form preparation software for non-residents tax filers).
  5. For more information about your U.S. tax obligations click here.