Form 8843 is not a U.S. income tax return. It is an informational statement required by the IRS for nonresidents for tax purposes. It should be filled out for every nonresident present in the U.S. for the previous year, including spouses, partners, and children.
Who Should Complete ONLY Form 8843?
If you are a nonresident tax filer, and have NO U.S. source income in 2023 you only need complete the IRS Form 8843 to fulfill your federal tax filing obligation. Continue reading to find out how you can file this form.
What Does it Mean to Have No U.S. Source Income?
It means you did not receive wages, salary, awards, prizes, or taxable scholarship or fellowship (i.e. the amount of scholarship or fellowship that exceeds the amount of your tuition [consider only your tuition; do not include any other expenses such as books, or room and board) from a U.S. institution, organization, or company. Financial support, such as sabbatical salary or a scholarship, from your home country or an organization outside the U.S. is not considered U.S. source income.
If you are a nonresident tax filer with U.S. source income and are using Sprintax to file your tax return, your Form 8843 will be included in the forms that Sprintax generates for filing.
Form 1040-NR is the U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return Form
You must file Form 1040-NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, only if you have income that is subject to tax, such as wages, tips, scholarship and fellowship grants, dividends, etc.
If you did not have any income, you must still file the Form 8843 (see above)
If you are considered a resident tax filer, you will use the Form 1040 when filing your federal tax return for the previous year.
Forms that you may receive reporting income
Tax forms that have been mailed to you or that you have accessed from the University (including, but not limited to W-2, 1042-S, and 1099) will be needed to file your taxes. Be aware that you may not have any of these, or you may have more than one. For example, the W-2 is used by an employer to report how much salary they paid to an employee during a year, and what taxes were withheld, and a copy of the W-2 is sent to the employee. If you did not work as an employee, you will not receive a W-2. If you worked for 3 different employers in the same tax year, you should receive a W-2 from each of them. See chart to below to understand various tax forms:
Forms from Northwestern University
This form is used to report:
If you received this type of income, the 1042-S will be mailed to you by 15 March by the payer.Note: Only Nonresident Aliens receive this form. If your tax status changes to a Resident Alien, you will not get a 1042-S.
|This form reports miscellaneous income. This can be interest on bank accounts, stocks, bonds, dividends, earning through freelance employment, etc.
|This form is NOT needed and can NOT be used for a nonresident tax return because non-resident aliens are not eligible to claim education expense tax credits. If you think you MIGHT eligible (qualify as a resident for tax filing purposes), see more info on our webpage about the 1098-T.
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Northwestern's Foreign National Tax Team (within the Office of Human Resources)