Office of International Programs


Do I need to file a tax return?

All international students and scholars on F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 visas who were in the U.S. during 2021 must file an annual federal tax return, even if you did not earn any income. 

Which forms do I use?

  • If you received no U.S. income in 2021 and you are a non-resident for tax purposes you must file Form 8843 
  • If you received wages or a taxable scholarship and you are a non-resident you must file Form 8843 AND Form 1040NR by April 15, 2022.  (Most students will be able to use the EZ form. Sprintax will help you figure this out or you should check with the IRS or your tax preparer.) 

Where Can I Get HELP With Filing My Taxes? 


 If you need help filing your taxes (our office cannot offer tax assistance) we recommend that you use Sprintax Tax (a tax software program) which is tax preparation software designed for international students (similar to Turbo Tax or H&R Block).  There is a charge to use their service, but they are the experts in nonresident tax returns so we highly recommend them especially if you are completing form 1040NR.    

 How do you use it?   Watch a short video!

1. Register if you are a new user or Login to Sprintax if you used it last year. 

2. You MUST PRINT out your tax return and mail it. You cannot submit it electronically (be sure to save a copy for your records.) Sprintax will provide detailed instructions on how to file your tax form. 

If you are ONLY filing form 8843 - because you earned no income - we recommend you file the paper version. No SSN or taxpayer ID needed. Find form 8843 here.  


Additional Tax Help for 2021:

Internal Revenue Service Location  
440 Western Ave, South Portland, ME 04106
(844) 545-5640
Hours of Operation: Monday- Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

H&R Block
252 St. John Street, Portland, ME 04102  207-773-0221
Staff members specializing in non-resident tax returns are available.
Hours vary. Please call prior to visiting to make an appointment. 

 What documents do I need to file my taxes?

  • Your Passport
  • Form I-20 (F-1) or Form DS2019 (J-1)
  • Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number (if you have been assigned one)
  • US entry & exit dates for current and all past visits- you may be able to get travel history from Customs & Border Protection website but keep in mind it is not always accurate.
  • W-2–  Employers are required to withhold a portion of each employee’s salary and pay an estimated tax to the U.S. government.  At the end of each year, all employers report to the IRS and to the employee the actual wages earned and the federal tax payments that have been paid.  The employer’s report to employees is called the W-2.  The University of Maine Payroll Office will send W-2s to all those who have earned wages from the University by the end of January for the previous year.  If you earned money from an off-campus company during an authorized internship or training program you should also receive a W-2 form this employer.
  • 1042-S-  This form- will be sent by mid-March to recipients of taxable scholarships and to individuals who qualify for exemptions under a tax treaty.

What do you NOT need?

  • You may receive a 1098-T or notification that this form is ready for you in Maine Street. This form is used to claim a tax credit which is NOT available to international students on F or J visas.