As an international student in the United States, you, like American students, must know and meet your obligations under all applicable U.S., New York State and local tax laws. These laws and regulations are quite complex and can be confusing for international students. If you do not meet all necessary obligations, you could be subject to substantial monetary fines, or even, in extreme cases involving fraud, loss of your immigration status in the United States.
In the United States, taxes are usually taken out of a person’s salary and include U.S. federal income tax, Social Security tax (FICA), and New York State income tax. Each year, residents are required to file an income tax return showing any U.S.-based income received throughout the year. Even if you are not earning any income, you will still be required to file a form with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Because income tax regulations can be so confusing to international students, the Office of International Student Services regularly facilitates workshops with tax professionals who will answer any of your questions. The office also hosts an Income Tax Preparation workshop during the Spring semester.
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a nine-digit tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). ITINs are issued to individuals who do not have, and are not eligible to have, a Social Security Number. If you do not have a Social Security Number but are required to file an federal income tax return, you will need to apply for an ITIN.