Federal Tax Forms Commonly Used by International Students (Nonresidents for Tax Purposes)

8843 (Statement for Exempt Individuals) All F and J visa holders, whether employed or not, are required to file this form (parts I and III only). DEADLINE: varies

1040 NR-EZ OR 1040 NR is the correct tax form for anyone who had US income during the past year. The EZ form is for simple situations and students with NO dependents. 1040 NR-EZ Instructions; 1040 NR Instructions. DEADLINE: April 15

Federal Tax Forms Commonly Used by International Students (Residents for Tax Purposes)

If you qualify as a “resident for tax purpose,” you may use form 1040. This does not mean that you qualify for resident status for tuition purposes. 1040 Instructions

To determine if you qualify as resident for tax purpose, please consult the IRS Substantial Presence Test. Be sure also to read carefully the section on “Exempt Individuals” when applying the Substantial Presence Test to your situation.

Federal Tax Assistance Phone Numbers:

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Assist: 1-800-829-1040 (tollfree)
  • Tax Treaty /Non-Resident Alien Questions: 1-215-516-2000 (toll call)
  • To speak with an IRS agent in person go to the Prince Kuhio Federal Building (Punchbowl at Ala Moana Boulevard).


State of Hawaii Tax Forms commonly used by International Students in the US (may exceed 5 years of stay)

Form N-15 Individual Income Tax Return (Nonresidents and Part-Year Residents). DEADLINE: April 20

Find the forms and instructions at the Hawai’i State Department of Taxation website.

State of Hawaii Tax Assistance Phones:

  • General Numbers: (808) 587-4242 OR (808) 587-6515
  • From mainland: 1-800-222-3229 (tollfree)
  • Taxpayer Advocate: (808) 587-1791
  • To speak with a Hawaii Tax agent in person go to the Princess Ruth Keelikolani Building (830 Punchbowl Street).


Forms Usually Needed for Tax Filing

  • W-2 form: Employees send this form out by the end of January each year. The form reports the total income you received from an employer during the preceding calendar year and also totals the amount of withheld funds, (for taxes, social security, health insurance premiums, etc.). All employers must send out this tax form. If you did not receive this form from any employer you worked for in the past year, contact them immediately to get a copy. You should receive multiple copies: one for you to keep, one to attach to and send with your federal tax form, and one to attach to and send with your state tax form.
  • 1042-S form: Foreign nationals may receive a 1042-S form if they are recipients of scholarships or fellowships in the US, or tax treaty benefits. UH mails out the 1042-S mid-March. Attach a copy of the 1042-S to your federal tax form.
  • 1099 Forms: You will receive a 1099 form if you received dividends or interest income. These forms are generally mailed to you from banks and other financial institutions. You may also receive a 1099 form if you were paid as a consultant (not employee) by a US organization.
  • Have You Checked for Tax Treaty Benefits? The United States may have a tax treaty with your country of citizenship, and this treaty may limit your taxability or provide special tax benefits. See IRS Publication 901 for details.


Federal Tax Resources for Non-Residents

There are many commercial tax preparation services in Honolulu. Students may wish to use one of these services. ISS recommends that students who hire a tax preparer verify that the preparer is familiar and has experience with non-resident tax forms.


State of Hawai’i Tax Resources for Non-Residents

International students are generally classified as Non-Residents for state taxation.

State tax form N-15 should be completed by international students who earned a specified amount of US income in Hawaii (see N-15 instructions (2018) for exact amount) or who received taxable scholarship monies from a US/Hawaii source (taxable scholarships are funds received for living expenses; tax-exempt scholarships are funds received for tuition and required fees).

The N-15 is used to calculate the correct payment due to the state of Hawaii for the calendar year. Students who have had state tax withheld may have overpaid or may have underpaid. Students who earned less than a certain amount (see instructions) do not need to file a state tax form. However, to calculate/request a refund for the state taxes you paid, you must submit the N-15 form by April 20.

The State Taxpayer Education Office provides limited in-person assistance at the state tax office building, between 7:30 am and 4:30 pm weekdays.

  • Address: Princess Ruth Keelikolani Bldg, 830 Punchbowl Street
  • Telephone assistance: (808) 587-4242
  • Taxpayer Advocate: (808) 587-1791
  • From the mainland or neighbor islands: 1-800-222-3229 (toll free)
  • Email:

There are two versions of the N-15 form. One is “form-fillable,” and you may print but not save your completed TYPED form. The form may NOT be submitted electronically. The second version is noted “hand-writable.” You can print the form and complete with pen. Note that when you mail your N-15 form, you must attach a copy of your federal tax form 1040 NR or 1040 NR-EZ to your N- 15 form. Also, the state of Hawaii does not recognize tax treaties your country has with the US that may reduce your federal taxes. Please note that ISS advisers and staff are not tax experts and are not authorized to assist students with completing individual tax forms. Students may wish to use a professional, paid tax service to assist in preparing your forms. ISS recommends that students who hire a tax preparer verify that the preparer has experience with Non-Resident tax preparation.

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