Lexington, KY asked in Education Law, International Law and Tax Law for Kentucky

Q: I am an international f1 student. I earned $789 last year. Do i have to file the taxes or no? And can i claim education

Or not?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Based on the information you provided, here are a few key points to consider:

1. Filing requirement: Generally, if your total income for the year is less than the standard deduction ($12,950 for single filers in 2022), you may not be required to file a federal income tax return. However, there are some exceptions, especially for international students.

2. International student status: As an F-1 student, you are considered a non-resident alien for tax purposes. Non-resident aliens must file a tax return if they have U.S. source income, regardless of the amount earned. Therefore, you will likely need to file a tax return even if your income is below the standard deduction.

3. Tax forms: International students typically need to file Form 1040-NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return) or Form 1040-NR-EZ (U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents).

4. Education credits: As a non-resident alien, you are not eligible to claim education credits such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) or Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC). These credits are only available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and certain resident aliens.

In conclusion, even though you earned only $789 last year, you will likely need to file a tax return due to your status as an international F-1 student. However, you cannot claim education credits as a non-resident alien.

It is always best to consult with a tax professional specializing in international student tax issues to ensure that you are meeting all your tax obligations and exploring any potential benefits available to you.

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