Tax Compliance
Non-Resident Aliens
Tax Filing Information

All international students and scholars (and associated dependents where applicable) must file the appropriate Federal and Alabama State income tax forms each year in compliance with Federal and State Income tax laws.

The information here is provided as an overview and may not reflect changes, additions or other modifications applicable to filing income taxes at the federal and state levels. Each individual student and scholar is responsible for ensuring that they have secured and verified the information appropriate and relevant to their individual and family circumstances for Federal and State of Alabama income tax purposes

FAILURE TO FILE THE APPROPRIATE FEDERAL AND STATE INCOME TAX RETURNS MAY CAUSE YOU TO LOSE FUTURE IMMIGRATION BENEFITS and may subject you to additional penalties including but not limited to fines and collections fees.



Neither the Office of International Programs or Tax Compliance is able to accept any walk in, e-mail or phone-in questions requesting tax advice.

General tax questions not covered here can be e-mailed to

Federal Tax Returns
IRS Publication 519 is the official US tax guide for Aliens. Federal tax forms and other publications can be accessed via the IRS website.

Tax preparation software is provided by the Office of International Programs to assist Non-Resident Aliens in filing their individual federal tax returns. The software is generally available by mid-February; the Office of International Programs will send an e-mail advising that the software is available. The e-mail will include instructions on how to obtain your password.

If you cannot locate the directions for getting a password for the tax software, then follow these instructions for obtaining a password:

  1. Email:
  2. SUBJECT: Tax software password/access code
  3. When we receive your email you will receive an email response with the access/password information.
  4. In accordance with the licensing agreement this access code may not be shared with others.

This service is FREE of charge to AU students and scholars and is user friendly. The software provides easy step by step instructions on how to complete and where to mail your return. This is the only form of tax advising and assistance that will be available. Please use the tax software and customer service department for all your questions.

Exception: If you have been informed by Tax Compliance that you are a resident alien for federal tax purposes you will need to file your federal return like a US citizen.

What Forms Will You Need?
The following is a general list of tax forms that you will need for filing your federal and state tax returns. It is not intended to be all inclusive. Tax forms that are required can vary from individual to individual.

Form W-2
If you worked as an employee at Auburn University you will receive tax form W-2. W-2's are mailed to employees by January 31 following the end of the tax year. Active employees can also access their W-2's online thru Self-Service Banner.

Instructions for accessing your W-2 Online:

  1. Login to AU Access using your personal User name and password
  2. Click on the orange Employee Services Tab
  3. Click on Self Service Banner
  4. Click on Tax Forms
  5. Click on W2 wages and Tax Statement
  6. Enter the last six digits of your social security number (no dashes)
  7. Click display
  8. Click print

If you are a terminated employee and you did not receive your W-2 you must complete a REQUEST FOR REISSUED IRS FORM W-2.

Form 1042-S
Form 1042-S is issued only for those employees who received a federal tax exemption under the provisions of a tax treaty. If you did not receive an exemption then you will not receive a 1042-S.

Generally, for those individuals that are employed at Auburn University, the 1042-S tax form and Form W-2 are mailed at the same time.

Form 1042-S may also be received by those individuals who had federal taxes withheld on a non-qualified scholarship ,travel grant and/or a prize or award.

State Tax Returns
The State of Alabama has different tax laws than those of the federal government. Please refer to the State of Alabama Department of Revenue's website for instructions and information concerning your State of AL return.

The state of Alabama also has a local taxpayer service center that you may contact with questions concerning your state return.

Please note: For transfer students that may have earned income in another state, you will need to check with that state's Department of Revenue site for your state filing obligations in that state.

Important Information
  • Sign and date all returns and remember to attach a check if you owe money
  • Make photocopies of all your returns before mailing
  • Choose Direct Deposit if you are getting a refund
  • If you choose to receive a check in the mail versus a direct deposit, your mailing address must be current and legible (i.e. apartment number, street number and zip code); otherwise your check will be returned to the IRS
  • If you are having problems with obtaining your refund please go to the IRS website and click on "Where's my refund?"

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to file a return if I earned no income in the US in the tax year that we are filing for?
If you are an individual in F, J, M or Q status, and earned no US income in the tax filing year, you are still required to report your days of presence in the US. You will need to file form 8843. You can find Form 8843 and instructions on how to complete and mail on the IRS website.

I do not qualify for a U.S. Social Security Number. How do I apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)?
You will need to complete form W-7 and mail it with your tax return. Instructions for completing form W-7, attachments that are required, and instructions on where to mail can be found on the IRS website.
My spouse is a US Citizen, permanent resident or resident alien for federal tax purposes. Can we file a joint federal return?
Yes, you may elect to file a joint federal return even if you are a non-resident alien for federal tax purposes.

I received a 1098-T; what do I do with it?
Non-resident aliens do not use form 1098-T. 1098-Ts can be accessed in Tiger i. If you are a resident alien for federal tax purposes, you can find additional information in Publication 970 on the IRS website.