Tax Assistance for International Students

Legal Services for Students (LSS) offers free income tax assistance and education to international students on nonresident tax issues.

Who Qualifies for LSS Tax Assistance?

All international students studying at the University of Kansas (and their dependents), as well as international faculty and staff who file as nonresident aliens.

What You Need to Know

  1. All international students MUST file tax paperwork if they were present in the U.S. during any part of the reported tax year, even if you did not work or earn income. This is required by U.S. federal law. 
  2. If you had no income in the reported tax year, you will use Sprintax to complete form 8843. That form needs to be mailed to the address provided by Sprintax by June 15th. Contact LSS to request a Sprintax access code that will allow you to prepare your forms for free. 
  3. Nonresident dependents living with you in the U.S. must also file tax paperwork. If they had no income, they will use Sprintax to complete form 8843 as described above. 
  4. You need to gather all your tax documents before starting your tax return. Use the Tax Document Checklist to ensure you have all relevant documents. 
  5. Please note that 1042-S forms are distributed by the State of Kansas. Those forms are typically mailed out in March. If you are issued a 1042-S form, you must report that form on your tax return. You must wait until you have received that form to prepare your tax return. If you are not sure whether you will be receiving a 1042-S form, contact LSS. 

Federal Tax Return First

Nonresident alien filers should use Sprintax to prepare their federal tax return. 

  • Contact LSS for a link and access code to prepare your federal return for free through Sprintax.
  • Some filers will be able to file their federal return electronically through Sprintax; some filers will need to print and mail their returns. See the Sprintax blog post on electronic filing for details.

State Tax Returns

To prepare and submit your Kansas state tax return electronically, you will need to go to the Kansas WebFile site. 

  • You MUST prepare your federal return before you can file your state return. 
  • If this is your first year filing U.S. taxes, you will have to do your Kansas return on paper and will not be able to use the WebFile program. 

If you have income from a state other than Kansas, you will need to review that state's income tax requirements and fulfill your filing obligations to that state as well. You can find more information about various state tax requirements posted on the Federation of Tax Administrators website's State Tax Forms & Filing Options page.

If, after entering your data into Sprintax, the program gives you a message that says you are a Resident Alien, you are one of a few international filers who qualify to file your tax return like a U.S. citizen. Resident alien filers should use TaxSlayer to complete their tax returns. The TaxSlayer link is provided for free by LSS and is available at our tax filing workshops or by contacting our office. 

A few resident alien filers may be able to claim tax treaty benefits. The tax workshops can assist you with claiming treaty benefits when filing as a resident alien. 

Need Additional Help or Advice?

  • If you need additional help completing your tax returns, please come to one of our tax workshops.
  • Those who have left KU (both nonresident alien filers and resident alien filers) will need to contact a tax preparation service in their area for additional questions or assistance filing.