Form 8843 Explained
As a non-resident alien, even if you don’t need to file a US income tax return, you still must file a Form 8843. So what’s it all about?
What is a Form 8843?
(extract of form)
A Form 8843 ‘’Statement for Exempt Individuals with a Medical Condition” is not an income tax return, it is a statement you file for the US Government if you are a certain non-resident alien (including spouses/dependents of certain non-resident aliens).
Who must file a Form 8843?
Non-residents aliens in the US under F-1, J-1, or J-2 non-immigrant status are required to file a Form 8843, even if you had no income in the previous tax year.
You must file a Form 8843 if:
- You were present in the US in the previous tax year
- You are a non-resident alien
- And you are in the US under F-1, F-2 or J-2 status.
Even if you don’t need to file an income tax return, you should file the Form 8843 if the above criteria apply.
How do I fill it in?
Here is the Form.
- Fill in your details accurately including your name as it appears on your passport.
- If you have a social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number you should include it. You generally don’t need an SSN or ITIN to file a Form 8843 but if you have been assigned one, you must include it on Form 8843. The exception to this is for those who can be claimed as dependents on a US tax return. These dependents must have either an SSN or ITIN.
- Enter the type of visa you’re on in the US (F-1, J-1, etc.).
- Enter your current non-immigrant status, unless this has changed since you entered the US. In this case you should also enter the date your change of status was approved.
- Enter the number of days you were present in the US in the last 3 calendar years.
- In the box on the substantial presence test, enter the number of days that you were in the US in the tax year.
For teachers and trainees, answer the questions according to your personal circumstances and include the details of what academic institution or programme you were involved in the previous year.
If you are an F-1, J-1 (and dependents), you should fill in this section.
- Include details of the academic institution or programme
- Answer the rest of the questions according to your personal circumstances
Part IV and V
These parts don’t apply to those in the US on F or J non-immigrant status so you don’t need to fill these in.
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