Re: International student form 1040NR
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New Member

International student form 1040NR

Do international students on F1 visa have to submit a form 1040NR if they made less than a certain amount that year? I made <$200 my first year and my taxes withheld were like $8 so if I don't have to file that would be nice to know.

Also can you backfile the form 1040NR like the form 8843 (just cross out the current year and write in the old year)?


Thank you.

3 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

International student form 1040NR

Nonresident aliens who are required to file an income tax return should use Form 1040-NR.


If you are any of the following, you must file a return.

  1. A nonresident alien individual engaged or considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the United States during 2020. (But see Exceptions , later.)

    You must file even if:

    1. Your income did not come from a trade or business conducted in the United States,

    2. You have no income from U.S. sources, or

    3. Your income is exempt from income tax.

  2. A nonresident alien individual not engaged in a trade or business in the United States with U.S. income on which the tax liability was not satisfied by the withholding of tax at the source.

  3. A representative or agent responsible for filing the return of an individual described in (1) or (2).

  4. A fiduciary for a nonresident alien estate or trust.


You must also file if you want to:

  • Claim a refund of overwithheld or overpaid tax, or

  • Claim the benefit of any deductions or credits. For example, if you have no U.S. business activities but have income from real property that you choose to treat as effectively connected income (discussed in chapter 4), you must timely file a true and accurate return to take any allowable deductions against that income. For information on what is timely, see When to file for deductions and credits under When To File, later.




You do not need to file Form 1040-NR if you meet any of the following conditions.

.This is an Image: caution.gifThe exception that previously allowed nonresident aliens whose only U.S. trade or business was the performance of personal services and whose wage income did not exceed the personal exemption amount to not file a Form 1040-NR is no longer available. You must meet (1), (2), or (3) below to be exempt from filing a 2020 Form 1040-NR..


  1. You were a nonresident alien student, teacher, or trainee who was temporarily present in the United States under an “F,” “J,” “M,” or “Q” visa, and you have no income that is subject to tax, such as wages, tips, scholarship and fellowship grants, dividends, etc.

  2. You were a student or business apprentice who was eligible for the benefits of Article 21(2) of the United States-India Income Tax Treaty, you are single or a qualifying widow(er), and your gross income for 2020 was less than or equal to $12,400 if single ($24,800 if a qualifying widow(er)).

  3. You were a partner in a U.S. partnership that was not engaged in a trade or business in the United States during 2020 and your Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) includes only income from U.S. sources that is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business.

Please refer to the following link for additional information:

IRS Publication 519


[Edited 04/06/2021|7:34 pm pst]


New Member

International student form 1040NR

Thank you. Can I file a 1040NR for a previous year that I didn't file?

Employee Tax Expert

International student form 1040NR

Yes, you can file a previous year return. 

You need to use the tax form for that year, you can't use a different year tax form and just change the date.


Please use the link below:


IRS LINK for prior year 1040NR

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