NRA Tax Return Information

2017 Tax Return information must be postmarked by April 18, 2018.

All nonresident aliens who have U.S. income are required to file tax returns unless they have only wage income less than the personal exemption ($4050 for 2017) and have had no US taxes withheld. The deadline for this application to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be postmarked (not received) is mid April every year. The forms related to tax return preparation are listed and explained below.

Once again, MU will provide free tax return preparation assistance to nonresident students, faculty, and staff.

Monday - Friday from 1-5pm on:

  • February 26 - March 2, 2018
  • March 19 - March 23, 2018
  • April 9 - April 13, 2018

The NRA VITA site is located in the Pershing Building computer lab (Room C-240). You must bring

  • your passport
  • your immigration documents
  • a copy of last year's tax return if you filed
  • tax forms you have received,according to the information provided below in Explanation of Tax Return Forms.

You do not need to bring in blank tax return forms.

Assistance with the Missouri State tax return will also be provided at the MU NRA VITA site.

Explanation of Tax Return Forms

Put these, and any other forms you believe may be related to your  tax return, in a file folder marked "TAXES" and bring it with you to the VITA site where you will prepare your tax return.


This form shows taxable income received in the form of wages.  It lists the total income and all the taxes that have been withheld, which may include Federal, State, Local, Social Security and Medicare taxes.

W-2 forms are employer-specific, so if you had a job anywhere during the tax year other than the University of Missouri you will have a Form W-2 from that employer you will also need to be able to file your tax return.

Your MU Form W-2 will be made available through myHRExternal Link.  Once in myHR system, follow this path: Main Menu, Self Service, Payroll and Compensation, View Your W-2 Form

If you do not have a W-2 from the University of Missouri, there could be several reasons.

  • You did not provide "consent" in the MyHR system for the form to be made available to you in early January.  As a result it will be mailed to you at your last known address.  If the form is lost in the mail, you will be able to print a copy from the MyHR system on or after February 15th.
  • You had no compensation (job) income during the tax year.  (If you began working at the end of last year, but your first paycheck was received this year, you will not receive a Form W-2 for last year.)
  • Your income was paid through the student account as a scholarship, which means it will be reported on Form 1042-S, rather than a W-2.  (The Form 1042-S will be explained later.)
  • Your income was exempt from all withholding during the year because of a tax treaty between the United States and your country of tax residency.  Tax treaty-exempt income is reported on Form 1042-S, which will be explained later.

If the Form W-2 you received shows no Federal or State withholding, but shows Social Security and Medicare withholding, this is normal for persons who are residents for tax purposes, but who are still exempt from Federal and State withholding because of a tax treaty.

If the Form W-2 you received shows Social Security and Medicare withholding, but you are in F-1 or J-1 status AND are a nonresident alien for tax purposes, you may be eligible for a refund of this withholding.  To schedule an appointment to prepare an application for refund of Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes withheld in error, e-mail .  List several times and days you will be available for an appointment in the e-mail.


This form is issued to primarily document two sources of income:

  1. Scholarship income, whether taxable or not and
  2. Any income that is exempt from withholding because of a tax treaty

The Form 1042-S will be available electronically through the FNIS system between the end of January and mid-February.  If you have provided consent to the FNIS system for this form to be provided to you electronically, you will receive an e-mail notification the day it becomes available for you to print.  If you have not provided consent in the FNIS system and would like to, please email - the NRA Tax Office at  who will send you the necessary information so consent can be provided.  If you have not provided consent and do not want to have forms delivered electronically, they will be mailed to the last known address on file in the NRA taxation database at Mizzou sometime by or before the regulatory deadline of March 15.

If you are eligible for a tax treaty exemption, but you did not sign and return the necessary forms during the tax year, all of your income will have been taxed and reported on a Form W-2, so you will not have a Form 1042-S.


This form is issued by the State of Missouri (or another state where you worked) to document a state tax refund from the previous tax year.  This income may be taxable for this year.  Put this form in your “tax file” and bring it to the VITA site when you come to do your tax return.


This form is issued by your bank, and shows the interest you received on deposits in your bank account or CD.  Bank interest is not taxable for nonresident aliens, so you do not need to consider this form in preparing your tax return, if you are a nonresident alien for tax purposes.  (Put this form in your “tax file” and keep it with other documentation as part of your tax records for the year.)


This form is used most commonly used to show “independent contractor” income.  Sometimes, students who work off-campus jobs are given this form to document job income instead of the W-2.  When companies report earnings on this form, it means that no US or state taxes have been prepaid on your behalf.  Therefore, if the income shown on the Form 1099-Misc is very large, you may owe taxes when you file the return, because these taxes were not prepaid on your behalf.

 If you did work as an “independent contractor,” you will want to maintain a file throughout the year of expenses related to the work, because some of these expenses may decrease the taxable nature of this income.

Charitable Contributions Statement

This may be in the form of a letter or actual receipts documenting contributions made to US charities.  Examples of US charities include houses of worship, places that will take clothing and furniture donations and special funds set up to aid in disaster relief (like the 2011 tsunami in Japan and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the Philippines typhoon in 2013).

Charitable giving, under current tax laws, is subtracted from taxable income.  Therefore, if you plan to make contributions and would like to receive a tax benefit, make the contributions in such a way that you have a receipt.  Most charities will provide receipts.  If your donation is monetary, you can make the contribution by check, which can also serve as your receipt.


This form is used to report distributions from annuities, retirement plans, IRAs or pensions.  Recently, more US institutions have been requiring employees to contribute to retirement plans.  When the employee quits working for the institution, a refund of the retirement contribution may be received and is then reported on Form 1099-R.  If you had an internship, it is possible the company for which you worked will send you a Form 1099-R if you were required, under the terms of your employment, to contribute to a retirement plan and then received a refund when you left the company.

If you received a Form 1099-R, the tax return preparation software used in the NRA VITA site will not adequately prepare your return.  Please email the NRA Tax Office for more information if you received a Form 1099-R.


This form documents dividend income, which must be included when you calculate your taxable income for the tax return.


This form is issued by educational institutions in the United States to facilitate U.S. taxpayers (not nonresidents) make application for the Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits.  For nonresidents, often institutions do not even create these forms, as they are not needed for tax purposes until someone has become a resident for tax purposes and is, therefore, eligible for these tax credits.  You may reprint your 1098-T form from MyZouExternal Link.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

If you are a nonresident for tax purposes from a country that allows dependent and/or spouse exemptions on the tax return (Canada, Mexico, South Korea and students from India) OR you are a resident alien for tax purposes, your dependent/spouse must have a U.S. taxpayer identification number  - either a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN) - to be included on the form unless an ITIN application is being submitted with the tax return.

Applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

A Form W-7 must be completed for each person who needs an ITIN.  Due to recent changes in the ITIN application process, please the NRA TAX Office at for more information.