University of Iowa

Spring 2019 Non-Resident Tax Workshops (Tax Year 2018)                                                                                           

ISSS sponsors Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) workshops for UI international students and scholars. Workshop volunteers are certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to assist international students and scholars in preparing non-resident tax returns. Volunteers can also answer questions about how to fill out and send Iowa tax returns and the Federal Form 8843.

UI Human Resources Payroll Office collects and maintains data to determine nonresident alien vs. resident alien status for tax purposes. W-2 forms are made available in mid-to-late January through MyUI or through the UI Employee Self-Service website. Students can view their W-2 and other tax information by going to the “Student Records” tab in MyUI and in the “Finances and Billing” section click on the “HRIS Self Service and Earnings Statements” link. That link will bring you to the Employee Self Service site and under the “Payroll” section you can select “View Year End Tax Information” to get a PDF of your W-2.

International students or scholars may or may not have a 1042-S form depending on different circumstances.  For details, please go to the Employee Self Service site, and under the “Payroll” section you can select “View Year End Tax Information” then “1042-S Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding.”          

 If you have any inquiry about your form W-2, 1042-S, tax treaties, payroll and withholding of taxes, please call or visit the UI Payroll Office or email

VITA workshops are open during March and April of every year to current nonimmigrant international students and scholars and those who were present at the University of Iowa during the 2018 tax year. If you no longer reside in the U.S. but were present for any length of time in 2018, you are required to fill out tax forms. To learn about how to access this software, go to our Tax Software Website.

For questions about VITA workshops only, please send an email to

VITA Workshop Checklist

Please bring the following items and information to the workshop:

  • Passport and Visa
  •  I-94 card or printout from the digital record from the I-94 Government Website. Once accessing the I-94 it is also good to click "View Travel History" and print out that page as well. 
  • Form DS-2019, if a J status individual
  • Form I-20, if an F status individual
  • Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (if you have applied for such number, have your receipt or copy of application; if you have not applied, you will do so as a part of this process)
  • Address Information (Current U.S. Address if you are still living in the U.S. and Permanent Foreign Address)
  • U.S. Entry and Exit Dates and Information about All Prior Visits (Entry/Exit Dates and Immigration Status)
  • Academic Institution or Host Sponsor Information
  • Forms W-2, 1042-S and/or 1099 (if you received any): These forms are not available until the end of January every year.
  • Scholarship or fellowship grant letters (if you received one from your academic institution or host sponsor)
  • A copy of your 2018 (TY2017) federal income tax form (Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ) if you filed a federal income tax return last year
  • Your bank routing number and checking account number for direct deposit of your refund. These numbers are located on your personal checks from your bank.

A Warning About Other Tax Services

If you are classified as a non-resident, you may NOT file a resident return. Residency, for tax purposes, is determined by the “Substantial Presence Test.”

Only those who are determined to have "resident" filing status may complete a resident return. Most students and scholars will be classified as non-residents for tax purposes. Some tax assistance sites have erroneously filed resident returns for non-residents, who were promised larger refunds by this method. This could result in a charge of tax fraud against you, which may jeopardize your legal status. The fact that your preparer erred will not excuse you from liability. The UI Payroll Office is the resource for determining your residency and tax liability so please consult the non-resident portion of their tax information page and contact with any questions. During tax season volunteers at the workshops can also help clarify your filing status and they can also be contacted at ISSS urges you to protect yourself in this matter or you may have to file an amended return and pay back any fraudulently refunded monies.