International students studying in the United States (U.S.) must follow many rules and regulations implemented by the federal government, including tax filing requirements. Generally, international students must file Form 8843 with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) indicating that they are nonresidents exempt from taxation on worldwide income during their first five years in the U.S. In addition, they must file Form 1040-NR if they earn any taxable income in the U.S. This exploratory study examines the level of tax filing knowledge international students possess, as well as the characteristics of both international students and their educational institutions to ascertain if they may have a bearing on the students’ knowledge of the U.S. tax filings that should be filed. Data suggest that governmental and educational institutions may wish to bolster the dissemination of educational tax materials; otherwise, perhaps a significant number of international students may not be compliant with current IRS regulations.

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