Consequences of Not Filing Tax Forms
(For Tax Year 2013)

The following information is designed by the office of International Student and Scholar Services at Binghamton University for international students in F-1 or J-1 status who have been in the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status for 5 years or less years (2009 or later) and are therefore eligible to file as non-residents for tax purposes. We hope you find this information helpful. 
The material contained in this message comes from Internal Revenue Service publications, discussions with IRS staff, and other income tax publications and materials.

ISSS staff are sometimes asked what can happen if an F-1 or J-1 student fails to file tax forms yearly. There can be immigration consequences for failing to file tax forms. For example, applicants for a change from F-1 to  H-1B (the professional worker visa) can be asked by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Service to submit copies of previous years' income tax forms as part of their H-1B application. Applicants for permanent residency ("green cards") can be asked to show copies of tax forms filed for previous years. A person who appears at a U.S. consulate abroad for consular processing of a permanent residency visa application may be asked to produce U.S. income tax forms from their previous years in the United States.

Information on obtaining federal tax forms and publications is available by phone:
Federal forms: 1-800-829-3676
New York State forms: (518) 457-5431
and from the internet:
Federal Forms:
NYS Forms:

ISSS staff are neither qualified nor permitted to give individual tax advice. Students with complicated tax situations may wish to consult with a tax preparation service, professional tax accountant, or tax attorney who is knowledgeable about nonresident tax law. 

Last Updated: 8/28/14