US residents need to file the form 1040 and non-residents need to file form 1040 NR. The Tax Fact post ‘Am I a Resident or Non-Resident?’ explains in detail the rules to determine your tax residency status. International students on F-1 visa are considered non-residents for the first 5 years of their stay in the US and cannot file form 1040 (hence, cannot use TurboTax because it does not support non-resident returns).

1. I am an international student on F-1 visa and I used TurboTax to file my tax return. Do I need to Amend?

TurboTax does not support non-resident tax returns (1040 NR). It is possible that you might have claimed some deductions and credits you were not supposed to; like American Opportunity Credit, Tuition Credit, Earned Income Credit, etc. (see below). If you are an international student on F-1 visa, been in the US for less than 5 years and used TurboTax to file your tax return, you most likely need to amend. However, amending a return does not mean that you NEED to pay money to IRS. US has tax treaties with different countries and you might have been eligible for the some deductions and credits if you filed a 1040NR. You can still amend your return, claim the right deductions and get your records straight with IRS without having to pay anything to IRS.

2. I am a nonresident and I took American Opportunity Credits and Tuition Credits on my return that I filed using TurboTax. What do I do?

If you ‘played around’ in TurboTax, like entered tuition payments, support payments, etc. to get a higher refund than what you should have gotten, you need to amend your tax return at the earliest. If you do not have a large income To amend your incorrectly filed tax return you will need to:

  • File the form 1040X along with the corrected 1040NR (and additional forms like 8843, etc. depending on your specific situation)
  • Most probably amend the state return as well
  • Send a check along with the amended return if you owe anything to the IRS

3. Are there any consequences of NOT amending my incorrectly filed tax return?

Penalties for filing a fraudulent tax return can be steep. In case of an IRS audit, you’ll be responsible for paying back the excess refund along with interest and penalties and could face some legal consequences. As a student or an immigrant who is planning to stay/work in the US, we highly recommend that you amend your return to be in compliance with the tax rules.

4. What are some of the reasons why I might have to amend?

  • Incorrectly filed a 1040 instead of 1040NR
  • Claimed Recovery Rebate Credits (stimulus money)
  • Claimed American Opportunity Credits, Lifetime Learning Credits or other Tuition Credits
  • Employer incorrectly withheld SSN and Medicare
  • Missed reporting a tax document on your return

5. How can I amend and file a 1040NR?

All non-resident tax return forms and amendment forms like 1040X, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ or 8843 are available with instructions on the IRS website. Or USA Tax Gurus can help you amend your tax returns and get your records straight with IRS. We charge a flat rate $79.99 for amendments. Special price for students. Just reach out. Click the button below to amend your tax return.

Let’s Amend