International Students

International students often encounter unique challenges when working with the Business Office to pay their tuition, receive refund checks, or understand important tax documents. This page contains special information just for HPU international students to help them financially succeed while at HPU.

Tax Information

This site contains general tax information for HPU international students. HPU faculty and staff are not authorized to provide tax advice and do not provide personal assistance in completing tax returns. Please consult a tax advisor for any tax advice or additional information related to your specific situation.

In the United States, there is an income tax at the federal or national level as well as the state level for most states. US citizens, resident aliens, and nonresident aliens are subject to federal and state income tax, but different tax rules may apply depending on your status.  

A student is a nonresident alien if the student is not a US citizen, does not have a green card, and does not meet the "substantial presence" test. Most international students are nonresident aliens, but please consult your tax advisor for your particular situation. 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) administers the federal tax, and the Hawaii Department of Taxation administers the state tax in Hawaii. 

The tax year for individuals is from January 1 through December 31. 

Nonresident alien students must file a US tax return if they have any of the following types of income for the calendar year:

  1. A taxable scholarship or fellowship grant,
  2. Income partially or totally exempt from tax under the terms of a tax treaty, or
  3. Any other income that is taxable under the Internal Revenue Code.

 

If a portion of your wage income or scholarship income was withheld from you for tax purposes, you may be able to receive back some or all of the amount that was withheld, but only if you file a tax return.   

A scholarship or fellowship is excludable from income only if both of the following are true:

  1. You are a candidate for a degree at an eligible educational institution (HPU is an eligible educational institution), and

  2. You use the scholarship or fellowship to pay qualified education expenses.

Qualified education expenses include the following items:

  • Tuition
  • Required fees to enroll
  • Required course fees, books, supplies, and equipment

Qualified education expenses do not include the cost of the following items, even if required:

  • Room and board
  • Travel
  • Research
  • Clerical help
  • Equipment and other expenses that are not required for enrollment in or attendance at an eligible educational institution

The amount of the scholarship used to pay any expense that is not a qualified education expense is generally taxable.

Tax treaties reduce the U.S. taxes of residents of foreign countries. The United States has tax treaties with a number of foreign countries. Under these treaties, residents (not necessarily citizens) of foreign countries are taxed at a reduced rate or are exempt from U.S. taxes on certain items of income they receive from sources within the United States. These reduced rates and exemptions vary among countries and specific items of income. 

To determine whether you may benefit from a tax treaty, review the following IRS resources:

Federal

Hawaii

You may have to file additional forms based on your unique situation. To determine whether any additional federal or state tax forms may be required, please read the form instructions at the links above or consult your tax advisor.

Please also read the form instructions to learn how to complete and file each form.

Form

Due Date

Extended Due Date*

IRS Form 1040-NR or
IRS Form 1040-NR-EZ,
with IRS Form 8843
attached

April 15

(June 15 - only if
you did not receive
any wage income)

 

October 15

(December 15 - only if
you did not receive
any wage income)

Hawaii Form N-15

April 20

October 20

*Please review the form instructions for how to request an extension of time to file your tax return. Note that there is no extension of time to pay your taxes. 

Generally, if a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal or state holiday, the due date is the next business day. 

IRS Form 1042-S reports certain US source income paid to a foreign person and the withholding, if any, on that income. You may have received a Form 1042-S from HPU for the following reasons:

  1. You received a taxable scholarship used to pay for your housing, travel, or other living expenses.
  2. You earned wages from HPU, but at least a portion of your total wages was exempt from tax due to a tax treaty benefit.
  3. You received a prize, award, or other type of taxable income from HPU.

The Form 1042-S will show the following information:

  • Box 1 - Type of income:
    • Code 16 = Scholarship or fellowship grants
    • Code 20 = compensation during studying or training
    • Code 23 = other income (prizes, awards, etc.)
  • Box 2 - Gross income amount
  • Box 3a - Whether an exemption applies
    • Code 04 = exempt under tax treaty
  • Box 10 - Total amount withheld (You may be able to receive a portion of this amount back from the IRS if you file a tax return.)

Because a Form 1042-S reports taxable income or income that is exempt under a tax treaty, you should file a US tax return if you received a Form 1042-S.

You may not have received a Form 1042-S if the scholarship was either

  • Not paid by HPU
  • Not paid during the previous year, or
  • Applied to your tuition and did not exceed the amount of your tuition and required fees.

However, you may not have received a Form 1042-S if you did not update HPU with your latest mailing address or SEVIS address. 

If you still believe that you should have received a Form 1042-S from HPU but did not, please send an email to smnakamura@hpu.edu so that we can investigate further.

IRS Form W-2 reports taxable wages and withholdings on those wages. You should have received a Form W-2 from each of your employers where you earned taxable wages during the previous year. 

The Form W-2 will show the following information:

  • Box 1: Federal taxable wages
  • Box 2: Federal income tax withheld (You may be able to receive a portion of this amount back from the IRS if you file a tax return.)
  • Box 16: State taxable wages
  • Box 17: State income tax withheld (You may be able to receive a portion of this amount back from the state if you file a tax return.)

Because a Form W-2 reports taxable wages, you should file a US tax return if you received a Form W-2.

You may not have received a Form W-2 if the amount of your earned wages did not exceed a tax treaty exemption benefit that applied to you.

However, you may not have received a Form W-2 if you did not update your employer with your latest mailing address. Please note that if you worked for HPU in the previous year, you can electronically access your Form W-2 at https://my.hpu.edu under the Employee Self-Service link. 

If you still believe that you should have received a Form W-2 from HPU but did not, please send an email to smnakamura@hpu.edu so that we can investigate further.

Please note that HPU faculty and staff are not authorized to provide tax advice and do not provide personal assistance in completing tax returns.