Filing a U.S. Tax Return

Under HB 1403/SB1528 students are eligible to receive state financial aid, but first they must submit a completed income tax form to the IRS.

Here are the steps:

Step 1

Get your W-2 form for U.T. Austin employment. Your employer should get this to you by the end of January.

Step 2

When you file, you will probably want to file as a Resident Alien, as most undocumented students will be classified. See Filing a U.S. Resident Tax Return for more information.

If you have DACA, you should use your affiliated Social Security Number on your tax return. If you do not have DACA continue reading below for how to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in order to file your taxes.

The UT International Office provides limited advising services for non-resident aliens, therefore most of your tax related questions will need to be addressed by other departments on campus. However, if you need general support navigating which departments on campus to contact, our Tax Advisor is:

Phuoc Bui
Tax Advisor

What It Means To File A Tax Return

If you are an undocumented immigrant, it can be a crime to work in the U.S. and not pay taxes on your income. You must pay taxes on income earned from employment in the U.S., regardless of your immigration status. Also, by filing taxes, you may be eligible for refunds of the taxes that are withheld from your paycheck.

Filing taxes can also help with immigration cases. For example, filing taxes is evidence that you are a person with good “moral character”, which is defined as showing respect for and following U.S. laws. Showing good moral character is important when applying to become a U.S. citizen and for other types of immigration cases. Filing taxes can also be used to prove the number of years you have lived in the U.S..

It is important to understand that reporting to the Internal Revenue Service will not also alert Immigration Customs and Enforcement.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are filing taxes but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA). ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status. This process can take time, depending on individual circumstances.

If you earn income over the minimum tax filing requirements, and do not have a social security number, you must file tax return documents with the IRS using your ITIN. The minimum filing requirement changes each year and can be found in IRS Publication 501 on page 2.

If you are from a country that allows you to claim dependents (Canada, Mexico, South Korea or India) or you are a resident alien for tax purposes and your dependent does not currently have an SSN and is not eligible for an SSN, then your dependent will also need to apply for an ITIN to be claimed on your tax return. Please note that due to a recent update to the IRS processing manual, the International Office will no longer be able to facilitate ITIN appointments for spouses or dependents.

To Apply for an ITIN via The International Office:

  1. Schedule an appointment to meet with the tax advisor.
  2. Bring the following documents to your appointment
    • Passport
    • Your most recent U.S. entry Visa
    • I-20 (F-1 visa holders)/DS-2019 (J-1 visa holders)

If you have any questions regarding how the ITIN relates to the TASFA application process, please contact the Office of Students and Financial Services at This email address is specifically maintained to answer the questions of students who submit the TASFA at UT Austin.

For more details you can also visit the IRS webpage.

Tax Form 1098-T

The University of Texas at Austin files Tax Form 1098-T (Tuition Payment Statement) for UT students who were billed for "Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses" during the tax year. Form 1098-T is used to compute eligibility for education related tax credits. In order for HB1403/SB1528 students to acquire a Tax Form 1098-T please contact Student Accounts Receivable.