Form 8843 Issues
Considerations Relating To Filing Form 8843
Various concerns are raised periodically about the need to file form 8843, especially when an international visitor has no US source income during the tax year.
Taxpayers are concerned to know whether the
filing of Form 8843 without an accompanying income tax return will
satisfy USCIS inquiries as to the taxpayer having complied with the
requirement to observe U.S. tax laws.
The IRS stipulates the following regarding Form
The filing of Form 8843 by foreign
students, teachers, researchers, and other nonimmigrants in F, J, M, or Q
nonimmigrant status who are "exempt individuals" as defined by Internal
Revenue Code (IRC) section 7701(b)(5) is mandated by Treas. Reg.
301.7701(b)-8(a)(2) and (b)(2).
The following points can be stated
about Form 8843:
(a) the filing of Form 8843 by the
specific group of individuals mentioned above is manadatory under the
Treas. Reg. cited above;
(b) in the case of the specific group
of individuals mentioned above, there is no penalty for not filing Form
(c) in spite of the mandatory filing requirement
of Form 8843 by the specific group of individuals mentioned above, the
IRS will independently determine the tax residency of the specific group
of individuals mentioned above, whether or not Form 8843 has been
filed, and regardless of the content of the Form 8843 filed by the
specific group of individuals mentioned above;
(d) Form 8843 may be filed with or without a TIN
(Taxpayer Identification Number);
(e) Form 8843 may be attached to the U.S. federal
individual income tax return of the exempt individual, or it may be
filed separately by itself at the address shown in the instructions to
the form. If filed along with a U.S. federal individual income tax
return, the Form 8843 will be readily retrievable by the IRS because the
tax return itself is assigned a Document Locator Number (DLN) and filed
away in the IRS archives under that DLN. A Form 8843 filed by itself
is not assigned a DLN and cannot later be found or retrieved by the IRS
without a great deal of difficulty.
Because of the uncertainties connected with filing
Form 8843 by itself without an accompanying form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ,
the Notre Dame TAP recommends filing zero amount tax returns, which see for more information.