Well, if there is one thing that does not separate whether you came to United States 5 minutes ago or 50 years ago is all of us had to pay “Tax”. All international students inclusive of their dependents present in the US had to file Tax returns irrespective of whether they earned income or not. The tax filing deadline is around April 18th if you had income and June 15th if you had no income
Students or respective dependents with no income should file Form 8843a and If a particular student or dependents had earned income they should file Form 1040NR. For more details please visit IRS website or a tax professional.
Tax refund is significantly less for a F1 –student visa holder than his or her resident colleagues who earn identical wages. This is primarily due to the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) which is not available for a student here on an F-1 visa. The AOTC is partly a refundable credit that can add up to $1,000 to a tax refund for eligible students
Taxpayers who are students on F-1 visas are exempt from being considered US residents while they are present in the US on the F-1 visa for any part of 5 years. If taxpayers are not considered US residents, they file a differently than US citizens, on Form 1040NR. Nonresidents are only taxed on income that is earned while working in the US or income from US sources (like interest from US banks). The trade off is that nonresidents are also prevented from claiming certain deductions and credits that would otherwise be allowed to US citizens. For instance, most nonresidents cannot claim the standard deduction of $6,100 that reduces how much income is taxed. Additionally, nonresidents cannot claim education credits that can offset their tax liability dollar-for-dollar, which provides for a higher refund of taxes withheld. Therefore, it is very common for a nonresident student taxpayer and US citizen student taxpayer with identical levels of income to have different amounts of refunds.