Monthly Archives: February 2014

OPT info session to be held

International Student Programs will hold an information session on Optional Practical Training (OPT) for current F1 visa students on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. in Larsen 237. The purpose of OPT is to allow international students the opportunity to obtain part- or full-time work authorization for 12 months in a position directly related to a student’s major area of study. If you are considering OPT and are interested in learning more about how to apply, you should attend this session.



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The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that you submit tax returns by April 15 each year (city and state tax offices generally use this same deadline).

To assist international students in filing their returns, accounting students from the Department of Management and Business at Messiah College offer free tax preparation services as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Services are provided every Tuesday evening from 5:30–7:30 p.m. in Frey 156 beginning February 4th and ending on April 15th. It will be closed on March 18th for spring break.

All international students, regardless of whether or not income was earned, are required to file IRS Form 8843 (

All internationals students with an F-1 visa who receive any sort of income, including tuition reduction, scholarships, fellowships, grants, salaries, wages, stipends, interest, dividends, etc., from U.S. sources are also required to file income tax returns with federal, state, and city governments.

When filing tax returns, ensure that you …

  • Report all U.S. source income for the entire previous year (January 1 to December 31)
  • Calculate how much tax is owed on that income
  • At each of the three levels of government (local, state, federal), if you are owed money, request it. If you owe money, pay it. (Most internationals will either owe nothing or are owed money).

Please note that neither International Student Programs nor any other office at Messiah College can offer specific tax advice. It is your own responsibility to understand your tax obligations. Tax regulations can be very confusing, particularly for international students. Therefore, you should only rely on someone with proper training to assist you in filing.

For more information on federal taxes, visit

For more information on state taxes, visit

For more information on local taxes, visit