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As a student employee, you may be required to file income taxes each year that you are employed. Whether you are filing taxes independently for the first time or still being claimed as a dependent, there are several forms and deadlines that you need to be aware of.

As a student, you are not automatically exempt from having to pay taxes. Your earnings may be subject to both federal and state income taxes. That being said, United States citizens and permanent residents who qualify may claim exemption from Federal income tax withholding by completing Form W-4. Determine your eligible exemptions carefully, paying particular attention to the instructions under “Exemption from Withholding” at the top of the form.

During the academic year, undergraduate students who are enrolled for six or more credits and who are working on-campus are exempt from FICA (Social Security and Medicare) deductions. Review UNC’s policy regarding FICA exemptions for students for more information. Please note that student employees working on-campus that are not enrolled in the required credit hours are subject to FICA.

  • The deadline to file your income taxes is typically April 15 each year (unless the 15 falls on a weekend, in which case the deadline is the next business day)
  • Form W-2 distributed by an employer in January of each year
  • Form 1098-T distributed by University in January of each year
  • Form 1098-E distributed by University in January of each year
  • Form 1042S distributed by University by mid-March of each year
  • Form W-4 and NC-4: Tells your employer how much federal and state taxes to withhold from each paycheck. As your employer, UNC will remit the tax withheld from each paycheck to the IRS and state of North Carolina on your behalf. These forms are to be completed online after your first day via the Self Service tab in ConnectCarolina.
  • Form W-2: A statement of your earnings produced by UNC each January to show how much you earned during the previous calendar year and how much was withheld in taxes from your paycheck. You need your W-2 form to file federal and state tax returns. Your W-2 will be mailed out by University Payroll during the month of January, typically during the last week of the month. You can also opt-out of receiving paper W-2 in which case you will access the form electronically in Connect Carolina. Visit UNC Finance and Operations for more details and instructions on how to opt-out of receiving a paper W-2.
  • Form 1099-M: The Accounts Payable office issues this form to report any payment via their office, such as a stipend for work performed on a grant, for the calendar year.
  • Form 1042S: This is a statement of earnings for international students who have declared a tax treaty during the previous calendar year. It reports earnings which were exempt under the tax treaty. International students whose earnings exceeded their country’s treaty limit will receive both a Form 1042S and a Form W-2 and should not file a tax return until they have received both forms. Form 1042S are sent out by University Payroll by mid-March.

If you are an international student with F-1 or J-1 immigration status and you are working on-campus, contact International Student and Scholar Services for information and assistance on completing the necessary tax forms and to provide documents which help determine if your income is eligible for any tax treaty benefits.

International student employees holding other types of immigration status will be contacted by Payroll Services at the time of hire if they are eligible to receive tax treaty benefits. Review the International Student Employment Guide for more information.

Visit International Student and Scholar Services for additional tax information and resources for international students.

When filing your taxes, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Each state has its own filing requirements. You should check with the North Carolina Department of Revenue and with your home state’s taxing agency to determine your filing responsibilities.
  • No UNC employee can aid you in filing or provide tax advice.

If it is the first time you are filing taxes independently or if you are having difficulty with your federal or state income tax forms, there is free help available. For assistance on completing and filing your taxes, contact one of the external resources listed below.

If you have left your position with the University and need to access the previous year’s W-2 you will need to create a guest ID registration to access your W-2 in ConnectCarolina under the Self Service tab. If you require technical assistance, please contact the IT Help Desk at 919-962-HELP.