Tax Information

Social Security Number

A Social Security Number is a number assigned to you by the United States Social Security Administration and is only assigned to individuals who are authorized to work in the United States.  If you are a research scholar who is being paid or funded by your home government or international organization, usually you will not be eligible for a social security number.  J-2 dependents are eligible if they have applied and been approved for work authorization.

In order to report your wages earned annually on-campus to the U.S. Government, you must have a Social Security number.

In addition, the State of South Carolina requires you to have a Social Security number before you can apply for a driver's license. In the case of an F-2 dependent to receive their driver's license, a letter from the Social Security Administration is required stating the dependent is not eligible for a social security number.

To apply for a Social Security number, you must provide original documents showing your age, identity, immigration status, and proof that you have been offered on-campus employment. You will also need a completed Social Security application, a letter of introduction from CofC, your passport, your I-20 or DS-2019 form, and I-94 form to apply.

Social Security Administration Office in Charleston:

1453 Tobias Gadson Blvd.
Charleston, SC 29407

Tax Information for International Faculty and Scholars

International faculty and scholars who have worked or earned wages in the US will need to file one or more tax forms. Tax laws that apply to internationals are not the same as those that apply to U.S. citizens and/or permanent residents. International faculty and scholars who are filing tax forms for the first time often find it to be a very confusing process. While we are not tax experts, we do want to assist you with this responsibility. If you have not received income then you do not have to pay taxes, but you do have to file a Form 8843.

Federal Forms: 

  • Form 1040NR – U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return
  • Form 1040NR-EZ – U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens
  • Form 8843 – all international faculty or scholars must file this form each year regardless of whether or not you earned income in the U.S.

What you need to fill out the forms (Please have the following items/information ready and available):

  • Visa/immigration Status (see Form I-94 - the white card in your passport)
  • U.S. Entry and Exit Dates (see Form I-94 and Passport)
  • Form DS-2019, if J- status
  • Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Address Information (i.e. current U.S. and permanent foreign address)
  • Academic Institution Information
  • Forms W-2, 1042-S and/or 1099 (if any)


Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Local Office:
1 Poston Road, Charleston, SC 29407
Phone: 843.566.0209

State of South Carolina Department of Revenue
Local Office:
Charleston Service Center
3 South Park Circle
Suite 202
Charleston, SC 29407
Phone: 843.852.3600

IRS Publications
(Please note that most of these publications are revised each tax year; therefore please be sure to check the main IRS Publication listing to make sure you are consulting the latest information)

Remember to keep a copy of everything you submit to the IRS.

Note: Staff members of International Education and Programs are not tax professionals. While our office offers help to our students, we cannot provide individual tax advice.