taxes


International Center Banner Graphic

Yes, You Must File Taxes 

Even if you don’t work in the U.S., you must still file taxes and comply with all Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and California Franchise Tax Board requirements. While we are not authorized to give tax advice, we can connect you to helpful tax resources.

PLEASE NOTE: The IRS communicates with real mail. The IRS will NEVER contact you via e-mail or phone. If you receive a phone call or email from someone claiming to represent the IRS, it is a scam. Please do not release any information or engage further.

Come to our Tax Workshops

Find out which forms to file and how to complete them during our March tax workshop. The forms you are required to complete may vary due to your individual tax circumstances and the amount of time you have been in the United States. Workshops feature California Franchise Tax Board and IRS tax experts, but do not replace legal tax advice.

See a presentation on filing taxes as an international student here.

State Taxes: We are sponsoring a workshop on Thursday, March 09, at 1:30 pm. The workshop will take place in Bannockburn, Room J-102. A non-resident alien tax specialist from the California State Franchise Board will conduct the workshop and answer any questions that you have in regards to state tax filings. 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP. 

 

Use our Free Tax Software

Check your R’mail in late February or early March for information about GLACIER Tax Prep, an online tax preparation system designed exclusively for international students. If you are not sure if you should file as a resident or nonresident alien, GLACIER Tax Prep will help you make that determination.

If you work in the U.S.

Get Required Forms

All international students must complete an Form 8843. File it under F and J status for yourself and your dependents living here. Learn more about Form 8843.

If you earned a salary in the U.S. (including fellowships for university fees or monthly stipends), you must also complete a 1040NREZ or a 1040NR form.

Your employer will send you a W-2 early in the year. It will show the salary you earned for the previous year plus your federal and state tax deductions.

If you received a fellowship for university fees or a monthly stipend, or if you can claim a tax treaty benefit, UCR’s Payroll Office will send you a 1042-S by March 15.

We strongly advise you to gather all necessary forms before filing your taxes.

Get IRS forms.

Get California Franchise Tax Board forms.

If You Do Not Work in the U.S.

Get Required Forms

All international students must complete an Form 8843. File it under F and J status for yourself and your dependents living here. Learn more about Form 8843.

Get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

If you are an international student who has received “fellowship funds only” this year and do not have a social security number, please take the following steps to obtain a tax ID:

EITHER:

  1. Request a DSO certification letter confirming that you are not employed in the United States from the ISRC. Either complete the online status letter request and write “ITIN” in the "Other Comments" box, or visit the ISRC during open advising hours to request the letter.
  2. Take your letter, original passport, tax ID application and tax documents to the Internal Revenue Service in San Bernardino to apply in person for an ITIN. If you need an ITIN for your dependents, you can apply for that as well.

Internal Revenue Service
290 N. D. St.
San Bernardino, CA 92401


OR:

  1. Request a DSO certification letter confirming that you are not employed in the United States from the ISRC. Either complete the online status letter request and write “ITIN” in the "Other Comments" box, or visit the ISRC during open advising hours to request the letter.
  2. Mail in a Form W-7 from the IRS website. Attach a valid federal income tax return, unless you qualify for an exception, and include your certified copies of your passport and foreign status documents (including ITIN letter from ISRC). A certified copy is a copy of your passport picture page that is certified by the agency that issued your passport. You should not send your original passport to the IRS.

    Internal Revenue Service
     Austin Service Center
     ITIN Operation
     P.O. Box 149342
     Austin, TX 78714-9342

You may also apply using the services of an IRS-authorized Acceptance Agent or visit some key IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in lieu of mailing your information to the IRS in Austin. Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) in the United States provide in-person help with ITIN applications on a walk-in or appointment basis. The IRS's ITIN Unit in Austin issues all numbers through the mail.

Internal Revenue Service 
290 North D Street
San Bernardino, CA 92401
(800) 829-3676 (forms)
(800) 829-1040 (assistance)

Find more IRS offices in California.

California Franchise Tax Board
600 W. Santa Ana Blvd, Suite 300
Santa Ana, CA 92701-4543
(800) 338-0505 (forms and assistance)

Find more California Franchise Tax Board field offices.

Regarding Tax Treaties

If you’re from a country that has an income tax treaty with the U.S., and if your job meets treaty requirements, you may qualify for tax benefits. Even if you don’t pay federal income tax because of the treaty, you must still file federal and state income tax returns. The penalties for not filing are severe; you may even lose your treaty benefits.

Filing as a Resident for Tax Purposes

If you have been in the United States for a while, you may need to file as a resident (for tax purposes only). This is determined by a variety of factors, including your nonimmigrant status and the length of time that you have been in the United States. When you are considered a resident for tax purposes only, you generally file the same forms as a US citizen does. If you are not sure if you should file as a resident or nonresident alien, our free GLACIER Tax Prep software will help you make that determination.

Resources U.S. Citizens use for Tax Filing

Some people in the U.S. use online tax software such as Turbo Tax or consult certified tax professionals such as those at H & R Block. Remember: only use TurboTax if you are eligible to file as a resident. Nonresident aliens should NOT use TurboTax.

If you seek assistance from a certified tax professional, make sure that professional has expertise with filing nonresident taxes. Not all of them do.

Jump to Top