Even if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may be required by the Internal Revenue Service to file U.S. federal income tax forms if you were present in the U.S. during 2015. The deadline for filing (except in certain circumstances) is April 15, 2016. Even if you have had no income in 2015, you must file IRS form 8843; the deadline to file is June 15, 2016. Dependents in F-2 and J-2 status must also file Form 8843. There are a number of things to be aware of as you prepare to file a tax return:
- It is a legal requirement that you submit a return. Not filing a return may have a negative impact on your future immigration and employment situation in the U.S.
- The tax laws and explanatory materials are quite complex, but most non-resident (non-immigrant) returns are fairly straightforward in nature.
- You should keep a permanent record of all materials and applications involved in a tax return.
- For legal reasons, the Center for International Education can only provide you general guidance and information. We CANNOT help you complete or verify the accuracy of your tax return.
The 1098-T form is used to document education tax credits on United States federal income tax returns.
You may be eligible to use the 1098-T to claim education tax credits if you are in one of these categories:
- U.S. Citizens
- Permanent Residents (PR)
- Married to a citizen or Permanent Resident
- Can legally be claimed as a dependent by a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, or
- Have been in the US long enough to file taxes as a resident for federal tax purposes
Most international students are not eligible to claim education tax credits. For more information about eligibility, please review I.R.S. Publication 970 at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf .
THE INTERNET: All tax forms and instructions can be downloaded and printed off the Internet. The web site for the Internal Revenue Service is www.irs.gov. There is also a summary of Tax Information for U.S. Non-residents. This is a good place to start – there are links to some of the tax forms you may need.
CONTACT THE IRS: The local offices of the IRS are in Oakland and San Jose. The offices do not accept phone calls, but do take walk-ins:
Internal Revenue Service
1301 Clay Street
Internal Revenue Service
55 South Market
San Jose, CA
PUBLICATIONS AND FORMS: Your most comprehensive tax advice is ‘Publication 519 – ‘U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens’. This is a downloadable form - http://www.irs.gov/publications/index.html
TAX TREATIES: Be aware that if you are considered a non-resident for tax purposes, tax treaties between the U.S. and your home country may positively affect your tax liability. For more information, refer to “Publication 901 U.S. Tax Treaties” (http://www.irs.gov/publications/index.html).
- Obtain your own tax records (W-2, etc.).
- Do your research of tax treaties and your tax status.
- Obtain the necessary IRS documents and forms – start with Form 1040 NR-EZ and Form 8843.
Are you a Nonresident Alien employee of CSU East Bay (excluding Aramark or Foundation) interested in filing your tax return for 2015? If so, Glacier Tax Preparation (GTP) is designed to assist Nonresident Aliens in completing their income tax documents. It’s quick and easy and takes about 20 minutes to complete. GTP is written in easy-to-understand language. Foreign Nationals don’t have to understand the U.S. tax system, they simply need to answer a few questions about their time spent in the U.S. and any payments they received, that’s all. GTP does the rest by deciding which tax return to file and putting the right information on the right line. If you need more information about GTP or have any questions contact your Institution Administrator, Tony Tijero, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All tax forms and instructions can be downloaded from the Internal Revenue Service website. Sections of particular interest include:
- International Taxpayers
- International Taxpayer - Who is a Student
- Publication 519–U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
- Publication 901–U.S. Tax Treaties (If you are considered a non-resident for tax purposes, tax treaties between the U.S. and your home country may positively affect your tax liability.)
Other tax-related resources include:
- U.S. Tax Solutions for Foreign Nationals
- UT Austin Guide for Nonresident Aliens Preparing Federal Income Tax Returns
NOTE: Most student tax returns are basic in nature and can be completed using Form 1040NR-EZ and Form 8843. However, if you have a more complicated situation, you will need to obtain the services of a commercial tax preparation organization or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Please note that links to other sites are provided only as a service to F-1 students. These links do not constitute an endorsement of products, services or information provided by other sites.