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UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars
taxseason

Important Note

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you via email. If you receive an email from someone claiming they are from the IRS and are unsure of the authenticity of the email, please report it to fraudreport@saonet.ucla.edu. Never share your Social Security Number (SSN) with anyone via email.

TAX Workshops:

The purpose of these workshops is to provide general guidance and knowledge to international students and scholars on the process of filing Federal and State tax returns.

->SPRINTAX

Visit their website

Webinars for Filing Season 2021:

->GLACIER

provides workshops for non-resident students, scholars, staff, faculty and affiliates who have taxable income (e.g. wages, stipends, fellowships, scholarships, awards, etc.)

Visit their webpage

Tax Workshops:

->CA Franchise Tax Board (FTB)

For non-resident students, scholars, staff, faculty and affiliates who have taxable income (e.g. wages, stipends, fellowships, scholarships, awards, etc.) in California:

Visit their website

Webinars:

->UCLA Financial and Wellness Program Tax workshop (for International Students):

Visit their webpage

General Tax Filing Information

IRS- Foreign Students and Scholars

International students, trainees, scholars, teachers, researchers, exchange visitors, and cultural exchange visitors who are considered non-residents for federal and state tax purposes must file taxes in the U.S., regardless of whether or not you were employed during the 2020 calendar year. Income includes, but is not limited to: salary, wages, scholarships, fellowships and U.S. investments.

If you didn’t receive any taxable income, you are still required to file a Form 8843. Form 8843 is an informational statement required by the U.S. government for certain nonresident aliens (including the spouses or dependents of nonresident aliens). An ITIN or SSN is not necessary to complete Form 8843.

Taxes for the calendar year (i.e. Jan 01, 2020 – December 31, 2021) are reported in the following year and are generally due by April 15th - 18th of every year. Tax forms are filed with both the U.S. Government (federal) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. state(s) where the income was earned. For example, if a student earned income in California (CA) and Texas (TX), that student would be required to file a federal tax form as well as two separate state forms for both CA and TX.

Important Note: Visa Counselors at the Dashew Center are not trained nor certified to advise on U.S. taxation, and therefore cannot answer specific tax questions nor help in the preparation of tax forms. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to meet your tax obligations and consult with a qualified tax professional to help answer any questions.

Non-Resident Alien VS. Resident Alien

Non-Resident Aliens (NRA) for tax purposes are individuals who have not passed the green card test or the substantial presence test.

  • Most F-1/J-1 students and their dependents are considered NRAs for their first five years in the U.S.
  • J-1 Scholars are typically considered NRAs for their first two years in the U.S.

Note: These are considered calendar years, so if you arrive at any point of year, even on Dec 31, that will count as your first year of residence.

Resident Aliens (RA) for tax purposes are individuals who meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test.

To help determine whether you are a NRA or RA for tax purposes, please visit the IRS website.

Forms required to file federal/state forms:

You will receive different forms in the mail or electronically depending on how you have earned money or income that year. A person who earns a standard wage/salary will receive a W-2 form and will do their taxes based on that information. However, if you have received scholarships, stipends, fellowships, etc., you will receive a 1042-S.

Note: UCLA employees and scholars can elect to receive their W-2 forms electronically through UCPath. Once you have received all of your income and earnings documents for the tax year, you can begin to find and complete relevant federal and state tax forms before submitting them to the Federal and/or State governments that apply to your situation. In addition to the tax documents that may be received, you should also be prepared to have your passport, visa, valid I-20, most recent I-94 Admission Record, SSN or ITIN (not required to complete Form 8843).

How do I file?

If you held an appointment with UCLA or received taxable income from UCLA in 2021:

GLACIER TAX PREP

Please ensure that you have completed your GLACIER record with UCLA Corporate and Financial Services. Once your UCLA GLACIER record is complete, you will then gain access to GLACIER TAX PREP free of charge (only for those with a 2020 UCLA GLACIER record). GLACIER TAX PREP is a secure web-based tax compliant software that provides non-resident international students, scholars, and their dependents assistance in preparing their U.S. federal income tax form. GLACIER helps determine tax residency, withholding rates and income tax treaty eligibility.

Complete your GLACIER record.

Once your UCLA GLACIER record is complete, access GLACIER TAX PREP.

Important Note : GLACIER TAX PREP does NOT assist you with filing your state tax form. However, you have the option to utilize Sprintax, another tax preparation software that allows you to complete your state tax form (see below).

UCLA VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA)

VITA at UCLA is an IRS-sponsored organization that provides free federal and state income tax preparation assistance. Only utilize VITA if you have a UCLA GLACIER record and have received your federal return from GLACIER. VITA can help you prepare your state tax forms, look over your federal return and help with the mailing process.

For more information or to schedule an appointment

Contact information: vitaucla@gmail.com

If you received taxable income in 2021 (not from UCLA):

SPRINTAX (supports federal and state tax filing)

The Dashew Center has teamed up with Sprintax to provide non-residents an easy-to-use tax preparation software to file tax forms. Sprintax is a web-based tax filing system designed exclusively for international students, scholars, and their dependents to guide in preparing U.S. federal and state income tax forms.

Contact information: hello@sprintax.com / 1-866-601-5695

Federal Tax Form 8843

All F-1/J-1 students and scholars (including dependents) who are non-resident aliens for tax purposes must file Form 8843, even if they have NOT received U.S. income. This form is not an income tax form, but an informational statement required by the IRS.

For more information

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you via email. If you receive an email from someone claiming they are from the IRS and are unsure of the authenticity of the email, please report it to fraudreport@saonet.ucla.edu. Never share your Social Security Number (SSN) with anyone via email.

Dashew Center staff cannot advise on tax related issues. Students and scholars should consult with a qualified tax professional for individual assistance. We also encourage students to visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website or call: 1-800-829-1040. You may also visit the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) website or call: 1-800-852-5711.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need to file taxes?

If you were present in the United States during 2020 and hold a non-immigrant visa other than a B1/B-2, you must file at least one U.S. federal tax form, such as Form 8843. F-2 and J-2 dependents will also need to file tax forms. If you were NOT in the U.S. at any time in 2020, you do not need to file Form 8843.

When should I file my taxes?

Generally, the deadline to file your taxes is April 15 of every year.

I need more time to file my taxes, is it possible to get an extension?

If you need additional time to file your tax forms, you can file for an extension to file your tax return.

I did not earn any income last year. Am I still required to file taxes?

While you are not required to file taxes, all non-resident aliens under tax purposes are still required to file Form 8843. Note: Residents for tax purposes are NOT required to file Form 8843.

If I am considered a resident for tax purposes, how can I file my taxes?

As a resident for tax purposes, you can use the same tools and forms that U.S. citizens or permanent residents use. This means you could use a web-based tax preparation software, such as Turbo Tax or H&R Block. As a resident for tax purposes, you will not be able to use software that has been specifically made for non-residents, such as Glacier or Sprintax. This is true even if you have used these programs as non-resident in the past.

Does my Non-Resident Spouse/Dependent need to file taxes?

Same filing requirements as the visa holder are required.

Does my country have a tax treaty with the U.S.?

Please visit UCLA’s Tax Treaty Eligibility by Country for Income Code for more information on which countries have a tax treaty with the United States for individuals receiving a scholarship or fellowship for study, training, or research.

What resources are available to me for more information?