- Important Note: The 2022 Federal Tax Filing Deadline is October 16, 2023. The CA State Deadline can be found at the California FTB webpage.
Be aware of scams:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Never share your Social Security Number (SSN) with anyone via email.
Frequently Asked Questions:
General Tax Filing Information
Who Needs to File Taxes?
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 previous 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.
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.
Non-Resident Alien VS. Resident Alien
Non-Resident Aliens (NRA) for tax purposes are individuals who do not hold a green card (permanent residency card) or have passed the substantial presence test.
- Most F-1/J-1 students and their dependents are considered Non-Resident Alienfor their first five years in the U.S.
- J-1 Scholars are typically considered Non-Resident Alienfor their first two years in the U.S.
Resident Aliens (RA)for tax purposes are individuals who meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test.
Note: 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 must file your Federal Taxes and your state taxes separately.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 are a nonresident and need to file federal and state taxes & have received taxable income in the last year:
SPRINTAX (tax filing software that supports federal and state tax filing)
How does it work for students? See here!
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.
Still have tax questions or need more assistance? Consult with a H&R Block or similar verified tax professional/software.
Note: We do nor recommend using TurboTax as a nonresident (Watch this video to learn more).
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to E-file your Federal tax return. However, this will depend on certain eligibility criteria. You can learn more about eligibility in this Sprintax blog.
Provides tax documents if you held an appointment with UCLA or received taxable income from UCLA in the past year:
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. Visit their website for more!
UCLA GLACIER (International students & scholars with UCLA income only)
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.
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 above).
Do I need to file taxes?
If you were present in the United States during the previous calendar year 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 previous calendar year, you do not need to file Form 8843.
When should I file my taxes?
Generally, the deadline to file your taxes is April 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.
How can I file my taxes?
Does my Non-Resident Spouse/Dependent need to file taxes?
Yes, non-residents spouses/dependents should follow the same requirements as the primary visa holder.
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.
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.
What resources are available to me for more information?
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Internal Revenue Service – Foreign Students and Scholars
- IRS - Taxation for Nonresident Aliens - General Information
- State of California Franchise Tax Board
- UCLA Tax Services
The Dashew Center in partnership with Sprintax, Glacier, FTB and VITA offers tax workshops during filling season every year. 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 (Online Tax Filling Software)
The Dashew Center has arranged discount codes ($5 off) from Sprintax for you! The codes will be distributed on a first come first serve basis.
How to use it? all you need to do is:
- Register and follow the simple instructions
- Complete the online questionnaire
- Enter your unique discount code: 22UCLA500F5 in the box on the ‘Review your order’page
- Sprintax will prepare your tax return
Attend Sprintax webinars in 2023 to learn more:
California Franchise Tax Board (FTB)
Provide assistance with state taxes (in California) for non-resident students, scholars, staff, faculty and affiliates who have taxable income (e.g. wages, stipends, fellowships, scholarships, awards, etc.):
Tax Filing Webinar: March 1st, 2023 - from 12-1pm (PT): Register now!
UCLA Financial Wellness Program Annual Tax Education Workshops:
- Watch the recording of the last workshop on February 13th:"Tax Education Workshop for International Bruins" (Password:PtPhc&39)
Visit their webpage for more!
provides workshops for non-resident students, scholars, staff, faculty and affiliates who have taxable income from UCLA(e.g. wages, stipends, fellowships, scholarships, awards, etc.) -
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).
2023 Tax Workshops: dates coming up soon