2012 Federal and State of CA taxes must be postmarked by:
Monday, April 15, 2013
Most non-nationals are liable for taxation on any income earned in the United States from the beginning of their arrival in the U.S. Income can include salary, scholarships/fellowships, income from U.S. mutual funds or U.S. bank accounts.
Taxes for each calendar year are reported in the Spring of the following year and tax forms are filed with both the U.S. Government (federal) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. state(s) in which income was earned. For example, if a student earned income in California (CA) and New York (NY) that student would file separate state forms for both CA and NY.
Generally, all F-1 and J-1 students and their dependents are considered non-residents (NR) for tax purposes for their first five years in the United States and would file federal form 1040NR (long form) or 1040NR-EZ (short form). Scholars are typically considered NR regarding taxation for their first two years in the United States. H-1B, TN or O-1 status holders who have been in the U.S. for more than 183 days should go to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) site resources to see if they should file resident (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) rather than non-resident tax forms, specifically Publication 519 (U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens).
To determine residency threshold for tax liability, one would use the “Substantial Presence Test” utilized by the IRS.
ALL non-residents in F, J, M or Q status and each of their dependents must file federal form 8843, Statement of Non-Residence, each tax season even if no income was earned. You should note that being a resident for tax purposes does not mean resident for immigration purposes.
Glacier tax prep is a free software provided for USC international students to generate their federal forms. State of CA tax workshops are on-site at USC. Please click on links to the left of page for each category.