Taxes

2014 Federal and State of CA taxes must be postmarked by:

 Wednesday, April 15, 2015

 

Most international students and scholars 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, money earned from U.S. mutual funds or U.S. bank accounts.

Taxes for each calendar year are reported in the spring of the following 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 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.

F-1 and J-1 students and their dependents are usually considered non-residents (NR) for tax purposes for their first five years in the United States. Non-residents file federal form 1040NR (long form) or 1040NR-EZ (short form). Scholars are also typically considered NR 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) sitespecifically Publication 519 (U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens), to find out which resident (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) or non-resident tax forms to fill out.

To determine residency threshold for tax liability, 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 and Statement of Non-Residence every tax season, even if no income was earned. Please note that being a resident for tax purposes does not mean resident for immigration purposes.

In late February 2015, OIS will provide online tax preparation software to assist USC non-residents in preparing tax forms. The software will be accessible through the OIS website beginning late February 2015 and will help students and scholars prepare their tax returns and generate applicable forms.

OIS staff cannot answer tax-related questions. Students and scholars will be notified by email when the tax preparation software becomes available in late February 2015.