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US Tax Information for International Students at CCA

Last updated on Apr 17, 2024


The purpose of this section is to provide general information about your responsibilities related to US taxes.

CCA and the ISS staff are not tax professionals and can not provide assistance with tax related questions. Do not request ISS appointments for help with tax forms - please use the resources listed below.

Who must file tax forms?

All international students! Every international student present in the US for at least one day during the tax year 2023 (January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023) must file at least one tax form - Form 8843.

When do I need to file tax forms?

Tax statements for the 2023 tax year will be sent to you by your bank and employers (including CCA), after January 1, 2024. The deadline to file your 2023 tax return is Monday, April 15, 2024.

If you did not file your forms by April 15, 2024, we recommend submitting them AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid further delays or penalties. Sprintax (see below under Tax Preparation Resources) will assist with late filings.

Where can I learn more about taxes?

The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has information dedicated to tax information for foreign students and scholars available on the IRS Website.

Sprintax offers Tax Webinars for international students for Filing Season 2023

What tax forms do I need to file?

ALL F-1 and J-1 students must file Form 8843, even if no income was earned in 2023:

  • File Form 8843 (F-1 and J-1 students are categories of exempt individuals). Form 8843 is not an income tax form, but is required by the IRS for tax purposes.
    • If you need to complete and submit Form 8843 as your only tax form for the filing year, send the form to the address on page 3 of the form under "When and Where to File."
    • A SSN or ITIN is not required to complete Form 8843.

If you earned income in 2023, you may also need to file a federal or state tax return, or both in addition to Form 8843:

  • File Form 8843 (F-1 and J-1 students are categories of exempt individuals)
    • Send Form 8843 with your other tax forms listed below.
  • If you are required to file a federal tax return and have received your W-2 income tax forms from any employers from tax year 2023, use Form 1040NR if you are considered a nonresident for tax purposes.
    • IMPORTANT : Most international students are considered nonresidents for tax purposes. If you are unsure if you would be considered a resident or nonresident for tax purposes, please review the Substantial Presence Test or consult one of the tax resources listed below. You could face tax penalties if you complete the wrong form.
    • If you are considered a resident for tax purposes, use Form 1040 to file taxes.
  • You will likely also have to file a California state tax return using Form 540NR. For more information on if you need to file (based on level of income) visit the Franchise Tax Board non resident information page.

Taxes can be complicated. If you are unsure if you must or should file a tax return, if you are considered a nonresident or resident, or have any other questions about your personal tax situation, please consult a professional tax resources below.

How do I file my tax forms?

You can either file your tax forms yourself, or use a tax preparation company (SEE BELOW). Many people in the United States use tax-preparation software or pay a tax-preparation company to prepare and file tax forms.

To file taxes yourself, download the forms:

  • Form 8843 (even with no income earned, this form is required for all F-1 and J-1 students)
  • Form 1040NR (file a federal tax return if you earned above the minimum income)
  • Form 540NR (file a California state tax return if you exceeded a specified income)

Tax-Preparation Resources

Online Tax-Preparation Resources

IRS Tax Form 8843 Online Wizard is a free online tool to help international students complete Form 8843.

Sprintax for CCA International Students is an online tax software specifically designed for international students. Complete the requested information, and their software will identify all necessary forms to file.

  • Sprintax offers a discount code on the federal tax forms for CCA international students. The code for a $5 discount for tax year 2023 is 5CCA100F23. Only 100 discounts are offered to CCA, we recommend filing tax forms early to benefit from this code.
  • Sprintax also offers informational videos on YouTube.

Tax-Aid Is a non-profit charity organization staffed with skilled volunteers, to provides year-round free tax services to the San Francisco Bay Area community. Virtual and in-person assistance is available in multiple languages.

Glacier Tax Prep is an online tax software specifically for international students. They can help with federal tax returns.

Gary R. Engler & Company is an accounting and tax-preparation company that also specializes in helping international students. Visit the website for more information.

Important Note - Do not use TurboTax, it is a popular online tax preparation, but TurboTax does NOT support IRS Form 1040-NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return). They have partnered with Sprintax to offer both federal and state tax preparation for international students, scholars, and nonresident foreign professionals. Visit the TurboTax/Sprintax site for more information.

In-Person Tax-Preparation Resources

IRS VITA Sites The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has sites where volunteers can help you prepare your tax returns.

Important Note: If you go to any other tax preparation service other than what is listed on this page, be sure to let them know you if you are considered a nonresident for US tax purposes, and ask if they have a specialist in nonresident taxes.

  • Other tax companies and software are available. If you find a tax service you want to use, and are a nonresident for tax purposes, be sure to ask if they have a specialist in nonresident taxes.
  • If it is an online tax-preparation software or service, be sure it will work for nonresident taxes. Some tax professionals are unfamiliar with nonresident taxes, and some software programs are only set up to do resident taxes.

What if I filed the 1040 resident tax forms by mistake?

If you filed resident tax forms by mistake instead of the 1040 NR form, please use the 1040 X form to correct your filing status