Tax documents (1099 and W-2s) start arriving from banks and employers in January.
Tax submissions and filings should be delivered to the IRS in mid-April.
General Tax Information
A federal judge famously noted that the only laws more complex than U.S. immigration laws are the U.S. tax codes. So, for international students and scholars, taxes can get extra complicated. In fact, the IRS has an entire website dedicated to International Student and Scholar Taxation issues.
Most of SCU's international students and scholars file taxes as "non-resident aliens for tax purposes". To verify if you are a "non-resident alien for tax purposes", visit our list of or the IRS's NRA website.
- All international students and scholars must submit Form 8843 each year.
- If you earn any income you also need to file an income tax return.
It’s important get your tax advice from experts in interntational student and scholar tax issues. You should be sure to ask specific questions about "non-resident alien for tax purpose" issues before paying any money for tax preparation. Below is a short list of resources for taxation related inquiries.
Disclaimer: All resources listed are suggestions and not officially endorsed by Santa Clara University or the Global Engagement Office.
NOTE: TurboTax is an online tax filing service for U.S. Citizens, Lawful Permanetn Residents and "Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes". Most international students and scholars SHOULD NOT use TurboTax. Instead, there are resources specific for “Non-Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes (NRA)”
Glacier Tax: https://www.glaciertax.com/
Gary R. Engler, CPA, CFP
H&R Block Offices
San Jose, CA 95126 (408) 998-1085
Santa Clara, CA 95051 (408) 985-1044
San Jose, CA 95112 (408) 291-0177
Liberty Tax Service
Santa Clara, CA 95050 (408) 554-1040
Tax Scams, Fraud and Phishing
Unfortunately, even in the U.S. there are dishonest people who seek to take advantage of unsuspecting international students and scholars. Here are some tips to identify and avoid scams:
- Remember that U.S. government officials (from immigration or tax agencies) will never:
- Threaten to arrest or deport you on the phone.
- Ask you to for personal financial information
- Tell you to immediately send or wire transfer money
- Never provide personal identifying information such as full legal name, address, SSN, credit card or bank information over the phone.
- Remove personal contact information (like your phone number) from social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
- If something seems like it’s not right it probably isn’t. It’s better to be cautious than to be a victim of a scam.
If you feel you've received a fraud call, please contact our office before taking any actions.
Visit the IRS for more information identifying and reporting tax frauds and scams / phishing.
Visit USCIS for more information identifying and reporting immigration frauds and scams.
Yes. Everyone must file something.
If you are an NRA, and earned no income you (and your dependents) need submit Form 8843, each year.
If you earned any income, you need to submit Federal and State Income Tax Returns.
The ISS Advisors are super good at a lot of things, but tax is not our area of expertise. We can answer general questions and help point you in the direction of expert resources, but we cannot provide you with personal tax advise or help prepare your forms.
NRA is short for “non-resident alien for tax purposes”. This is not an immigration term, it’s a technical tax related term based on a complex calculation of the number of days you’ve been in the U.S.
Most international students and scholars are NRA for their first 5 years in the U.S.
Most International Students and Scholars in F and J status are usually NRAs for their first 5 years in the U.S. but you should verify by visiting our list of or the IRS's NRA website.
Yes. If you are an “NRA” in F or J status (including dependent family members), you still must submit Form 8843, each year even if no income was earned.
Even if you only earned 1 dollar, you still need to file Federal and State Income Tax Returns.
Most international students are NRAs and therefore cannot claim tax credits for education expense (Form 1098-T is used to claim these credits).
The 1098-T form is provided to U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), as well as the spouses, and legal dependents of U.S. Citizens and LPRs. It’s also given to students who have been in the U.S. for enough time to file taxes as a “resident alien for federal tax purposes” (the opposite of “NRA”).
If you think that you qualify you may request the document from the SCU Bursar’s Office. If you are eligible this year, you need to complete and submit a W9s form and provide a copy of your SSN/ITIN card to the OneStop office no later than March.
US immigration regulations are complex and change frequently. The University strives to maintain a website that is both current and helpful, however, Santa Clara University is not responsible for students maintaining lawful immigration status; this is the responsibility of the student. Further, resources and links do not constitute endorsement by Santa Clara University.