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Determine Which U.S. Tax Forms To Use

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Step 1: Tax Residency 

When filing your taxes, the first thing you have to do is determine what kind of residency you have for tax purposes. Why is this important? Because this determines how you are taxed and which tax forms you will need to complete. You can find more information about tax residency guidelines on the IRS Introduction to Residency Webpage

Step 2: U.S. Source Income

Once you have determined your tax residency, the next step is determining whether you had a U.S. source of income in the last fiscal year (January 1-December 31) . You can determine whether or not you have U.S. source income for the purpose of tax returns by reviewing the information on the IRS Website. 

Federal Forms for Non-Resident Status: With U.S. Source of Income and Without

If you have determined that you are a non-resident for tax purposes, here are the forms that you’ll need to complete: 

If you had U.S. source income in the past fiscal year:

  • Form 1040NR (for nonresidents) or Form 1040 NR-EZ
  • Form 8843 (Statement of Nonresidence)*
  • Form 8233 (Tax Treaty Exemption, if applicable)
  • Form 8316 (Incorrect Withholding of FICA, if applicable)

Without U.S. source income:

  • Form 8843
    • Individuals who must file Form 8843 include:
      • All international students, and scholars who are non-residents for tax purposes, regardless of whether they had any earned income or how many days they were in the U.S. during 2023
      • All F-2 and J-2 visa holders, regardless of age 
    • Due date for form 8843: Mid-June, 2024

State Tax Forms 

If you worked in a state other than California, you may be subject to taxes for that state as well. Other state forms can be found at the Federation of Tax Administrators Website

California State Tax Forms

  • 540NR and Instructions for nonresidents
  • Due date: Mid-April

Federal and State Tax Forms for Residents for Tax Purposes

  • 1040 
  • 540 and Instructions 
  • Due date mid-April (see IRS website for exact date)

Important Tax Forms Sent to You

You may receive the following forms from Stanford, banks, companies or other agencies

W-2: Wage and Tax Statement

This form provides the total income and total tax withheld based on a U.S. source of income and is usually sent out to employees in late January each year.

Form 1042-S: Foreign Person’s U.S. Source of Income Subject to Withholding

Is a federal tax document for a nonresident who is exempt from taxes because of a tax treaty for a scholarship, fellowship, grant or wage income. Stanford sends this document to all eligible international students and scholars by mid-March at the latest.

Form 1095-B: Health Coverage

This form is sent from your health provider to document compliance with minimum health coverage. Do not attach this form to your return, but keep for your records.

Form 1099-INT: Interest Income 

This form is sent by your bank to show the interest earned on your bank accounts. Nonresidents however are not required to pay tax on interest earned on bank accounts and therefore even if you receive this form, you should not include it with your tax return if you are a nonresident for tax purposes.

Form 1099-MISC: Miscellaneous Income

This form reflects income earned as an independent contractor. This is an alternative form to the W-2 to show income earned.

Other Considerations:

  • These forms do not apply to you if you are considered a resident for tax purposes.

Learn More 

For more information on tax resources, forms, and deadlines, visit the Student Services Tax Resource Page