Stanford University cannot provide individual tax advice. We can only provide basic general guidelines to get you started in preparing your taxes. No information on this site may be considered formal tax advice. Consult an appropriate tax advisor as necessary.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all international students and scholars to file federal tax forms, whether or not they had earned income during the tax year. In addition, F-2 and J-2 dependents must also file certain tax forms. In the U.S., tax forms are filed in the current year for the previous year.
If you had any U.S. source income in 2019, the tax-filing deadline is April 15, 2020. If you had no U.S. source income in 2019, you have until June 15, 2020 to file appropriate forms.
All international students and scholars must also file state tax forms if their income in 2019 was more than a certain amount. J-2s may also need to file.
If you arrived in the US after December 31, 2019, you do not have to file any tax forms in 2020.
Tax definitions of "resident" and "non-resident" are different from immigration definitions of those terms. This information below is for students and scholars who qualify as non-residents for tax purposes. If you are a resident for tax purposes, you will need to complete the same tax forms as U.S. citizens. You can either prepare your own tax return or hire a qualified professional tax preparer.
Bechtel International Center, in cooperation with the Controller’s Office, provides a free online tax software package Glacier Tax Prep to all international students and scholars in F or J status at Stanford University who are considered non-residents for tax purposes. This software provides you with guidance on filing your taxes and has tax experts available via email for individual tax questions.
Glacier Tax Prep can be used to determine your resident status for tax purposes and prepare your federal income tax forms. However, it does not file the tax return electronically. You must print, sign, and mail the tax returns/forms generated by Glacier Tax Prep.
You are not obligated to use this software. You can complete the tax forms on your own or use the services of a professional tax firm. Stanford does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of your tax return.
Regardless of how you choose to complete your tax forms, you should keep all copies of your tax returns. You may need them when applying for future immigration benefits.
If you will be receiving a 1042 form from Stanford payroll, please wait till you receive it before using the software.
International students and scholars may also be responsible for filing California State Taxes. Although, Glacier Tax Prep Software assists with filing federal taxes, you will need to seek alternative software options (Examples: CA Tax Board, Sprintax, Turbotax, HR Block) for completion of state taxes. The information provided below is offered directly by the State of California Tax Board. Please review their "Individual Filing Requirements" section for more information.