Please remember this information is basic general information to help you get started in completing your tax forms. Bechtel International Center staff cannot assist you with your tax forms and legally cannot answer any individual tax questions. Please contact appropriate tax counsel for specific tax questions.
Although most international students and scholars are non-resident for tax purposes, it is important to determine your tax status in order to know which forms to complete. Tax status is calculated based on how many days you have been in the US during the previous few years, and determines which tax forms you need to file.
If, in 2018, you were physically present in the U.S. for fewer than five calendar years as a student, (ie you arrived on or after 1/1/2014) you are probably a non-resident for tax purposes. (Note: You must count a calendar year even if you were not present in the U.S. for the entire year.)
If, in 2018, you were physically present in the U.S. for fewer than two calendar years as a scholar (if you first arrived on or after 1/1/2017), you are probably a non-resident for tax purposes. (Note: You must count a calendar year even if you were not present in the U.S. for the entire year.)
If you are on an H-1 temporary worker visa and were physically present in the U.S. for more than 183 days in 2018, you are probably a resident for tax purposes.
To determine whether you are resident or non-resident for tax purposes, use the Substantial Presence Test found on the IRS web site. All individuals who have non-resident status for tax purposes must file Form 8843 to maintain non-resident status for tax purposes.
Determine whether or not you have U.S. source income for the purpose of tax returns by reviewing the information from the IRS.
If you have determined that you are a non-resident for tax purposes, here are the forms that you’ll need to complete. Reminder: if you’re a resident for tax purposes you need to file your taxes as an U.S. citizen. These forms below do not apply to you if you are considered a resident for tax purposes.
Individuals who must file Form 8843 include:
You do not need the SSN or ITIN to complete Form 8843 if you have not earned U.S. source income. However, a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Information Number (ITIN) is required when filing your Form 1040NR or Form 1040 NR EZ. The IRS will return your tax form to you if you file without listing one of these numbers.
The ITIN requires completion of the IRS W-7 Application form with supporting documents.
We strongly recommend applying for the ITIN about 10-12 weeks before you plan to file your tax forms.
The second way to apply for the ITIN is in conjunction with filing your tax return. If you choose this option, Bechtel International Center cannot act as a certifier of your documents. You must obtain a certified copy of your passport from your passport issuing agency or consulate. We cannot help you with the W-7 form or if any issues arise in obtaining the ITIN.
If you received wages from Stanford for an RA/TA, hourly job, salaried position, etc:
If you received wages from non-Stanford employment, you should receive a W-2 from that employer. Contact the employer directly if you do not receive this form.
If you received a non-qualified scholarship/fellowship* from Stanford:
*A scholarship/fellowship is considered to be non-qualified if it was used for expenses other than tuition and mandatory fees at the university. Any amount that exceeds tuition and mandatory fees is taxable. You may be exempt from being taxed if your home country has a tax treaty with the U.S.
Any amount that exceeds the amount of your tuition and mandatory fees at the university is considered taxable income and is reported on a Form W-2.
Regardless of your status as a resident or non-resident for tax purposes, you should receive a Form 1099 from your bank noting the amount of interest you earned in 2018. Please keep this for your records.
All non-resident federal tax forms must be mailed to:
Department of Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
If enclosing a payment mail the form to:
Internal Revenue Service Center
P.O. Box 1303
Charlotte, NC 28201-1303
If your tax return shows a refund or no amount due, mail your forms to:
Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 942840
Sacramento CA 94240-0001
If you are enclosing a check or money order, mail your forms to:
Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 942867
Sacramento CA 94267-0001
Many students and scholars come from countries that have tax treaties with the U.S. This means that you may be able to earn a certain amount of money in the US without having to pay federal tax if your country has a tax treaty with the US. This link to Publication 901 will provide you with information on any tax treaty your country may have with the US.
Information is also available here:
Glacier Tax Prep also guides you through this process for federal taxes.
Tax workshops are being offered in webinar format. More information will be sent out via Stanford Email and posted on our Event Calendar in February. These webinars can be viewed at the Bechtel International Center or from any electronic device.