To All International Students and Scholars (F and J) who were present in the US at any time in 2012:
RE: Tax Workshop Information and Filing Requirements for the 2012 Tax Year.
Please read this message thoroughly. Two Informational Tax Workshops will be offered in March (dates / times are at the end of this message).
I. FEDERAL TAXES – GENERAL INFORMATION FOR ALL F / J VISA HOLDERS (even if you did not work in 2012)
ALL F and J visa holders present in the US in 2012 who were non-residents for tax purposes in 2012 are required by the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) to file a tax return whether you worked in the US or did not work in the US. The Office of Global Education will be offering Tax Information Workshops to assist you. Workshop information is listed at the end of this email.
- Exception: Are you a Resident for Tax Purposes? Have you been in the US for more than 5 years (ie since 2007 or earlier?). F and J visa students are generally considered to be “residents for tax purposes” (and tax purposes only) if they have resided continuously in the US for part of 5 or more calendar years prior to 2012.
Also, if you were previously in another immigration status (ie H1b, H4, TD, E) in the US for more than 180 days then you are also considered a “resident for tax purposes”. These students need to review the requirements for US Residents to see if they are required to file tax forms (see form 1040 or 1040EZ instructions at www.irs.gov).
II. NON-RESIDENTS - WHICH TAX FORMS SHOULD YOU FILE?
Review the following categories to determine your tax filing requirements, then read the additional detailed information for your category below:
A. If you have NO US source income in 2012: File only IRS form 8843 to document non-resident alien status. See #1 below.
B. If your combined US earnings from all 2012 employers is less than $3,800: File IRS Form 8843 unless you will be seeking a refund of excess Federal Income Taxes paid in 2012. Check Box 2 on your W2 form to see if any Federal Income Tax was withheld. (If you are seeking a refund of excess Federal taxes paid, then see category C.)
C. If your US earnings are more than $3,800 – OR – If your US earnings are less than $3,800, but you have money listed in Box 2 of your W2 form and are seeking a refund of any
excess Federal Taxes paid in 2012: File either IRS form 1040NR-EZ or 1040NR along with form 8843. Also file CA State Tax form, if required (see CA State Tax information below). See #2 below.
D. Student Athletes and others who received a university- based scholarship (reported on a 1042S tax form): File either IRS form 1040NR-EZ or 1040NR along with form 8843. Also file CA State Tax form, if required (see CA State Tax information below). See #2 below.
III. FORMS & DEADLINES
1. Categories A & B who ONLY need to file the 8843 Form:
Those of you who are only required to file the IRS form 8843 can download the form from the IRS web page at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8843.pdf or request a copy of the 8843 form from the OGE. Complete the biographic information at the top of the form, Part I, Part III and sign the form. The address where to mail the form is listed on the second page of instructions under the heading “When and Where to File”.
Deadline: Mail in the form by April 15, 2013.
2. Category C & D who need to file the 8843 AND the 1040NR / 1040NR EZ:
Those of you needing to file the 1040NR / 1040NR EZ forms should plan on attending one of the tax workshops listed below UNLESS you have attended this workshop previously.
Deadline: Mail in the form by April 15, 2013.
Glacier Tax Prep Software for Category C & D Students: California State University, Sacramento has arranged for our international students to have access to a non-resident electronic tax preparation program called Glacier Tax Prep. This electronic tax preparation tool, aimed specifically at non-resident international students, should assist you in preparing your US tax return and ensure an accurate tax filing. We will be distributing Glacier Tax Prep information and access passwords at planned tax workshops and in the OGE.
- IF you have attended the Tax Workshop previously, you may request a password in person or by email without having to attend the workshop again.
Email Eric (firstname.lastname@example.org) – OR - Tracey (email@example.com). Do not email both of us, or it will waste a password!
- If you have NOT attended a tax workshop previously, you will be eligible for a Glacier Tax Prep password AFTER you attend a Tax workshop. Workshop information is below.
IV. CALIFORNIA STATE TAXES:
If your California gross income is more than $15440, in 2012, then you must also file a separate California State Tax return. If your income was less than $15440, but you had state taxes withheld on your W-2 (see box 17 on your W2 form), then you might want to file a state return depending on the amount withheld. Most students qualify to use the 540NR – Short form.
Deadline: Mail in the form by April 17, 2012.
Glacier Tax Prep does not offer an option to prepare the California state tax return. CA Non-Resident State tax forms and instructions are available at www.ftb.ca.gov and click on the link for 540NR CA Part Year or Non-resident which is located on the right. You will need the following documents available on this website:
- CA 540 NR – Short form - Print this off.
- CA 540 NR – Short form instructions - Print this off.
- 540NR Nonresident or Part Year Resident Booklet - Print off page 61 for the Renter’s Credit information – item 61 on the 540NR short form. Note: Renter’s credit. The question “Were you are resident of CA for at least 6 full months…” means did you live in CA for at least 6 full months. “Resident” in this case uses the non-immigration definition.
- 2012 California Tax Table - You do not need to print this off, just review it online to determine the amount of tax due.
NOTE: CA State tax forms are mailed to the CA Franchise Tax Board – they are not mailed with your Federal Tax return to the IRS. The address is listed in the instructions.
**NOTE ABOUT OTHER STATES & TAXES: If you worked outside of California in 2012, then review the “NON-RESIDENT” Tax requirements for that state as listed on their STATES FRANCHISE TAX BOARD website.
We have scheduled the following tax information workshops in to assist you. We expect that those of you with questions regarding US taxation will attend one of the workshops. Students with income who are filing a tax return for the first time should plan on attending one of these workshops.
Pre-registration for these workshops is required as space is limited for each session. Register in person at the OGE reception desk (please do not email).
* Friday, March 15 from 1:30 - 3:30 pm in Mariposa Hall, Room 1001
* Friday, March 22 from 1:30 - 3:30 pm in Mariposa Hall, Room 1001