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Paying your Taxes


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The subject of taxation can be complicated for Americans, let alone visitors to the United States. UC International Services is here to assist you in any way we can. Our responsibility in this area is to assist individuals and departments with understanding and complying with US Treasury regulations on taxation. Our day to day functions primarily involve assisting visitors and departments with completing documents at the beginning of any employment/scholarship contract (W-4’s 8233’s, W-9’s, W-8BENS). We also coordinate a variety of programs to provide tax return filing assistance for non-resident and resident aliens, even if they are no longer in the United States.

The U.S. tax system encompasses at least six different types of taxes; Social Security tax, sales tax, personal property tax and three layers of income taxation (local, state, and federal). You have obligations at several levels.

Sources of U.S. income may include on-campus employment, scholarships, fellowships, graduate assistantships, practical or academic training, and any compensation received for labor. Most foreign students do not have to pay taxes on interest paid to them by U.S. banks.

Note that "income" is not limited to wages paid to you in cash, but also includes that portion of your scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship that is applied to your housing and meal expenses. The portion applied to your tuition fees, books, and supplies is not counted as income. For example University Graduate Scholarships (UGS). The payroll office and UC International Services will help you make these distinctions. Be sure to inquire about the applicability of any tax treaty (see below) that might exist between your country and the United States.

This site is designed to help answer most of the question one may have about taxes.

All F1 and J1 international students (and accompanying dependents) are required to complete an income tax return annually. For most of you, this will mean completing the form 1040NR-EZ (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return) and a form 8843. You are required to file an income tax return even if you have no income from U.S. sources, or if your income is exempt from U.S. taxes due to treaties between the U.S. and your home country.

Each spring the UC International Services will sponsor income tax assistance for international visitors. This assistance will include seminars, a volunteer income tax assistance program, income tax software, and other help. Please make sure you are subscribed to the UC International Services Blackboard module to receive information on tax assistance when it becomes available.