F-1 Student Taxes

F-1 visa holders have special filing requirements when filing for U.S. federal income tax returns and California state returns. The ISC staff cannot give any tax advice, so you will need to contact your tax advisor for assistance with completing and filling tax forms.

Taxes are due April 15th!


U.S. Federal Taxes


What kinds of forms do I need to file?

Form 8843All F-1 foreign students MUST file this form. It is a “Statement for Exempt Individuals” that exempts international students from being treated as residents for tax purposes. For free help with this form go to the Form 8843 Online Wizard.

If you held a job for OPT, CPT or an on-campus job, you will also need to file both federal and state taxes:

Form 1040NR – If you earned income, then you must file this form. If you have earned less than $3400, you will probably receive a refund by filing this form. Select one of the following:

What if  Social Security and Medicare taxes were withheld from my paycheck?
Foreign students do not need to pay Social Security or Medicare, if you have been in the US for less than 5 years.

Form 843 – This is a “Claim for Refund” used by international students to claim a refund for Social Security and Medicare taxes held in error by their employers.

Where can I get more federal tax information?
Internal Revenue Service
 US government site.


California State Taxes

Read the 540NR instructions below to determine if you must file CA taxes. Locate Box 17 on your form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) to determine whether CA taxes were withheld. If yes, then you may qualify for a refund.

What kinds of forms do I need to file?
Form 540NR – If you earned income, then you must file this form. Check e-file to determine whether you are eligible to file online. If not, then simply download and submit one of the following paper forms:

Where do I file my CA forms?
Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 942840
Sacramento 94240-0002

Where can I get more California state tax information?
California Franchise Tax Board Home Page
California Franchise Tax Board Forms