The tax system in the U.S. is very complex. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), all international students and scholars who were present in the U.S. in the previous calendar year must file a Federal income tax return by April 15th of the current calendar year. In the case of California residents, a State Income Tax return must also be filed by April 15th of the current calendar year. Florida residents are not required to file a State Income Tax return. Many Americans find the system difficult to navigate so they decide to hire a tax accountant to assist in filing an accurate and complete tax return. Many other Americans use a tax software package to help them file their Federal and State Income Tax return.
TSRI does not have staff that are trained or licensed to answer questions or provide advice concerning tax matters. Tax law is a separate area of law which is complex and often requires assistance from a tax expert (most commonly a Certified Public Accountant or Registered Tax Return Preparer). For most international students and scholars, it is possible to file taxes without personal assistance by using an online tax preparation software, like one of those listed below. However, for those who have complex financial situations, or who need help in person to file either their State or Federal tax return forms, there are also tax preparation accountants and services listed below.
The following resources are provided for informational purposes. The International Office or TSRI does not verify or endorse any specific tax expert, service, product or resource. An overview of what you need to know about filing taxes can be found below in the section entitled Forms, Publications and Articles.
H & R Block
Tax preparation service with approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail locations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, and on U.S. military bases around the world.
Tax preparation service with more than 6,500 offices across the country and Puerto Rico, including year-round neighborhood storefronts and seasonal high-traffic kiosks in select Walmart and Sears stores.
Liberty Tax Service
Tax preparation service with 4,000+ locations throughout the US and Canada.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Free assistance for lower-income individuals, located mainly at public libraries.
Below are some examples of online tax preparation software packages, specifically for nonresidents for tax purposes, which are relatively inexpensive and allow you to accurately complete tax forms with specific step-by-step instructions, print and mail your income tax return.
Gary R. Engler, CPA, CFP
Gary R. Engler & Company, CPA's
11845 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Sam Rock, CPA
Rock & Hardin
3355 Lenox Rd., Ste. 750
Atlanta, GA 30326
Other Tax Filing Resources Nationwide
Federal Tax Information
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Phone: (800) TAX-FORM (to order forms)
Phone: (800) 829-1040 (tax questions)
Internal Revenue Service Customer Service Numbers
Non-resident aliens for tax purposes 1-215-516-2000
Resident aliens for tax purposes 1-800-829-1040
540NR: California Nonresident or Part-year Resident Income Tax Return
Form 1040NR: US Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return
Form 1040NR-EZ: US Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens with No Dependents
1095-A,B or C: Health Care Information Forms for Individuals
Form 8843: Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition
Publication 17: Your Federal Income Tax
Publication 519: U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
Publication 901: U.S. Tax Treaties
California Nonresidents and Part-year Residents
Health Coverage Tax Information (Form 1095)
How Income Taxes Work
Nonresident Alien or Resident Alien
Suspicious Emails and Identity Theft
Tax Information for Foreign Students and Scholars
Taxation of Nonresident Aliens
Updates for 2016 coming soon.
A general overview of 2015 California State Tax requirements for nonresident taxpayers was provided during a tax workshop by Ms. Charlotte Carroll and Ms. Joyce Davis, California State Franchise Tax Board, February 2016.
A copy of those PowerPoint Presentations can be found below:
CA Local IRS Office (Federal Taxes)
880 Front St.
San Diego, CA 92101
PH (619) 615-9555
Local California State Franchise Tax Board Office (CA State Taxes)
7575 Metropolitan Dr., Suite 201
San Diego, CA 92108
PH (800) 852-5711
Other Tax Filing Resources - Florida
FL Local IRS Office (Federal Taxes)
1700 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
PH (561) 616-2002
United Way Tax Assistance Services