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Income Tax Resources for Foreign Nationals

Income Tax Resources for Foreign Nationals

In the United States, even if you do not owe any tax, you may be obligated to FILE a return. Filing the return is what tells the federal (and state) government what your status is and whether or not you owe anything.

PLEASE NOTE: The staff of the International Services Office and Payroll are not trained or licensed to answer questions concerning your tax situation or offer any tax advice.


Avoid Scams
U.S. Federal Taxes

California State Taxes
Florida State Taxes
Tax Residency
Independent Online Resources
Resident Alien for Tax Purposes?


Beware of identity theft, scams, and phishing. The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you via email. Any unrequested email appearing to originate from the IRS should not be opened. Never give personal information in an email (social security number, ITIN, passwords, date of birth). Also see the information provided by the IRS at the link below.

IRS Release on Suscpicious Emails and Identity Theft


U.S. Internal Revenue Website:

There is a phone number specifically set up to answer questions that foreign nationals have about taxes, tax treaties and international tax law. The phone call is NOT free:

(267) 941 1000

This line is staffed by representatives of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service familiar with U.S. tax regulations affecting foreign nationals working in the United States.  The on-hold time to speak with a representative can vary depending upon time of day. However, the on-hold time increases significantly closer to 15 April.

Federal Income Tax Forms:

Form 1040NR
Instructions for Form 1040NR
Form 1040NR EZ
Instructions for Form 1040NR EZ

Tax Treaties

Tax treaties can be difficult to read and new treaties are being added all the time. You can find the IRS tax treaty publication on-line:
The IRS publication 901 can be downloaded at this web site:



California Franchise Tax Board Website:

California has a free telephone number to call for assistance:

800 852 5711

There is also a local office where you can meet with a representative of the California State Franchise Tax Board (that's the state's version of the federal IRS):

Mission Valley
7575 Metropolitan Drive, Suite 201
San Diego, CA 92108



Florida does not have state income tax; therefore, there is nothing to file for the state of Florida. However, you must still file with the federal government.


Your tax residency is defined by U.S. tax laws and is used for tax filing purposes only. Your tax residency (for example resident alien, non-resident alien, dual status alien) determines your tax obligations and any tax deductions, credits, or exemptions you may qualify for. Do not confuse your tax residency status with your non-immigrant visa status.

For help determining your tax residency for tax filing purposes, visit:


  • Also refer to information on the Substantial Presence Test
  • Students (pursuing a Ph.D.) on F and J visas are presumed under the law to be NON-residents for tax filing purposes for up to five (5) calendar years.
  • Scholars (post-docs) on J visas are presumed to be NON-residents for tax filing purposes for up to two (2) calendar years.
  • If you used up your five (5) calendar years as a student NON-resident alien you cannot start the clock over in the scholar category and benefit as a non-resident alien.

INDEPENDENT ON-LINE RESOURCES is a CPA firm that advertises itself to International Scholars and Student.

Note: this is not an endorsement by The Scripps Research Institute, the International Services Office, the IRS, or the California Franchise Tax Board.

GLACIER Tax Prep Online Tax Preparation

GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) is a web-based application designed to assist "NON-resident aliens for tax purposes" complete Federal Tax forms.

(DO NOT confuse "non-resident alien for tax purposes" with your F, J, H, TN, E, or O visa status. See the above resources for more information.)

GTP can be used by both Florida and California TSRI foreign nationals for filing their FEDERAL tax returns.

GTP is available for purchase at (not available until Mid-February).



File your taxes as U.S residents file. Many services are available to help you complete your tax return.