Filing a U.S. Tax Return

Cal Poly Humboldt cannot provide individual tax advice or assist you with filing a tax return. We can only provide general guidelines to get you started in preparing your taxes. No information on this site may be considered formal tax advice. Please consult appropriate tax counsel as necessary if you need to file.

For the most current, up-to-date information, please visit the IRS Foreign Students and Scholars website.

Please note that there is no minimum dollar amount of income which triggers a filing requirement for nonresidents. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all international students and scholars to file federal tax forms, whether or not they had earned income during the tax year. In addition, F-2 and J-2 dependents must also file certain tax forms.

In the US, tax forms are filed in the current year (January-April) for the previous year. For example, if you had any US source income in 2021, the tax-filing deadline would be April 15, 2022. If you had no US source income in 2021, you have until June 15, 2022 to file appropriate forms. (Please note that dates and deadlines are approximations, provided as example only).

All international students and scholars must also file state tax forms if their income in the previous year was more than a certain amount. J-2s may also need to file.

Tax definitions of resident and non-resident are different from immigration definitions. This information is for students and scholars who qualify as non-residents (NR/non-resident aliens) for tax purposes. You can either prepare your own tax return or hire a qualified professional tax preparer.

Glacier Tax Prep Software for Federal Tax

Glacier Tax Prep or Sprintax are a couple great resource that can be used to determine your resident status for tax purposes and prepare your federal income tax forms. These services may not file the tax return electronically and you might be required to print, sign, and mail the tax returns/forms generated.  Make sure to follow all instructions carefully if using one of these online services. You are not obligated to use either of these software options. You can complete the tax forms on your own or use the services of a professional tax firm.  Please note, TurboTax does not currently support the 1049-NR which is the required form for non-residents. Regardless of how you choose to complete your tax forms, you should keep all copies of your tax returns. You may need them when applying for future immigration benefits.

California State Tax

Find information on filing California State tax.