Tax Information for International Students & Scholars

Income Taxes

If you earn money in the U.S. you may be required to pay federal and state income taxes.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code contains special provisions that apply to non-immigrants in F and J status.  For foreign students and scholars, certain income may be exempt from tax payment.  Factors affecting your tax obligation include the following:

  • US. residency or non-residency. This refers to your tax status, not your immigration status.
  • California state residency (for tax purposes). Even if you are exempt from federal taxes, you may be required to pay state taxes.
  • Tax treaties between the U.S. and your home government.
  • Worldwide income compared to income earned in the U.S. and in California.
  • Spouse employment.
  • Scholarships. In general, scholarships that cover costs beyond tuition and books as taxable.

Filing Taxes

Tax season is from January 1 to April 15 every year. The University of San Diego has partnered up with , an online tax preparation service.

For international students who did not engage in paid employment on-campus or off-campus (CPT), please prepare to complete the 8843 form, federal tax return and (potentially) California state tax return on Sprintax by doing the following:

  • Gather your passport and DS-2019 
  • Access your   (you will need this to answer questions on Sprintax)
  • Follow the Sprintax set-up instructions below 

Students may also bypass Sprintax and complete the simple 8843 form on their own. . There is a  available on completing the form. 

For international students who engaged in paid employment on-campus or off-campus, please prepare to complete the 8843 form, federal tax return and (potentially) California state tax return on Sprintax by doing the following:

  • Gather your passport, DS-2019 and any tax documents (which may include 1042s, W2, and/or 1099) as well as your bank information. 
    *If you worked on or off campus and did not receive a W-2 or 1099 form showing your annual income for 2016 and taxes withheld, please contact your former employer (off-campus) or USD Payroll () for on-campus employment.
  • Access your  (you will need this to answer questions on Sprintax)
  • Follow the Sprintax set-up instructions below 

Instructions To Access Sprintax Tax Preparation Program

  • Register for  and follow the simple instructions.
  • Complete the online questionnaire.
  • Enter the code USD2016B in the box on the 'Review your order' page. Note that this is for USD students and non-USD students will be asked to reimburse USD if they use this code).
  • Sprintax will prepare your tax return and even check if you are due a refund.

 Finally, you have to print, sign, and mail your documents once you complete the preparation process through Sprintax. If you have any questions, please email Sprintax at . You can also access a live chat function while completing the forms on Sprintax.