This TAX INFORMATION may be very helpfull to you as a J-1 or F-1 visa holder in the SLAC community.  Please read through it entirely as the last section includes meeting dates when informational sessions will be held on campus to help you understand the filing process.  No one at SLAC can provide any tax preparation advise.  Resources to help you take care of this obligation are included within the message.

This information is provided by the Bechtel Internatonal Center and the University's Controller's Office.

Regards,  Robyn, Ruth and Kerri of the International Services Office


In previous years, all F and J visa holders had to file federal income tax
returns even if the holder had no taxable income. Now non-resident F and J
visa holders who have no U.S. income do not have to file. Income includes
salaries from jobs; scholarships, stipends, or grants from Stanford
University or other US organization; and interest earned from a U.S. bank
account or dividends from a U.S. company. 'Filing a tax return' means
completing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms (1040NR) which record
annual income and any taxes paid. In California, you must also file a state
income tax return, as well as the federal (IRS) forms. The 1999 tax year
runs from January 1 through December 31, 1999. NOTE: All F and J visa
holders must still file an IRS form 8843 even if exempt from filing a tax
return. Form 8843 keeps track of your status as a non-resident.

You must file a 1999 income tax return, reporting any income earned in
1999, by April 15, 2000. Students who have received only scholarship
stipends must file before June 15, 2000. However, if you are in the latter
category and you owe any taxes you must file by April 15, 2000.
Before completing a tax return, you must determine if you are a resident
alien or a non-resident alien for tax purposes (resident aliens are taxed
on world-wide income while non-residents are taxed only on income
"effectively connected" with their stay in the U.S.) The IRS determines
resident or non-resident status based on whether one has been formally
granted legal resident status, or on the amount of time spent in the U.S.
Generally, F-1 and J-1 students file as non-residents the first five years
they are in the U.S. Normally, J-1 visitors file as non-residents their
first two years. After that, the filing status is based on the number of
days they have spent in the U.S. (the substantial presence test.)
Under the substantial presence test, F or J visa *students* are
non-resident aliens if:
a.) they have been in the U.S. for less than 5 calendar years or
b.) were present in the U.S. for less than 31 days in 1999 or
c.) if the following add up to less than 183 days, not counting any days
you were an exempt individual: The number of days you were present in the
US in 1999 + 1/3 the number of days you were present in 1998 + 1/6 the
number of days you were present in 1997.

For teacher/trainee F or J visa holders the test considers you
a>non-resident exempt from standard filing if you have not been exempt for
any part of 2 of the preceding 6 years or you have been exempt as a
teacher for 3 or fewer years and a foreign employer paid all of your
compensation during all of those years. In addition, you must pass the '183
days' test in the preceding paragraph to qualify as a non-resident teacher
or trainee.
For a more complete explanation, you should obtain IRS publication
#519 entitled U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens which explains fully the
differences between resident and non-resident aliens (see below for
information on IRS publications). IRS publication #901 U.S. Tax Treaties
may also be useful.
Non-resident aliens file federal tax returns on Form 1040NR (or 1040NR EZ),
the Non-resident Alien Income Tax Return and California tax returns on Form
540 or 540NR depending on the length of time they have resided in
The International Center currently has the following forms: 8843, 1040NR,
1040NR instructions, 1040NR-EZ, and 1040NR EZ Instructions. (You may pick
up forms at the front entry area of the I-Center.) In addition, many public
libraries (except for Palo Alto libraries) have a supply of both federal
and state forms from January through April. The International Center does
NOT have state forms but they are available at most U.S. Post Offices. If
you cannot locate the forms you need at any of these locations, you may
call the offices listed below:
To order Form 8843, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ or Form 1040 (federal income tax
forms) call:
1-800-829-3676 (1-800-TAX-FORM) or download them from the website:
To order Form 540NR or Form 540 (state income tax forms) call:
(be prepared to provide your social security number) or download them from
the website:
Once you have determined if you are a resident or a non-resident for tax
purposes and have obtained the appropriate federal and state tax forms, you
must have in hand your wage and tax statement(s) (W-2, 1042S, or 1099MISC)
from your employer(s) or sponsor(s). The 1042-s is mailed in mid-March. If
you do not receive these forms in the mail, you should contact your
employer/sponsor. These statements will list your income and any tax paid
during 1999. (Bank interest is non-taxable for non-resident aliens).
The following table indicates the documents you will need:
Wage earners paid twice a month by Stanford: W-2
Non-resident scholarship/fellowship recipients: 1042S
Wage earners paid twice a month on treaty: 1042s
Independent contractors: 1099
Some people will receive a refund from the federal or state government,
while others will have to pay taxes. You will know if you are due a refund
or must pay taxes after you have completed the forms.
The U.S. has signed tax treaties with some countries which may exempt
certain individuals from paying federal income tax in the US. Although you
may have a tax treaty exemption, you are still required to file an income
tax return. For details, you should obtain publication #901. Since every
treaty is different, it is important that you find out the specifics of the
treaty with your country. For example, a treaty that exempts a scholarship
from tax may not exempt income from employment. The following is a list of
countries with which the U.S. has signed tax treaties (for one type of
income or another). The following countries have tax treaty articles which
affect international students and scholars: Belgium, Canada, China (PRC),
CIS (applies to some new republics of the former USSR), Cyprus, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,
India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakstan, Korea,
Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Thailand, Trinidad &
Tobago, Tunisia, United Kingdom.
The International Center is sponsoring three information sessions on income
taxes for non-resident foreign students and scholars. These sessions will
focus on the 1040NR EZ form only and will be held on the following dates:
Tuesday, March 10 at 2:30 pm in the I-Center Assembly room
Friday, March 17 at 2:30 pm in the I-Center Assembly room
Friday, April 7 at 2:30 pm in the I-Center Assembly room
(WARNING: If you cannot attend any of these presentations, you will have
to go through the instruction booklet yourself or perhaps find your own
private tax preparer. I-Center staff cannot provide a listing of private
tax preparers, so you may need to look through the "yellow pages" under
"taxes consultants & representatives" for additional help.)

Ruth Thor Nelson, Manager
International Services Office
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
P.O. Box 4349, MS 11
Stanford, CA 94309
Telephone (650) 926-3113
Fax 650-926-4999