Filing an income tax return is required by law and is not voluntary. If you fail to file taxes, the Internal Revenue Service can assess penalties and interest, and can seize U.S. bank assets for payment. Fines and penalties often amount to more than the original tax debt.
There can also be immigration consequences for failing to file taxes. Applicants for permanent residency are frequently asked to provide proof of tax filing.
Doing your own taxes can often be quite complicated. Therefore, the Office of International Programs has compiled the following information to assist you. However, Whittier College and the Office of International Programs staff are not tax professionals and cannot provide individualized tax advising and/or filing assistance.
Tax statements will be sent to you after January 1. These will come from your employer(s), bank(s), Whittier College, etc. The deadline for submitting your tax forms is April 15.
If you did not earn any income during the previous year, you must submit the following:
If you did earn income during the previous year, you will need to submit the following:
You will need a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to complete the Federal 1040 NR, Federal 1040NR-EZ, and California State 540NR. If you do not have a SSN or ITIN at the time you file taxes, you may apply for an ITIN in conjunction with filing your tax return. You do not need a SSN or ITIN to file the Form 8843.
You will also need any tax statements supplied by your employer(s), Whittier College (or other colleges you have attended), bank(s), etc. The most common forms students and scholars receive are:
Note: You may receive additional and/or different forms depending on your own personal circumstances, such as if you own a home, earned income through investments, etc.