I'm a non-resident alien in the US with a work visa.

All this taxing process is new for me since I moved into the US on July 2012 as my first job and never knowing much about tax processes here. Then I moved to a new city (same state, CA) and changed employer at the beginning on 2013.

I have never filed taxes. Only until last month I got my W2 from my 2012 employer, it got lost in the mail in between the moving so I didn't have access to it before and because of my tax ignorance didn't worry too much about it.

Now I was ready to get that TurboTax website to help me file my taxes but looks like it, and other tax sites as well, have closed for the season.

I don't know what to do! From conversation with friends sounds like I am entitled to a refund and I most probably don't owe anything. But although I find a lot of info on how everything is ok, I can't find info on where to start being in my situation.

Any help, tips and pointers are most welcome.

1 Answer 1


Turbot Tax is not a good choice for a non-resident filer. It has no knowledge of relevant tax treaties and may not support some of the forms that you may be required to file.

I suggest you get to a professional tax preparer (and preferably not a chain like H&R Block etc), that has experience with preparing tax returns for exapts from your country. Check some of your friends and colleagues for references, I'm sure you know of people who had been in a similar situation.

All tax preparers in California must be licensed as either CRTP, EA, CPA or Attorney. Make sure the preparer you're talking to is indeed licensed.

You're quite behind, so you may be required to pay a penalty for late filing. I suggest to deal with this ASAP.

  • thanks for the tip, I will definitely look into getting a professional. That said, may main question was regarding the filing late process on this time of the year. Are we right now in some sort of special season regarding taxes (late Oct, Beginning of Nov)?
    – joel
    Oct 27, 2013 at 19:43
  • 1
    @joel nothing special other than you being late on your filing. You'd be in a better shape filing before October 15th, but that ship has sailed.
    – littleadv
    Oct 27, 2013 at 23:35
  • why would've Oct 15th been better?
    – joel
    Nov 1, 2013 at 0:54
  • @joel Oct. 15th is the deadline for automatic extension. If you file before that they might have "looked the other way" for you being late... After that they cannot legally do that.
    – littleadv
    Nov 1, 2013 at 0:55

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