In 2015 I was a research scholar in California for 4 months on J1 visa. After I returned to my home country I got a 1042-S form (rather than W-2) from the research organization for which I was working.

Now I am trying to get a tax refund and I am filling in 540 NR long California form.

Where on this form I should report my 1042-S income; there is only a field for W-2 income?

  • @MD-Tech: thanks for your assistance with editing! English is not my native language and I appreciate your help!
    – Oleg
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 13:36
  • If it is salary, you should have gotten form W2.... Were State taxes withheld?
    – littleadv
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 16:42
  • No, it is not a salary it is more like a scholarship. Yes state as well as Federal taxes were withheld and of course I have an SSN.
    – Oleg
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 16:47
  • It is written that "Form 1042-S is used to report non-wage payments for foreign nationals who are also nonresident aliens". So I guess my scholarship qualified as a "non-wage payment".
    – Oleg
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


Scholarships go to line 12 of your form 1040NR. They end up in the AGI and are carried over to the CA form 540NR line 13.

Note that if you exclude some of this scholarship due to a tax treaty, you'll need to add the exclusion back on the CA Form 540NR Schedule CA, since California doesn't recognize the US Federal tax treaties.

  • Dear @littleadv thank you very much for your reply! In my case due to the treaty, my AGI is exactly 0 (I put all the 25K of income in line 6 form 1040NREZ). How can I "add the exclusion back on the CA Form 540NR Schedule CA"? What should I write in line 13 of CA Form 540NR? My AGI from 1040NREZ which is 0, or 25K? What should I write in line 12 of 540NR (total California wages from your Form W-2, box 16)? Nothing?
    – Oleg
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 15:34
  • @Oleg you add it on Schedule CA line 21 Column C. Line 12 of 540NR should be zero, as well as line 13. Schedule CA is going to line 14 of the 540NR (make sure you use the long form). Follow the instructions, it's all described there
    – littleadv
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 20:09

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