CARES Act Stimulus Payments

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be issuing stimulus payments to individuals who hold resident alien status for tax purposes. If you receive a stimulus payment from the IRS either by direct deposit or by check, be sure to independently confirm that you filed your taxes as a resident alien before spending. Unfortunately, ISSO is legally unable to determine your resident or nonresident alien status for tax purposes, but we do have resources to help you.

Steps to take to independently determine if you filed taxes as a resident alien:

  1. Review IRS’ guidance on the substantial presence test (SPT) – if you meet the SPT, you are considered a resident for taxation purposes; OR,
  2. Review UCSF’s Postdoc and Nonresident Tax Coordinator’s webinar (go to 11 mins, 40 seconds). The Coordinator, Su Lin, walks you through how to identify your tax filing status; OR,
  3. Contact an international tax specialist to determine your status. There are fees associated with determining status.

Steps to take if you received a stimulus payment in error: It is possible that you may have received a stimulus payment in error. If you incorrectly received a stimulus payment, the IRS requires the immediate return of the payment so that interest and/or penalties do not accrue. Please review IRS’ instructions on returning incorrectly issued payments.

Caution: Coronavirus-related scams are occurring, including scams related to stimulus payments. The IRS will never call, email or text you to verify financial, banking or personal information. Please follow guidance related to Scams Directed at International Students and Scholars if you are contacted by an individual purported to be from the US government.