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Tax Information for International Scholars

International Scholars > Tax Information

IMPORTANT NOTE: The IRS announced that the Federal tax filing deadline for 2020 tax return has been extended to May 17, 2021
for all residents and nonresident aliens. MA DOR has also announced that the MA state tax return filing deadline has been extended to
May 17, 2021.

Tax Information Sessions for International Scholars - Tax Year 2020:

  • "Non-Residents" for Federal Tax Purposes
    Please go here to register for one of the sessions presented by Sprintax

  • "Residents" for Federal Tax Purposes
    Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021 @ 8 pm - Zoom link
    To view recorded presentation and the slides - Go to this link Note: This session is for both international students and international scholars.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the US government agency that collects federal taxes. Massachusetts and many other states also have a state income tax. Tax filing requirements vary according to whether a student, scholar, or dependent is considered to be a resident or nonresident alien for federal tax purposes.

For more information, please review the bullet points below and the "Tax Q&A" compiled by the International Scholars Office (ISchO).

Please note: For legal reasons, the ISchO staff is not permitted to advise you about taxes and cannot answer questions about your personal tax situation.

Start Here - Important Information for International Scholars

  • All foreign scholars and spouses paid in the US are required to report their annual income by filing a federal tax form with the IRS between January 1 and April 15 of the following year, and may also be required to submit state tax form(s).

    Note: The IRS has announced that 2021 tax filing season will start on Friday, February 12th, 2021. The IRS will begin accepting and processing tax returns from this date. More information can be found here.

  • The US tax system is based on the principle of self-assessment. Therefore, it is the individual's responsibility to understand the requirements.

  • All individuals in F and J visa status must complete tax forms even if they had no US-source income.

  • You should be aware that taxes may be deducted from salaries, stipends, and fellowships. Your available income after taxes may be lower than expected. The amount withheld from your paycheck is dependent upon your tax status which, in turn, is determined by your visa classification and the amount of time you have been in the United States. Income taxes, when applied, usually amount to about 14% of total income and J-2 visa holders who are working in the U.S. are also subject to social security tax of approximately 7.65% of total income.

  • Please keep records of your income and expenditures to substantiate later claims on your tax returns, and keep copies of your income tax forms.

  • Paid employees may view/print an annual summary of income (Form W-2) by clicking on the “About Me” tab in ATLAS and going to "W-2s" under "Money Matters" in the menu.

Next Steps - Additional Information and Resources

  • The links on the right-hand side of this page provide additional information and resources assembled by the ISchO and the Office of the Vice President for Finance to assist you in understanding your obligations, and completing and submitting your tax forms.

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Last Updated: April 2021

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