Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Tax Information for International Scholars

International Scholars > Tax Information

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the US government agency that collects federal taxes. The requirements vary according to whether the student, scholar, or dependent is considered to be a resident or nonresident alien for federal tax purposes.

All foreign scholars and spouses paid in the US are required to report their annual income by filing a tax return with the IRS between January 1 and April 15 of the following year, and may also be required to submit state tax form(s). 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 anticipated. 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, but may be as high as 30%. H-1B 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.

Please go to the Vice President for Finance Office's Tax Guidance for Nonresident Aliens for comprehensive tax information for foreign nationals.

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.

The ISchO has purchased a license for the Foreign National Tax Resource tax preparation software. International scholars may access this site using the link above or at the right-hand side of this page. An MIT computer certificate is required.

International students should go to the International Students Office website for access to the tax preparation software for international students.

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

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Last Updated: July 2019

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