Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Tax Information for International Scholars

International Scholars > Tax Information

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).
     
  • 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: August 2019

50 Ames St, Room E18-209, Cambridge, MA 02142 | Telephone: (617) 253-2851 | Fax: (617) 253-6624 | E-mail: ischo@mit.edu