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Tax Publications and Resources for International Scholars

International Scholars > Taxes > Tax Publications and Resources

Payroll/Tax Information for Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows

The Vice President for Finance Office has published important payroll/tax information for Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows, and other employees:

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Thomson Reuters Foreign National Tax Resources

Thomson Reuters has licensed MIT international scholars to access its Foreign National Tax Resource* web site (an MIT computer certificate is required). The site contains detailed tax-related information as well as Federal tax preparation software for nonresident taxpayers and Massachusetts State tax forms.

*International scholars may access this site using the link above.

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ISchO and MIT Tax Resources

MIT employees/affiliates with general questions about tax treaties and 1042S forms may contact Marsha Dailey in the HR Payroll Service Center, NE49-4097, tel. 617-253-2799,

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Other Helpful Web Sites

Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

Massachusetts Department of Revenue:

University of Texas at Austin International Student and Scholar Services

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Telephone Numbers for Tax Questions

Please note: Not everyone who answers these general information lines will be familiar with nonresident tax matters.

  • General federal tax information for individuals: 1-800-829-1040
  • Inquiries concerning federal tax filing - for taxpayers who live outside of the U.S.: 267-941-1000 (Note: This is not a toll-free number.)
  • Federal tax forms and publications orders: 1-800-829-3676 (1-800-TAX-FORM)
  • Massachusetts taxpayer inquiries: 1-800-392-6089
  • Massachusetts state forms and publications: 617-887-6367 or 1-800-392-6089

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Tax Specialists

  • Freshman & Ferraro, P.C., Certified Public Accountants
    400 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, Tel: 617-236-8098 Contact: JoAnn Ferraro
  • Meilman & Costa, P.C., Tax Attorneys
    70 Wells Avenue, Suite 200, Newton, MA 02459, Tel: 617-969-9500
    Contact: Stephanie Meilman or Nelson Costa
  • Arthur R. Kerr II, Tax Attorney, Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer
    Two Newton Place, 255 Washington St., Suite 340, Newton, MA 02158, Tel: 617-964-0500 or 1-800-TAX-GROUP, e-mail:
  • (online support)
    Organizes tax refunds for students/scholars who work outside of their home country

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Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Publications, Tax Forms, Reports, and Resources

Listed below are publications and forms that may be helpful to international scholars; the list does not include all IRS publications and forms. The forms and publications below can be downloaded from the IRS website or obtained by calling the IRS or visiting the IRS in the JFK Federal Building in downtown Boston.

IRS Publications:

  • Publication 17: Your Federal Income Tax
    A federal tax guide for individuals, most useful for residents for tax purposes.
  • Publication 513: Tax Information for Visitors to the United States
    Overview of the United States tax system and regulations applicable to foreign nationals.
  • Publication 514: Foreign Tax Credit for Individuals
    Describes the foreign tax credit that is allowed from income taxes paid to a foreign government on income taxed by both the United States and the foreign country. It also discusses which taxes qualify for the credit and how to figure it. If you file Form 1116, you should refer to this publication.
  • Publication 515: Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Corporations
    Describes withholding for United States employers required to withhold taxes on the income of nonresident aliens.
  • Publication 519: U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
    Includes information on how to determine resident or nonresident status for tax purposes, what kinds of income are taxed, the effect of tax treaties on tax liability, how to claim exemption by treaty, etc.
  • Publication 520: Scholarships and Fellowships
    Discusses the kinds of scholarship and fellowship income that is taxable or exempt from taxes and the levels of taxation.
  • Publication 597: Information on the United States–Canada Income Tax Treaty
    Reproduces the United States–Canada income tax treaty. Includes a brief discussion of certain tax difficulties encountered by Canadian residents who temporarily work in the United States.
  • Publication 686: Certification for Reduced Tax Rates in Treaty Countries
    Reviews procedures if you are paying United States taxes and you wish to avoid paying taxes on the same income at home.
  • Publication 901: U.S. Tax Treaties
    Lists treaties in effect as of April 2001, with brief synopses of articles relating to students and scholars and to income from personal services and from foreign governments. Information about tax treaties is available in the Dewey Library, call numbers JX236.U585 (Treaties in Force) and JX231.A342 (Treaties and Other International Act Series).

IRS Tax Forms, Reports, and Resources:

You will not need many of the forms listed below. Forms commonly required by the average international scholar are marked by *.

  • *Form W-2:
    MIT or your United States employer will use this form to report the income earned and tax withheld during the tax year. You will receive four copies of your W-2 by the end of January for the previous tax year. You must attach a copy of your W-2 to your Federal and State tax returns.
  • *Form W-4:
    This form should be completed with the MIT Payroll Office to indicate federal and state taxation. Resident or nonresident status for tax purposes should be determined before completing this form. Please note that if you change from nonresident status for tax purposes to resident status, you must inform Payroll, and if you wish to change the number of exemptions for dependents and/or change your marital status, you must file a new Form W-4.
  • Form W-7:
    Used to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This form must be completed by those who are not eligible for work authorization and therefore not eligible for Social Security Numbers.
  • Forms 843 and 8316:
    Used to obtain Social Security tax refunds and abatements.
  • Form 1001:
    Used to report to an employer the ownership of income and the reduced rate of tax or exemption from tax on income under tax conventions or tax treaties. This form is filed with the MIT Payroll Office, not the IRS.
  • Form 1040, 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040C:
    U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and Instruction forms used for filing as residents for tax purposes. The 1040EZ is for single and joint filers with no dependents. The 1040A is used to claim certain adjustments, if applicable. The 1040C, United States Departing Alien Income Tax Return, is also called a Certificate of Compliance or "Sailing Permit." H-1B visa holders are required to file Form 1040C before departing the United States. It is generally not necessary for individuals in F, J, or M immigration status
    to file Form 1040C before departing the United States.
  • *Form 1040 NR and 1040NR-EZ:
    U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and Instructions. Income tax forms used by those filing as nonresidents for tax purposes. Please review instructions to determine which form you would need to complete. Both forms must be accompanied by Form 8843.
  • Schedule A:
    Used for itemizing deductions. Please note: there are separate Schedule As for resident (1040) and nonresident (1040NR) forms.
  • Schedule B and Schedule 1:
    Both forms are used to report interest and dividends received. Schedule B is used if the total received of either is greater than $400. For nonresidents, bank interest is not subject to income tax. Schedule 1 is used by individuals filing Form 1040A.
  • *Form 1042 & 1042S:
    Used to report grants received from government funds, such as Fulbright awards.
  • Form 1078:
    Certificate of Alien Claiming Residence in the United States Used to claim residence in the United States for income tax purposes only. This form is filed with the MIT Payroll Office, not the IRS.
  • Forms 1099 DIV, 1099 INT, and 1099 MISC:
    Reports you receive for dividends (DIV), interest (INT) or other miscellaneous (MISC) income paid to you.
  • Form 1116:
    Used to figure your foreign tax credit if you paid or accrued foreign taxes for the tax year.
  • Form 4868:
    Used to request an extension for filing your tax return from April 15 to August 15. You can only request an extension for filing the tax forms; if you owe any taxes, you must include a check to the IRS when you submit the extension request (with interest).
  • *Form 8233:
    See Marsha Dailey in MIT's Payroll Office to file this form showing you are exempt from withholding of taxes if there is a tax treaty between your country's government and the United States.
  • Form 8822:
    Used to notify the Internal Revenue Service if you change your address.
  • Form 8833:
    Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure. Must be filed with Form 1040NR and Form 8843 if you claim a tax treaty.
  • *Form 8840:
    Used by people who qualify as residents for tax purposes and meet the substantial presence test to show a "closer connection" to a home country that would allow continued nonresident status.
  • *Form 8843:
    Must be completed by each scholar at MIT who is in J-1 or F-1 status and who is a nonresident alien for tax purposes.

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Last Updated: October 2014

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