International Students and Scholars

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government agency that administers U.S. tax laws and collects taxes from individuals receiving payments in the United States. In general, there are three types of taxation that may apply to international students and scholars while in the U.S.: federal income tax, state income taxsocial security and medicare taxes (commonly referred to as "FICA"). The U.S. tax system for individuals is based on a calendar year, i.e., January 1 through December 31.

The IRS requires the university to apply specific federal tax withholding and reporting rules to payments made to international students and scholars. For U.S. tax purposes, individuals are classified in one of the following categories:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Permanent resident alien (i.e. green card holder)
  • Resident alien for tax
  • Nonresident alien for tax

The Tax Department provides guidance and responds to questions concerning federal tax withholding and reporting of payments made by the university to individuals who are neither U.S. citizens nor U.S. permanent residents.

The Tax Department meets with the international student, scholar or visitor to determine the individual's residency status for tax purposes and to determine the proper federal, FICA, or state withholding on payments. The Tax Department reviews the relevant tax treaty and processes tax treaty exemption forms, if applicable.

The Tax Department cannot advise individuals with regard to payments or income from sources other than the university. If an individual requires tax advice regarding personal matters, they must contact a personal tax advisor.