If you are an international employee or student (foreign national) working at MIT, these tips will help you understand why taxes will be—or won’t be—deducted from your pay.

Determine if you must pay taxes

U.S. federal and state taxes may be deducted from your salary, stipend, or fellowship compensation. Your visa classification and the amount of time you have been in the United States determine your tax status and your tax status determines the amount of taxes withheld from your pay.

Income taxes usually amount to about 14 percent of total income but may be as high as 30 percent. If you are an H-1B, TN, or J-2 visa holder, Social Security tax of approximately 7.65 percent of your total income also will be withdrawn from your pay.

Learn more about taxes for international employees from the International Scholars Office (ISchO) and for international students from the International Students Office (ISO)

Review potential exemptions

MIT relies on the Glacier Tax Compliance System to help you, as a foreign national, determine your U.S. tax status (non-resident alien vs. resident alien) and whether you are tax exempt because of your home country’s tax treaty with the United States.

If you are new to MIT, VPF’s Payroll Service Center will create an account for you in the Glacier Tax Compliance System and then send you a welcome email with a link and instructions on how to finish setting up your account. Once you have entered your information into Glacier, bring all printed and signed documents and backup documentation to the Atlas Service Center in E17-106, 40 Ames Street any time from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. If you would like to schedule an appointment with the Glacier tax coordinator, please call 617-253-3000. Appointments are available from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday and Thursday.

Please note that you will need to enter a Social Security number into the Glacier Tax Compliance System. If you don’t have a Social Security number, MIT employees and affiliates can reference the ISchO site and students the ISO site to learn more about applying for one.

Note that if your status switches from fellow to employee or vice versa, you must file a new tax treaty exemption claim. 

Get help filing your tax return

Legal restrictions prevent MIT staff members from advising you about tax liabilities or helping you to prepare your tax return.

While individual circumstances vary, follow guidelines in the Individual Income Taxation of Nonresident and Resident Aliens FAQ to learn what your specific tax filing responsibilities are for salaries and wages, royalties, and other forms of taxable income.

If your tax situation is complex you may want to seek the services of a professional tax preparer to file your tax returns. It is important to choose a preparer carefully as you will be responsible for your tax return even if someone else prepares it for you. See these Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer.

The International Scholars Office (ISchO) provides a list of local tax advisors who can assist you for a fee. Visit the ISchO tax information webpage for further details

The Details

Determine if you must pay taxes

U.S. federal and state taxes may be deducted from your salary, stipend, or fellowship compensation. Your visa classification and the amount of time you have been in the United States determine your tax status and your tax status determines the amount of taxes withheld from your pay.

Income taxes usually amount to about 14 percent of total income but may be as high as 30 percent. If you are an H-1B, TN, or J-2 visa holder, Social Security tax of approximately 7.65 percent of your total income also will be withdrawn from your pay.

Learn more about taxes for international employees from the International Scholars Office (ISchO) and for international students from the International Students Office (ISO)

Review potential exemptions

MIT relies on the Glacier Tax Compliance System to help you, as a foreign national, determine your U.S. tax status (non-resident alien vs. resident alien) and whether you are tax exempt because of your home country’s tax treaty with the United States.

If you are new to MIT, VPF’s Payroll Service Center will create an account for you in the Glacier Tax Compliance System and then send you a welcome email with a link and instructions on how to finish setting up your account. Once you have entered your information into Glacier, bring all printed and signed documents and backup documentation to the Atlas Service Center in E17-106, 40 Ames Street any time from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. If you would like to schedule an appointment with the Glacier tax coordinator, please call 617-253-3000. Appointments are available from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday and Thursday.

Please note that you will need to enter a Social Security number into the Glacier Tax Compliance System. If you don’t have a Social Security number, MIT employees and affiliates can reference the ISchO site and students the ISO site to learn more about applying for one.

Note that if your status switches from fellow to employee or vice versa, you must file a new tax treaty exemption claim. 

Get help filing your tax return

Legal restrictions prevent MIT staff members from advising you about tax liabilities or helping you to prepare your tax return.

While individual circumstances vary, follow guidelines in the Individual Income Taxation of Nonresident and Resident Aliens FAQ to learn what your specific tax filing responsibilities are for salaries and wages, royalties, and other forms of taxable income.

If your tax situation is complex you may want to seek the services of a professional tax preparer to file your tax returns. It is important to choose a preparer carefully as you will be responsible for your tax return even if someone else prepares it for you. See these Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer.

The International Scholars Office (ISchO) provides a list of local tax advisors who can assist you for a fee. Visit the ISchO tax information webpage for further details

Did You Know?

You can customize your direct deposit preferences online to add an additional account.
Research and teaching assistant stipends are considered earned income and are subject to income tax withholding requirements.
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