Tax Information for Foreign Nationals at MIT


Where can I go to get assistance with my general questions about working at MIT as a Foreign National?

The International Scholars Office (ISchO) facilitates the arrival and appointment of international visitors, who are invited to campus to teach, conduct research, observe, and collaborate. For further details please visit the website at http://web.mit.edu/scholars/.

The International Students Office (ISO)provides assistance to enrolled and visiting international students. Refer to the ISO website for more information: http://web.mit.edu/iso/

What payroll payments are taxable in the US?

Payroll taxes may be deducted from salaries, stipends, and fellowships. 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, TN, and J-2 visa holders are also subject to social security tax of approximately 7.65% of total income. Non-resident aliens may be eligible for a federal tax exemption under a U.S. tax treaty with their home countries. When switching from employee to fellow or vice versa, a new tax treaty claim must be filed. Graduate students are exempt from social security tax. Undergraduate hourly students are exempt from social security tax when classes are in session.

How do I know if I am a resident alien or a non-resident alien, and if I am eligible for a tax treaty?

MIT uses the Glacier Tax Compliance System to determine if you are a resident alien or a non-resident alien for tax purposes, and if you are eligible for a tax treaty.

HR/Payroll will set up all new hires in the Glacier Tax Compliance System at the beginning of each week and send a welcome email. When HR/Payroll has created your account, you will receive an email directly from the Glacier Tax Compliance System ( support@online-tax.net) with a link and instructions on how to set up your account and process the information.

Once you have entered your information into Glacier, please bring all printed and signed documentation as well as back up documentation to the Financial Service Center located at NE49, 4th floor, 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. If you have questions for the Glacier tax coordinator, please call 617-253-4255 to set up an appointment. The tax coordinator is available for appointments during the hours of 10am – 1pm.

Please note that you will need to enter a Social Security Number in the Glacier System. If you need assistance with acquiring a Social Security Number, please review information at this webpage: http://web.mit.edu/scholars/intlscholars/taxes/tin.html

What type of tax identification number do I need? SSN or ITIN?

IRS regulations require a nonresident alien to have either a social security number (“SSN”) or individual taxpayer identification number (“ITIN”) for tax filing purposes and to claim treaty benefits. Social security numbers can be obtained at the local Social Security Administration Office. If you need assistance with acquiring a Social Security Number, please review information at this webpage: http://web.mit.edu/scholars/intlscholars/taxes/tin.html.

ITINs are available only if you do not qualify for a social security number. Individuals seeking an ITIN must submit Form W-7 along with proof of foreign status or identity (usually a passport). Under the new IRS guidelines, the original documentation or a copy certified by the original issuing agency must be provided. Alternatively, you can use a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center or a Certifying Acceptance Agent to certify and submit the documentation.

What are the US tax filing requirements?

As a general rule – all income received in the U.S. by a nonresident alien may be subject to tax. Tax treaties between the U.S. and your home country may provide for exemption from tax. If income is not exempt, the nonresident alien pays U.S. tax only on income from sources inside the U.S. All nonresident aliens with US source income should file tax form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ and Form 8843 by April 15th, even if all income is exempt from taxation due to treaty. If there is no US income, all nonresident aliens are required to file Form 8843 by June 15th.

For tax filing resources, International Scholars can reference the Foreign National Tax Resource and Tax Preparation Software and International Students can reference the International Student Tax Resource Page.

What tax forms are issued by MIT and when?

For complete information on tax forms issued by MIT please review the document at this link: (PDF) Types of Tax Forms

Does MIT offer in-person tax filing services?

Because of legal restrictions to advise you about tax liabilities, MIT’s HR/Payroll, International Scholars Office (ISchO) and International Students Office (ISO) staff cannot answer individual questions regarding your tax situation.

The ISchO provides a list of local tax advisers who can assist with tax filings for a fee. Please reference the ISchO webpage: http://web.mit.edu/scholars/intlscholars/taxes/index.html