Basic Information about U.S. System and Tax Authorities


The U.S. tax system is based on the principle of self-assessment. Therefore, it is the individual's responsibility to understand the requirements.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government agency that collects federal taxes. The requirements vary depending on whether an individual is a resident or nonresident alien for federal tax purposes.

Taxpayers may also be required to pay tax in the state where they live or work. In Massachusetts (MA), taxes are collected by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (MA DOR).

MIT is required to withhold tax on certain payments and remit the tax to the IRS and MA DOR on the recipient's behalf. The recipients of those payments are required to pay any additional tax owed or claim a refund of tax overwithheld by filing an income tax return after the end of the calendar year.

IRS Publication 519 will help you determine your federal tax residency status (resident alien or nonresident alien) and filing requirements.

The content in this website is provided for informational purposes only. MIT does not offer legal, accounting, or tax advice and services. This information should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a professional accounting, tax, or legal advisor. MIT recommends that students consult a tax advisor for individual tax advice.