How to Get Tax Help

MIT campus

Individual Tax Workshops

The Office of the Vice President for Finance (VPF) sponsors Individual Tax Workshops for MIT students and scholars typically in February and March. The purpose of these workshops is to provide general guidance to students and scholars on the process of filing U.S. and MA tax returns. The workshops are not intended to provide individual tax advice.

The workshops are held on campus and are co-sponsored by the Office of Graduate Education (OGE), the International Students Office (ISO), the International Scholars Office (ISchO), and Student Financial Services (SFS), in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

Update: March 23, 2021
The federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year has been extended by the IRS from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. You do not need to file additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this federal tax filing extension.
The deadline for the Massachusetts individual income tax return filing has also been extended to May 17, 2021. Please consult state tax agency websites for information on filing deadlines in states other than Massachusetts.

Spring 2021 Tax Workshops for Students and Scholars for Tax Year 2020

Tax Workshop for Nonresident International Students
Generally, International Students in the U.S. 5 years or less

Recorded March 2, 2021. View on YouTube.

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Tax Workshop for U.S. Citizens and Resident Students and Scholars
International Students in the U.S. more than 5 years; International Scholars more than 2 years; U.S. Legal Permanent Residents

Recorded March 2, 2021. View on YouTube.

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Tax Preparation Assistance

The IRS and state websites contain information and guidance for complying with your tax filing obligations, however, you may have individual circumstances that require additional tax guidance or advice. MIT nonresident alien students and scholars have access to tax preparation software to help file returns and answer questions. Legal restrictions prevent MIT staff members from advising you about tax liabilities or helping you to prepare your tax return. If your tax situation is complex, you may want to seek the services of a professional tax preparer to file your tax returns. See Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer below if you are considering working with a professional tax preparer.


Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

The IRS provides guidance on how to choose a tax preparer. Use these tips to evaluate whether the preparer will be able to assist you and understand issues related to experience and cost.

See IRS IRS Tax Tip 2021-185 — December 14, 2021

Tips to help taxpayers choose a reputable tax return preparer


Tips Specific to Nonresident or Dual-Status Tax Filers

  • Ask how many 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ forms the preparer files each year
  • If you are an F, J, M, or Q visa holder, ask the preparer if they are familiar with the rules that apply to your visa status, and whether they have experience filing returns with your visa status
  • If you are a dual-status resident, ask how many dual-status returns the preparer has filed

Beware of tax preparers who offer to help you prepare your immigration forms. The only individuals authorized to give advice on immigration law are attorneys and representatives accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.


Local Tax Preparers

The following is a list of local tax advisors who can assist you for a fee.

DISCLAIMER: These tax preparers specialize in tax issues for foreign nationals. MIT does not endorse any specific tax specialist. There are many others in the Boston area.

If you are a nonresident for tax purposes and you consult with a tax specialist, make sure he/she knows that you need to file Nonresident tax forms. Since nonresident tax returns are different from resident tax returns, it is important that you talk to a tax professional who has experience in filing nonresident tax returns.


Additional Tax Preparation Resources

Please be aware that some tax preparation resources and software are only available to U.S. citizens and residents.

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.