What is Sprintax?

MIT has partnered with Sprintax to provide tools related to payroll taxes for foreign nationals. Sprintax offers two different applications – Sprintax Returns and Sprintax Calculus.

What is the Sprintax Returns application?

Sprintax Returns provides free help for Nonresident Aliens for U.S. tax purposes to prepare and file their federal tax returns.

Contact these offices below for access to Sprintax Returns:

Both access points require login using MIT Touchstone with your MIT Kerberos credentials.

Sprintax Returns also provides help to Resident Aliens for U.S. tax purposes and to dual-status residents who are already claiming a tax treaty benefit and can file a paper tax return for a small fee.

What is Sprintax Calculus?

Sprintax Calculus is a platform designed to assist foreign nationals to determine their U.S. tax status and their eligibility for a U.S. Tax Treaty.

You must update your profile each year that you are at MIT and provide relevant information and documents. MIT needs this information to withhold the correct amount of tax from your paycheck and to send you the correct income tax reporting forms that you need to file your taxes each year.

MIT’s payroll is administered by the HR/Payroll team in the Office of the Vice President for Finance (VPF). The Foreign National Payroll and Tax Coordinator in HR/Payroll is your key contact for tax treaty issues. Send all inquiries to nratax-payroll@mit.edu.

Do I have to use Sprintax Calculus?

Yes. If you are required to have a visa in order to live and work in the United States and are paid by MIT through VPF HR/Payroll, you do need to complete and maintain your Sprintax Calculus record.

How do I get started?

As soon as your appointment at MIT is activated, the VPF HR/Payroll team will create your Sprintax Calculus record with your mit.edu email as the user ID. You will receive an email with a link and instructions on how to access and complete your profile.

After you complete your record, you should email the Foreign National Payroll and Tax Coordinator at nratax-payroll@mit.edu, indicating that you have completed your profile, who will review and approve it, and reach out to you with any questions. You must keep your record up to date with any changes in your appointment, visa, or U.S. stay/departure, as even a minor change in your information can impact the way you are taxed.

Where do I submit all my relevant documents?

You must upload all the relevant generated tax forms and your document copies into your Sprintax Calculus record. Information provided to Sprintax is stored securely and will only be used by VPF HR/Payroll for purposes of tax withholding and reporting.

As you work with the application you can switch between Your Details, Final Summary, Tax Forms, and Document Exchange up top.

Sprintax Calculus is the only way to submit your information. Please do not send documents to VPF HR/Payroll (via email or campus mail) or bring them to the HR/Payroll office to drop off in person. They must all be uploaded to the Document Exchange section in Sprintax Calculus.

What Income Code should I select?

It depends. In general, if you hold a J-1 or F-1 visa (and are not a Canadian resident), Income Code 18 will not apply to you.

Fellowship payments are the only payment types that should be listed under Income Code 16.

Questions? Email the VPF HR/Payroll Foreign National Payroll and Tax Coordinator at nratax-payroll@mit.edu.

What is the difference between a Compensatory and a Non-Compensatory Fellowship?

Non-compensatory scholarship: A scholarship or fellowship grant is an amount given to an individual for study, training, or research, and which does not constitute compensation for personal services.

Compensatory scholarship: Grants given to students, trainees, or researchers which require the performance of personal services as a necessary condition for disbursing the grant do not qualify as scholarship or fellowship grants. Instead, they are compensation for personal services considered to be wages.

How do I claim a Tax Treaty?

There are two ways to claim a tax treaty exemption. You can do it on your own when filing your federal tax return, or VPF HR/Payroll can apply the tax treaty exemption directly to your payments throughout the year.

Your eligibility for a tax treaty benefit will be determined once you have completed your Sprintax Calculus profile. Note that all information in your profile must be accurate, and all documents must be signed and uploaded. The tax treaty exemption cannot be processed through any other method.

I applied for a Social Security Number (SSN), but I don’t have it yet. Should I wait to complete my Sprintax Calculus profile until after I receive it?

No. Your Sprintax Calculus record should be completed as soon as you receive the “Welcome to Sprintax Calculus” email. When you get your SSN, you must update your profile at that time.

For more information, you can visit the ISO website or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

What else do I need to know about completing my Sprintax Calculus profile?

When your record is initially created, some information is automatically fed to your Sprintax Calculus account. Carefully review all entries, starting with the Residency tab.

Be sure you click on the Save and Continue button after you make changes. Sprintax will then guide you through the next steps.

E-sign all generated Tax Forms, including the Sprintax Tax Summary.

Upload your required documents– a copy of your visa, passport, and I-20/DS-2019 form in the Document Exchange section on the top navigation.

Remember to email the Foreign National Payroll and Tax Coordinator at nratax-payroll@mit.edu to notify VPF HR/Payroll that you have completed your profile.

Who do I contact if I need help with Sprintax Calculus?

The Foreign National Payroll and Tax Coordinator in VPF HR/Payroll can help you with your tax treaty eligibility and set up and answer most questions about your Sprintax Calculus profile. nratax-payroll@mit.edu

If you require further assistance, you can schedule a Zoom appointment with the Foreign National Payroll and Tax Coordinator. Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 am through 4:30 pm. Go to the Atlas Service Center website and scroll down to find Tax Treaty Guidance/Schedule an Appointment.

VPF staff cannot provide assistance or individual advice on tax-related questions. You can contact a tax specialist or Sprintax Returns directly at hello@sprintax.com. See How to Get Tax Help on the VPF Tax Guidance for Nonresident Aliens website.