Tax Information for International Students

If Your Country Has a Tax Treaty with the U.S.

You should plan on attending one of the several tax treaty workshops the Student Employment Office will be hosting in conjunction with FirstPoint.  These sessions will begin in October for the Fall semester and in February for the Spring semester.  These sessions are designed to assist student with the completion of the tax treaty documents.  Each session takes approximately 45-60 minutes.  All workshops will be held at FirstPoint, 881 Commonwealth Ave, 2nd floor.

In order to complete the tax treaty documentation you will need to bring your passport, I-94, visa, and I-20 or DS-2019.  The treaty packet you will complete during the workshop includes the following documents:

  • Form 8233 (Exemption from Withholdings on Compensation for Independent Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual)
  • Foreign National Data Sheet
  • Treaty letter

These forms must be completed each calendar year in order to claim exempt status.

You may claim only one tax treaty each calendar year.

Your country’s treaty letter identifies the limit on tax exempt earnings. Your tax treaty will be turned off by Student Payroll when your earnings reach that limit.

The Spring semester schedule for tax treaty workshops will include several sessions for students who have previously filed a tax treaty.

  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Morocco
  • The Netherlands
  • Pakistan (excluding Bangladesh)
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Venezuela

Complete Form W-4.

  • You must claim 1 allowance from withholding at the single rate on line 5.
  • Enter NRA (a tax term which stands for “Non-Resident Alien”) on line 6.

International students from Canada, Mexico, India, or Korea, or who have been present in the United States for more than 5 1/2 years, may claim married and may claim more than one allowance.

Each year, you must file a 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ tax return and Form 8843 with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These forms are available on the IRS website or by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-3676.

Important: Failure to file these forms is a violation of United States law and may jeopardize your future status in the U.S.

You may also be required to file a Massachusetts Income Tax Form with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). Consult the DOR website to determine your filing responsibilities. Forms are available on the DOR website or by calling 1-800-392-6089.

See the ISSO website for more information on filing requirements.

The IRS also has publications available to assist you with your tax status:

  • Publication 515: Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens
  • Publication 901: United States Tax Treaties
  • Publication 597: United States-Canada Tax Treaty
  • Publication 519: United States Tax Guide