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U.S. Income Tax Overview

The University of Massachusetts Medical School applies specific federal tax withholding and reporting rules to payments made to international students and employees, in accordance with U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements.

Because of legal restrictions on our capacity to advise on tax liabilities, the Immigration Services Office (ISO) is not able to advise individuals with regard to their personal income tax situation nor can we provide guidance or respond to questions concerning federal tax withholding and reporting of payments made to individuals who are neither U.S. citizens nor U.S. permanent residents. 

UMMS uses Glacier online tax software to determine the tax status and tax treaty eligibility status of our foreign national employee and student population.  All new foreign national employees & students should complete a Glacier profile to determine their correct tax applications. Once completed, signed tax summary and tax forms should be forwarded to the foreign national's ISO specialist.  UMMS will use these documents to apply the appropriate tax withholdings for income earned during the calendar year.

Understanding Basic Tax Concepts:

Tax Status

Tax status determines whether a foreign national is a Nonresident Alien (NRA) or a Resident Alien (RA) for tax purposes. This is determined by the number of days physically present in the United States. Glacier online tax will help foreign national determine their tax status.

A Resident Alien for Tax purposes is treated in the same manner as a U.S. citizen when filing a tax return and paying taxes.  A Nonresident Alien for Tax purposes has a completely different method of having tax withheld, completing tax forms and tax documents, and is eligible for very few and limited deductions and allowances when paying taxes. A Resident Alien for Tax purposes must report ALL income from ALL sources, regardless of whether from the U.S. or foreign payors, whereas, a Nonresident Alien for Tax purposes must only report and pay tax on money that he or she receives from U.S. sources.

Tax Treaties

The United States has income tax treaties with a number of foreign countries.  Under these treaties, residents (not necessarily citizens) of foreign countrires are taxed at a reduced rate or are exempt from U.S. income taxes on certain items of income they receive from sources within the United States.  These reduced rates and exemptions vary among countries and specific items of income.  Please review our right sidebar for additional guidance.

Tax Filing Basics

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