It is the responsibility of each individual employed in the U.S. to comply with income tax regulations. The understanding of this office, based on discussions with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), is that salaries and wages in payment for work performed by non-citizens and some scholarships and grants awarded to F-1 students come under the tax laws of the U.S. Teaching and Research Assistantships are considered employment and income tax will be withheld. Between January 1 and April 15 of each year, everyone who has earned U.S. income and F-1 students who received during the previous calendar year a scholarship or grant from U.S. sources, are required to prepare an income tax report, and file it with the IRS.
Every year the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies purchases a software program called Sprintax that will assist you in completing the necessary forms. The registration and access codes will be provided to you each year by the office.
If too much tax has been withheld, a refund will be granted. Because of the complexity of income tax laws, it is advisable to have questions answered by the IRS or by a reliable tax consultant.
In addition, all F-1 students must file IRS Form 8843 regardless of whether they have earned income in the U.S.
In sum, ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO FILE TAXES. Failure to file taxes in a timely manner may have serious consequences with Providence College and your future immigration status in the U.S. For example, applicants for the H1-B visa and legal permanent residence (LPR) must show proof of tax filing for every year in the U.S.
Social Security Tax
You are subject to FICA [Social Security] tax withholdings if you are a ‘resident for tax purposes’. Generally, F-1 students become ‘residents’ for tax purposes after they have been in the U.S. for 5 years. Full-time students may retain ‘non-resident’ status beyond 5 years in some circumstances.
Immigration Status and Tax Withholding
An employer must know the employee’s immigration status (F-1, J-1, H-1B, permanent resident, etc.) for taxation purposes. If the employer does not have the correct immigration status, it will not be able to withhold the correct amount of income tax and social security tax. If the proper amount of taxes is not withheld, the employee will eventually be subject to a retroactive bill for back taxes. In some cases that might be a sizable amount. It is the responsibility of a student who is employed by PC to inform Payroll Services of her/his immigration status when the employment begins. It is also a student’s responsibility to notify Payroll Services, Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, and the hiring department if the immigration status changes to some other status (i.e. from F-1 to H-1B, etc. or to that of a permanent resident or immigrant), while the student is employed by PC. Notification is necessary so that PC’s records are current and consistent.