Taxes For International Students, Scholars and Guests

The University at Buffalo is proud of its traditions of academic excellence and for having one of the most diverse academic communities in the United States. UB offers you assistance from state-wide experts to manage your international employee or guest needs.

Tax Preparation Application Available

International students and scholars can use the UB-provided application Sprintax to prepare federal (U.S.) tax returns at no cost.

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International Students — On this Page

International Students

You have invested in UB by deciding to further your education here; we have invested in you through scholarships and on-campus jobs. Your participation in these opportunities contributes to UB's standing as a premier, research-intensive public university dedicated to academic excellence.

Types of Payments to International Students

As an international student you can receive payment from UB for:

  • Employment
  • Scholarship or fellowship 

Each payment type has a definition and requirements.

Type of Payment Requirements
Employment Payment for services provided such as a student assistant or for  teaching or research as a condition for receiving a scholarship;  incidental expenses apart from biweekly state scholarship payments
Scholarship or Fellowship Payment for tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance, or for fees, books, supplies and equipment required for courses

Determine Your Tax Status

Determining Tax Status for International Faculty, Staff and Students

Your tax filing requirements as international students, scholars and employees varies depending on your visa category, the purpose of your visit and the length of your stay in the U.S. This information is used to determine your tax status as either a Nonresident Alien (NRA) or a Resident Alien (RA).

Your Tax Status

Your tax status is NOT the same as your immigration status

Residency Status Based on Visa and Length of Residence

Visa Type Length of Residency Tax Status
F-1 Student 5 years or less Nonresident Alien (NRA)
F-1 Student More than 5 years Resident Alien (RA)
J-1 Student 5 years or less Nonresident Alien (NRA)
J-1 Student More than 5 years Resident Alien (RA)
H-1B Visitor Less than 183 days Nonresident Alien (NRA)
J-1 Non-Student
2 years or less Nonresident Alien (NRA)
J-1 Non-Student More than 2 of the last 7 years Resident Alien (RA)

* Prior visits may change status.

UB calculates your residency status with each payment. Contact us immediately if you have questions about your taxation.

Carlos Gallardo

Certifying Acceptance Agent

International HR Services

Phone: 716-645-4430

Email: cg36@buffalo.edu

Amanda Brown

Manager

International HR Services

Phone: 716-645-4429

Email: amandab@buffalo.edu

International Student Employees

International Student Employees

Applying for a Social Security Number (SSN)

If you are an F-1 student, you must have verification of employment before you can get an SSN. Follow these steps to get the verification you need:

1. Your department completes the form Social Security Letter Request and submits it to:

            Carlos Gallardo
            Human Resources
            120 Crofts Hall
            North Campus

2. Human Resources' International Services will return a letter to the department

3. The student employee takes the letter to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS):

            International Student and Scholar Services
            201 Talbert Hall
            North Campus

4. ISSS provides the student with documentation to apply for a SSN

Federal and New York State Taxes for International Student Employees

International employees at UB are required to pay taxes on all or a portion of their income and may have different requirements and regulations than a U.S. citizen.

Federal and New York State (NYS) Taxes

When you first associate with UB, complete the federal and New York state withholding tax forms so that UB can withhold the correct tax from each payment.

  • If you are considered a Resident Alien (RA) for tax purposes, complete these forms the same as a U.S. citizen
  • If you are considered a Nonresident Alien (NRA) for tax purposes, complete these forms as follows:
    • Check the Single box in item 3 (even if you are married) on the W-4 and the IT-2104 forms
    • Enter the number 1 on line 5 of the W-4 (federal) form
    • Enter the number 1 on line 1 of the IT-2104 (state) form
Tax Forms

Submit completed forms to your supervisor.

Social Security and Medicare Tax (FICA)

You may be exempt from FICA taxes if you meet one (1) of the following criteria:

  • You are considered a Nonresident Alien (NRA) for tax purposes     
  • You are enrolled full time as a student at UB
FICA

Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax is a U.S. federal payroll (or employment) tax imposed on both employees and employers to fund Social Security and Medicare — federal programs that provide benefits for retirees, the disabled and children of deceased workers.

Filing an Income Tax Report

Who Has To Report Income To the U.S. (Federal) Government

You are required to file an income tax return with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you meet all the following criteria:

  • In the United States during any portion of a calendar year (even for a few days)
  • Had F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 status
  • Even if you had no U.S. income

Documents That Report Your Income

UB will send one or both of these wage and tax statements to you:

  • W-2 for income on which you paid tax
  • 1042-S for income which was tax-exempt under a tax treaty or for nonqualified scholarship, fellowship or honoraria income
Your Tax Statements

· Are mailed to you so update your address when you move or leave UB

· W-2 forms arrive by mail by the end of January for the preceding tax year

· 1042-S forms arrive by mail in March for the preceding year

 

Reporting to the U.S. Government

Eligibility

UB sponsors the online application, GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP), for scholars, students and faculty to prepare federal income tax reports at no charge.

Tax Program Availability

For tax years:

- 2014: closed
- 2015: coming spring 2016

 

Each spring UB will announce the availability of the new tax program for  and how to get the access code.  

This system is designed exclusively for nonresident aliens to prepare U.S. federal income tax forms using tax forms:

  • 1040NR
  • 1040NR-EZ
  • 8843

If you meet eligibility criteria, but are NOT currently an employee or student, contact UB's international employment specialists to get an access code for the tax service.

Reporting to the New York State Government

Who Has To Report Income To the New York State Government

You should file an income tax return with NYS if you meet the following criteria:

  • Were employed by UB
  • Had F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 status
  • Want to claim a refund

We recommend that you prepare your U.S. (federal) income tax report first. Federal and state reports use the same income data and depend on the same declarations about your personal status.

UB's supported online tax preparation service does NOT prepare state income tax forms. You may want to get assistance from any of the following:

See If There is a Scholarship Treaty For You

Tax Treaties for Scholarships and Fellowships

Country Time Limit
Monetary Limit  Article Number
Armenia 5 years* $10,000 VI 1(d) 
Azerbaijan 5 years*
$10,000 VI 1(d)
Belarus
5 years*
$10,000 VI 1(d)
Belgium   5 years
No limit
21(1)
China, P.R. No limit
No limit 20(b)
Cyprus 5 years
No limit 21(1)
Czech Republic 5 years*
No limit 21(1)
Egypt 5 years
No limit 23(1)
Estonia 5 years*
No limit 20(1)
France 5 years
No limit 21(1)
Georgia 5 years*
$10,000 VI 1(d)
Germany No limit
No limit 20(3)
Iceland 5 years
No limit 22(1)
Indonesia 5 years*
No limit 19(1)
Israel 5 years
No limit 24(1)
Kazakhstan
No limit No limit 19
Korea (South) (Republic of Korea) 5 years
No limit
21(1)
Kyrgyzstan 5 years*
$10,000 VI 1(d)
Latvia 5 years*
No limit 20(1)
Lithuania 5 years*
No limit 20(1)
Luxembourg
No limit No limit 21(1)
Moldova 5 years*
$10,000 VI 1(d)
Morocco 5 years
No limit
18
Netherlands 3 years
No limit 22(2)
Norway 5 years
No limit 16(1)
Philippines 5 years
No limit
22(1)
Poland 5 years
No limit 18(1)
Portugal 5 years* No limit 23(1)
Romania 5 years No limit 20(1)
Russia No limit No limit 18(1)
Slovak Republic 5 years* No limit 21(1)
Slovenia 5 years No limit 20(1)
Spain 5 years* No limit 22(1)
Tajikstan 5 years* $10,000 VI 1(d)
Thailand 5 years No limit 22(1)
Trinidad & Tobago
5 years No limit 19(1)
Tunisia 5 years No limit 20
Turkmenistan 5 years* $10,000 VI 1(d)
Ukraine 5 years* No limit 20(1)
Uzbekistan 5 years* $10,000 VI 1(d)
Venezuela 5 years No limit 21(1)

* Elapsed years instead of calendar years

Recipients of Scholarships or Fellowships

Recipients of Scholarships or Fellowships

UB provides support to some international students with scholarships and fellowships. Understand how this income is treated by the federal government.

Tax-Exempt Scholarships and Fellowships

Scholarships, fellowship grants and other grants from UB are tax-free (qualified) If the amounts you receive are used to pay for tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance, or for fees, books, supplies and equipment required for courses.

Non Tax-Exempt

Taxable payments include:

  • Amounts used for incidental expenses, such as room and board, travel, and optional equipment
  • Amounts received as payments for teaching, research or other services required as a condition for receiving the scholarship or fellowship grant (considered employment)
  • Any money issued directly to students for expenses

State fellowships are paid directly to the students in a lump sum once a semester. Therefore, these payments are considered nonqualified and taxable at 14 percent unless there is an applicable tax treaty exemption. 

Eligibility and Requirements

International students:

  • Cannot perform any services in exchange for a scholarship or fellowship
  • Are required to have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number ( ITIN) in order to receive payment

Without these credentials, any payment must be taxed at 30%.

Getting an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Apply for an ITIN if you are an international student or guest:

  • Who does not have a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Would like to use a scholarship or fellowship (contractor) treaty exemption

Contact UB’s Certifying Acceptance Agent for an appointment to:

  • See if an ITIN is required
  • Whether you are eligible for an ITIN

UB’s Certifying Acceptance Agent

Carlos Gallardo

Certifying Acceptance Agent

International HR Services

Phone: 716-645-4430

Email: cg36@buffalo.edu

A Certifying Acceptance Agent

· Is authorized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to assist foreign nationals to apply for an ITIN when they are not eligible for a SSN

· Is authorized to submit an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Application Form (W-7) on behalf of an applicant without having to furnish supporting documentary evidence

· Facilitates the application process and issuance of ITINs to foreign individuals

Federal Taxes for International Scholarship and Fellowship Recipients

Scholarship and fellowship recipients at UB are required to pay federal taxes on all or a portion of their income and may have different requirements and regulations than a U.S. citizen.

Federal Taxes

Scholarship and fellowship recipients do not have to file a federal witholding form (W-4) or a New York state withholidng form. UB  taxes recipients at 14% unless a scholarship treaty stipulates otherwise.

Tax Forms

Submit completed forms to your supervisor.

Filing an Income Tax Report

Who Has To Report Income To the U.S. (Federal) Government

You are required to file an income tax return with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you meet all the following criteria:

  • In the United States during any portion of a calendar year (even for a few days)
  • Had F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 status
  • Even if you had no U.S. income

Documents That Report Your Income

UB will send one or both of these wage and tax statements to you:

  • W-2 for income on which you paid tax
  • 1042-S for income which was tax-exempt under a tax treaty or for nonqualified scholarship, fellowship or honoraria income
Your Tax Statements

· Are mailed to you so update your address when you move or leave UB

· W-2 forms arrive by mail by the end of January for the preceding tax year

· 1042-S forms arrive by mail in March for the preceding year

 

Reporting to the U.S. Government

Eligibility

UB sponsors the online application, GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP), for scholars, students and faculty to prepare federal income tax reports at no charge.

Tax Program Availability

For tax years:

- 2014: closed
- 2015: coming spring 2016

 

Each spring UB will announce the availability of the new tax program for  and how to get the access code.  

This system is designed exclusively for nonresident aliens to prepare U.S. federal income tax forms using tax forms:

  • 1040NR
  • 1040NR-EZ
  • 8843

If you meet eligibility criteria, but are NOT currently an employee or student, contact UB's international employment specialists to get an access code for the tax service.

Contact an Expert

Carlos Gallardo

Certifying Acceptance Agent

International HR Services

Phone: 716-645-4430

Email: cg36@buffalo.edu

Amanda Brown

Manager

International HR Services

Phone: 716-645-4429

Email: amandab@buffalo.edu

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