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.

Faculty and Staff International Students International Guests

Faculty and Staff — On this page

Verification of Employment Eligibility

UB completes and files Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) for each new employee, both citizen and noncitizen to verify the employee’s identity.

As a new employee, you will be asked by your department to complete Section 1 of the form on or before your first day of work. Your department, then, has up to three days to submit the completed form to Human Resources (120 Crofts Hall).

Applying for a Social Security Number (SSN)

International employees are required to have a SSN to be employed. See what documents you need and how to apply for a SSN.

Managing Taxes As an International Employee

Tax Liability for International Employees

You must file a federal income tax return for any year that you have been in the U.S. for any length of time.

It's possible that you may owe additional taxes or that will get a tax refund.

See when you also need to file a New York state income tax return.

Tax Treaty Exemptions

Many countries have agreements with the U.S. to reduce or exempt wages from federal and New York state taxes. These agreements are based on your country of residence. Each is different and has its own dollar and time limits.

If you are eligible for a tax treaty, Human Resources will send you an Exemption From Withholding on Compensation Form (8233) to sign and return to:

Human Resources
Townsend Hall
South Campus

Federal and New York State Taxes for International 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 step 1c (even if you are married) on the W-4 and sign
    • Check the Single box (even if you are married) on the IT-2104
    • Enter the number 1 on line 1 of the IT-2104 (state) form and sign
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

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


UB sponsors the online application, Sprintax, for scholars, students and faculty to prepare federal income tax reports at no charge

Tax Program Availability

Tax program is available for current tax year only

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 now prepares state income tax forms for a small fee. If you choose not to use it, you can get assistance from any of the following: 

Contact an Expert

  • Carlos Gallardo.

    Carlos Gallardo

    International HR Services

    Phone: 716-645-4430


  • Avatar of Steven Stich.

    Steven Stich

    International HR Services

    Phone: 716-645-4423


  • Amanda Brown.

    Amanda Brown


    International HR Services

    Phone: 716-645-4429


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