Links to the IRS and International Tax Web SitesThe Internal Revenue Service offers free advice and answers to international tax questions. Contact the IRS National Office Hotline at (202) 874-1460 for assistance. This is not a toll-free number. In addition to the IRS hotline, free tax information regarding taxation of foreign nationals can be found at the following web sites:
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- IRS Answers to Frequently Asked Tax Questions - This site contains the index of tax topics that are written in plain English for taxpayers. Included in the index is the topic "Tax Information for Aliens and US Citizens Living Abroad."
- Foreign Nationals in the U.S. and U.S. Citizens Abroad
- U.S. Social Security Administration - This site has information on U.S. social security taxes and benefits.
- Office of International Policy - This site is provided by the International Policy staff and includes the booklets on the social security (totalization) agreements, information on benefit payments to persons living abroad, and telephone numbers to call for information.
- State Tax Administration - This site links to the web sites of all the state tax authorities. Most of these web sites now make state tax forms available on their sites.
- Windstar Technologies, Inc. - This site includes tax treaty text of all articles relevant to foreign national students and scholars in an easy to read format.
- Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer - This site gives the background and experience of the tax law firm, Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer and its attorneys. The site includes articles on the cross border tax issues written by firm attorneys.
This list of tax websites was prepared by NAFSA Member Paula Singer, a lawyer and partner in the tax law firm, Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer in Newton, MA and co-founder of Windstar Technologies, Inc, A long-standing member of NAFSA's Tax Group, Ms. Singer has spent over 15 years dealing pro bono with tax issues related to the taxation of foreign students and scholars on behalf of the higher education community. Her efforts have included assisting the IRS and NAFSA on the design of the Form 1040NR-EZ and working with the IRS on instructions specific to payment of scholarships and fellowships to nonresident aliens for the new Form W-8BEN. She provided comments to the IRS on the proposed regulations under section 7701(b) defining US tax residency and section 1441 providing procedural rules on withholding and reporting on income payments to nonresident aliens. Her comments resulted in final procedural rules under both sections for preserving tax treaty benefits for foreign national teachers, researchers, students, and trainees who become resident aliens for US tax purposes under the substantial presence test. Ms. Singer has also participated regularly in NAFSA's annual audio conference on Nonresident Alien Taxation.
All international students (incoming or returning) who receive funds for non-qualifying expenses (anything other than tuition, books, equipment and supplies needed to complete their coursework) are taxed at a rate of 14% for F-1 and J-1 visa holders, and 30% for all others. The tax is assessed each semester and placed on the student’s account.