Nonresident alien

Social Security and Medicare Tax (FICA)

Social Security and Medicare taxes, or "FICA" tax (approx. 7.5% of gross income), are collected by Harvard University but administered independently by the U.S. Social Security Administration. Non-student U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and resident aliens (as designated by the GLACIER tax compliance system) are subject to FICA taxes on salary and wages earned as an employee.

It may be possible to refund FICA taxes incorrectly withheld by the University:

  • To determine if FICA taxes were incorrectly withheld in the current calendar year, you need to...
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U.S. or Foreign-Source Income

Nonresident aliens for tax purposes and foreign entities, unlike U.S. persons and U.S entities, are only subject to tax withholding on income that is considered U.S.-sourced and not foreign-sourced.

Harvard is required to indicate the “location of activity” when paying income to foreign individuals and foreign entities to comply with IRS tax withholding and reporting regulations. Most often, this question...

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Salary/Wages

Employment compensation, or a salary, is taxed at marginal graduated rates, meaning income earned over certain levels set by the U.S. tax authorities is taxed at progressively higher rates. Please see the section on income tax withholding tables in IRS Publication 15 to get an idea of how your salary will be taxed by Harvard.

  • If eligible for tax treaty benefits, both nonresident aliens and resident aliens...
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Stipend, Scholarship, Fellowship, or Grant

Stipends, scholarships, fellowships, and grants are meant to support personal research or studies.

Such income is often grouped together, for tax purposes, as "non-service scholarship/ fellowship" income. This may include also health insurance paid on behalf of non-employees and "reimbursements" for travel or other expenses that have not been deemed University business expenses.

  • If a scholarship recipient is a degree candidate at Harvard University, and all or part of the award has been set aside for qualified tuition and...
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Tax Treaties and Deadlines

DEADLINE TO CLAIM *NEW* TAX TREATY EXEMPTION FOR CURRENT CALENDAR YEAR 2020: If GLACIER determines you are possibly eligible to claim a tax treaty exemption, your complete GLACIER submission must be received by our office no later than Sunday, November 29th, 2020. This deadline is necessary due to IRS annual processing requirements and the short...

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Tax Withholding on Payments

Payments from Harvard University may be subject to taxation in accordance with regulations strictly enforced by the U.S. tax authorities (IRS/MassDOR). Harvard collects, or withholds, two types of tax: Federal/State and Social Security/Medicare (FICA), liability for which is based on several factors:

  • Your U.S....
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