Resident alien

Why didn't I receive a 1042-S tax reporting document for tax treaty benefits claimed last year, even though my fellowship/stipend/scholarship was not taxed?

Non-service fellowship income, in the absence of tax treaty benefits, is also exempt from tax withholding when paid to a resident alien. First, confirm your residency status, and only if you were a nonresident alien, last year, should you look into updating your mailing address and requesting a reprint of the document.

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Why didn’t I receive a 1042-S when I received a scholarship, stipend, fellowship, or grant?

If the Nonresident Alien Tax Office has classified you as a resident alien for tax purposes (a status based on your visa type and U.S. visa history), then you will not be receiving a 1042-S. As a resident alien, you are responsible for independently reporting your income to the U.S. tax authorities by referring to your personal pay records.

Alternatively, if your scholarship was less than your tuition and related expenses, it would have been reported on the 1098-T, not the 1042-S. Please contact the...

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Should I receive any tax reporting documents?

If you had no U.S.-source funding, you will not receive any tax reporting documents. It is possible to receive more than one type of tax reporting document, if you received more than one type of funding from a U.S. source (wages plus a fellowship, for example). The type of document you might receive depends on the type of funding you received.  If the only funding you received from Harvard was a scholarship that was applied directly to your term bill (1098-T), you will not receive any tax reporting documents. If you had no U.S. source funding, you will not receive any tax reporting...

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Why am I paying taxes when I’ve submitted all the required forms to claim tax treaty benefits?

This could be due to one or more of the following factors:

  • GLACIER has indicated that you're eligible for tax exemption on a dollar limit for the tax year, however, administrative/technical restrictions at Harvard prevent us from granting treaty benefits when there's a dollar limit.
  • On average, it takes around 1 month to process tax classification/treaty forms, and your submission is still in the queue.  Once it has been processed, however, your earnings will be tax exempt and we can refund Federal and State tax...
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Fellowship Payments

Fellowships, scholarships, and stipends are disbursed in support of personal research or studies. Such payments are often grouped together, for tax purposes, as "non-service fellowship" income, and may include "reimbursements" for travel or other incurred costs, if not deemed genuine University business expenses, i.e.in direct support of University research or scholarship.

Correctly distinguishing between fellowships and reimbursements has important ramifications for tax withholding and reporting as well as for the actual payment procedure.

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Making Payments

Use these guidelines to better understand payments to foreign individuals.

Harvard is required to follow:

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations that govern the taxation of payments to nonresident aliens, which differ from those that govern payments to U.S. citizens and resident aliens; and
  • Regulations set by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when making payments to certain foreign scholars and students

These regulations, which can be complicated, determine the tax status and proper procedure for...

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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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