Payment received for services provided as an employee.


Whether receiving or making payments, Harvard guidelines and U.S. tax/immigration regulations will influence the end result, including how the payment will be taxed. There are various compliance issues of which to be mindful, and numerous laws by which to abide, that will collectively determine the direction one should take. Work authorization, income category, visa type, tax residency status, and tax treaty eligibility are some of the many factors that influence how a payment to a foreign national should be processed.

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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, unlike U.S. citizens and residents, are only subject to tax on income that is considered U.S.-source income.

Foreign-source Income received by nonresident aliens is not subject to U.S. taxation.

Income is generally considered foreign-source if the location of the activity for which the payment is being issued is outside the U.S.  A clear indication of the location of the activity is necessary on all supporting documentation for the payment to be correctly classified. This applies to both...

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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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Tax Treaties

DEADLINE TO CLAIM *NEW* TAX TREATY EXEMPTION FOR CURRENT CALENDAR YEAR 2018: 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 4pm on Friday, November 30th. 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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