Tax Information for Departments

ISSS does not give tax advice but we do provide tax information for international students and scholars, including where they can get their tax questions answered.

General Tax Information for Students

If international students and scholars contact you with general questions about taxes, please refer them to ISSS's Taxes Overview, which offers tax resources and content experts to help them answer their tax-related questions. In addition, we partner with the Nonresident Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (NRVTAP) to provide a tax information session in February each year. NRVTAP also offers free tax clinics to most international students and scholars if they meet the eligibility criteria. Please help direct international students and scholars to this resource. 

Setting Up Payments for International Students and Scholars

The University’s Tax Management Office provides guidance (called TMOGs) for departments on various topics. TMOG #8 Payments to Students contains helpful information on various types of payments to students, including stipends, fellowships, and/or scholarships.

When hiring international applicants, there are considerations beyond immigration status to consider.

Additional Hiring Considerations About Employment Start Date

Health Insurance Coverage

The employee's health insurance coverage may become effective on the first day of the month following the employee's first day of employment. It may be beneficial to choose an employment start date a few days before the month ends.

Tax Implications

There may be significant tax implications based on when the employee enters the U.S. To find more information on these tax implications, review NRVTAP's FAQs.

Taxes on Scholarships and Fellowships

For information on how scholarships and fellowships are taxed, here are some University resources:

Tax Management Office:

Office of Human Resources:

Common Questions from Students

In an effort to help all of our offices refer students and departments to the appropriate resource, we ask that you help direct international students and scholars to the correct resources to avoid the frustrations of them checking with multiple offices.

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What tax documentation do I need for my scholarship or fellowship?

  • Students need to consult Nonresident Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (NRVTAP) first to determine what documentation they need.
  • Some scholarship recipients need a 1042-s which may come from Payroll or OneStop.
  • Fellowship students may be able to use their fellowship letter or their OneStop student account/MyPay information.

Why did I receive a 1098-T Form? Do I need it to file my taxes?

The 1098-T Tuition Form is issued by the Office of Student Finance for all undergraduate students who are paid for any purpose (employment, scholarship, etc.); however, this form does not generally apply to international students and scholars.

Does my country have a tax treaty with the U.S.?

Students may have different tax obligations based on their country of origin. If so, they must claim an exception through the Office of Human Resources.

Where can I find resources for W-4 tax form questions?

Where can I get assistance with questions about earning income while overseas?

Students and scholars who received U.S. income while outside of the United States may need to consult with a tax professional or invest in tax software to assist them in preparing their tax return.

  • Resource: The ISSS Taxes Overview web page provides information about tax vendors and preparers for non-resident and resident tax filers.

What is FNIS (Foreign National Information System)? Why do I have to fill out this form?

Students and scholars will use the FNIS software to enter their foreign national information to determine their payroll tax status, including their substantial presence and tax treaty eligibility. For questions about FNIS, contact OHR at [email protected] or 612-624-8647.

What is an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number)? Where do I get it?

Few students or scholars will need to apply for an Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN). The only students or scholars who should need an ITIN are those with non-work U.S. income, such as scholarship or investment dividends. Students need to complete an ITIN application.

For all other tax-related questions

Other questions may include: How to file taxes? What documents are needed? How to file tax for a previous tax year? What if the IRS contacted me with a problem?

You should refer international students and scholars to the:

Last updated: April 3, 2024