Aliens temporarily present in the United States as students, trainees, scholars, teachers, researchers, exchange visitors, and cultural exchange visitors are subject to special rules with respect to the taxation of their income.
All students who are on an F or J immigration status and were physically here in the 2020 tax year must file at least one U.S. federal tax document to the IRS (www.irs.gov). Please see this article from IRS about international students.
Tax form filings are generally due April 15th every tax season.
October 15, 2021: MIT Consolidating Foreign National Tax Software Platform to Sprintax.
MIT Vice President for Finance Office (VPR), Human Resources and Payroll, and the International Students (ISO) and International Scholars (ISchO) Offices are consolidating MIT’s foreign national tax software platform to a single provider: Sprintax. VPF migrated to Sprintax Tax Determination System (TDS) from Glacier Foreign National Tax Compliance on October 4, 2021. An email was sent by VPF on October 2, 2021 to all individuals with a record in the former Glacier Tax Compliance platform.
The ISO will also be making available in 2022 the Sprintax nonresident tax preparation software available to all international students and alumni to assist in completing 2021 income tax return filings.
The goal of the consolidation of tax resources is to reduce the amount of manual entry of data required by international students to utilize the payroll system and in completing annual income tax returns. During the months of October, November, and early December, VPF HR/Payroll will be contacting students with existing records in Glacier to ensure that their account information is completely updated in Sprintax.
The ISO will provide details about filing income tax returns and accessing the Sprintax tax filing software beginning in January/February 2022. The income tax filing deadline for 2021 is April 15, 2022.
For additional information, VPF support resources are available here. The ISO tax information page can be accessed here.
Deadline for Filing 2020 Income Tax Returns Extended:
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has announced the Federal income tax filing deadline for 2020 returns has been extended to May 17, 2021.
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue, in response to the IRS announcement, has published that it also has extended the Massachusetts State income tax filing deadline for 2020 returns to May 17, 2021.
Please note that each State may adjust (or not) its own State income tax filing deadline. If you will be filing an income tax return in a State other than Massachusetts you will want to check that State’s department of taxation or revenue to confirm the State deadline.
Tax Guidance for Non-Resident Aliens
The MIT Office of the Vice President for Finance, in cooperation with the International Scholars Office (ISchO) and the International Students Office (ISO), created a website for foreign nationals to provide resources and links related to receiving payments from MIT and guidance on income taxes.
International students and scholars are advised to review the “Tax Guidance for Nonresident Aliens” website for details on payments, taxes, and filing annual income tax returns, which is available here.
Please also view the March 1, 2021 email from ISO outlining MIT Tax Filing Resources for International Students.
Tax Software for Non-Resident Aliens
Access to the Glacier Tax Prep software for the 2020 tax year is now available!
The ISO has purchased a tax software program called Glacier Tax Prep to use at no cost to all MIT international students through a generous donation by the Kailath International Student Fund.
GLACIER Tax Prep Software is an Internet-based tax return preparation system that will help F or J visa holders prepare their 2019 U.S. federal tax forms. After going through GLACIER Tax Prep, the program will prepare the appropriate federal tax forms for you to print out and an instruction sheet that will tell you where to send the forms. This software can be used by your F-2 or J-2 dependents as well. Remember that ALL F and J holders MUST file U.S. tax forms whether or not they received income in 2020. GLACIER Tax Prep does not fill out your Massachusetts state tax forms, but after you use GLACIER Tax Prep to fill out the federal taxes, you can use those federal forms to fill out your state tax forms.
Information on tax software made available for MIT International Scholars (Post-Docs, Faculty, and Researchers) is available here: https://vpf.mit.edu/by-topic/tax-filing/tax-preparation-software
Current MIT International Students can login to Glacier Tax Prep Software here. ** Please note that you must have an MIT Kerberos ID and password to log into this site.
Alumni and students who attended MIT in the previous tax year and do not have an active Kerberos username may contact their ISO Advisor for a temporary access code.
The Office of the Vice President for Finance (VPF), the Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC), the International Students Office (ISO), the International Scholars Office (ISchO) and the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) sponsors Tax Workshops for MIT students and international scholars annually.
The purpose of these workshops is to provide general guidance to students and international scholars on the process of filing 2020 U.S. and Massachusetts state tax returns. The workshops are not intended to provide individual tax advice.
For details on the MIT Tax Workshops scheduled for March 2, 2021, including a copy of the recordings and slidedecks posted after the workshops, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page on the MIT Vice President for Finance (VPF) Office — https://vpf.mit.edu/tax/faqs
Tax Resource Links
Please view the Tax Resource links here: https://vpf.mit.edu/by-topic/tax-filing/how-to-get-tax-help
Unfortunately, ISO advisors are not trained in the complexities of the U.S. Tax Code and therefore, cannot advise on tax issues. The ISO will do its best to find tax resources for our students and direct your questions appropriately.