Tax Information for International Students

oip_students11fIf you work in the United States and earn a salary or wage, you will likely have to pay both U.S. Federal and Connecticut State income taxes. Federal and State tax returns are usually due on April 15 of every year, for the earnings of the previous calendar year. In most cases, a percentage of your income will be withheld by your employer each month or each pay period for tax purposes. This "withholding tax" of the Federal government is an estimate of the taxes due on your amount of earnings. Every employer is required to report total earnings for the calendar year and the total amount of taxes that have been withheld. This report (W-2) must be sent to the employee and to the Federal government early in January of each year.

F-1 and J-1 students do not pay social security taxes (FICA). If social security taxes are deducted from your earnings, you are entitled to a refund. This refund may be claimed by your employer by submitting IRS Form 941c, or it may be claimed by you by submitting IRS Form 843. In either case, the claim should be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service office in which the employer's returns were filed, if known. The Payroll Office at Fairfield University may be able to assist you. If that information is not available, submit the claim to the Internal Revenue Service where you filed your tax return.

The amount of taxes you must pay to the U.S. government and the State of Connecticut could be affected by the length of your stay in the United States, a tax treaty between your country and the United States, or your visa and the type of employment you hold, or the source of the payment you are receiving. By law, foreign students are only permitted to claim either 0 or 1 exemption on their W-4 forms, unless they are a married citizen of Canada, Japan, Mexico, or South Korea. Questions regarding exemptions, withholding, or tax treaties should be directed to either the Payroll Office or the Internal Revenue Service. Also see Internal Revenue Publication 519.