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U.S. Taxes

Income Taxes

International students who work in the U.S. may be required to pay income taxes on all or part of their earnings (including tuition remission). Although the ISO does not offer advice or assistance with specific tax matters, the following general information may be of help:

At tax filing time, forms are available at the UDM library. In addition, you can obtain information and download IRS forms and publications at any time of the year from the IRS website: www.irs.gov.

Although ISO staff members are not qualified to offer advice or assist you in filing your income tax return, we can confidently refer you to a web site created by the University of Texas at Austin that can guide you through the federal tax filing process: http://www.utexas.edu/international/taxes/. For problems that cannot be resolved through this resource, please consult a tax preparation service or a tax attorney or visit the IRS web site for instructions on how to obtain information on federal tax filing from the IRS.

Social Security Taxes

Most U.S. workers are required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. These taxes provide income and medical care benefits to retired workers who have paid into the fund. These taxes, like income taxes, are withheld from employees' wages each pay period. However, students in F-1 and J-1 status who have been in the U.S. for less than five years do not have to pay Social Security taxes and should not have these taxes withheld from their paychecks. Since not all U.S. employers are aware of these regulations, you should make sure when you are first hired that your employer is informed of them. The ISO has printed information packets available which students may present to their employers. Should your employer withhold Social Security taxes, you can receive a full refund, either from the employer or the government. Consult IRS publication 519 for more detailed information.