Fletcher Connect

Payroll & Taxes

Tax Specialist Referral List

The following is a list of people in the Boston area who SPECIALIZE IN FOREIGN TAXATION and can be reached BY APPOINTMENT. Please be aware that there is a fee for services.


Freshman & Ferraro, P.C.

400 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Accounting & Consulting
Contact: JoAnn Ferraro or Kenneth Freshman, Tax Directors
Phone: (617) 236-8098
Fax: (617) 236-8163

Authenrieth Tax Help

Phone/Fax: (781) 643-5605
Internet address: www.authenrieth.com

The Lucas Group

1046 Main Street
Reading, MA 01867
Accounting & Consulting Firm
Contact: Maria Lucas, EA
Phone: (781) 944-5927
Fax: (781) 944-5927

Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer

255 Washington Street, Suite 340
Newton, MA 02158
Tax Attorneys
Contact: Lynn Bressler
Phone: (617) 964-0500
Fax : (617) 969-2002
Internet address: www.vacovec.com

PriceWater House Coopers

1 Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109
Accounting & Consulitng Firm
Contact: Kay Campbell
Phone: (617)478-5321
Internet address: www.pwcglobal.com

Law Offices of Stephanie K. Meilman, P.C.

1320 Center Street, Suite 100
Newton Center, MA 02459
Tax & Business Attorney
Contact : Stephanie Meilman
Phone: (617) 969-9500
Fax: (617) 969-3888

IRS Forms & Publications

The following is a list of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Forms & Publications which may help you. We suggest you read Publications 519, 520, & 901 (Publication 901 only applies to those eligible for tax treaty exemptions). Consult the following publications which can be obtained free from the IRS by calling 1-800-829-3676 or visiting http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Foreign-Students-and-Scholars.

Publications

  • #519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
  • #520, Scholarships and Fellowships
  • #597, Information on the United States-Canada Income Tax Treaty
  • #901, U.S. Tax Treaties

Forms

  • 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return & Instructions for Form 1040NR
  • 1040NR-EZ, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents
  • 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals & Individuals with a Medical Condition
  • 8233, Exemption From Withholding on Compensation for Independent
  • 8840, Closer Connection Exception Statement
  • W7, Application for IRS Identification Number

TO ORDER ANY OF THE IRS FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS

Call: 1-800-829-3676

Or Visit:
Internal Revenue Service 
JFK Federal Building, Room 775 
Government Center (15 New Sudbury St.) 
Boston, MA 02203

They’re located on the Green Line. Go in through the front door and go to the high rise part of the building, Room 775. They’re open from 8:00 am-4:00 pm

General Non-Resident Alient Tax Information

The United States Tax Structure is based on a graduated income tax system. The percentage taken out of a Tufts employee’s paycheck will vary depending on how much and how often you get paid (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) For more detailed information, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 519 - U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

There are three types of tax deductions. They are:

  1. FICA (Federal Insurance Contribution Act). The FICA taxes go towards pension benefits such as Social Security and Medicare, the employer is required to pay a matching amount;
  2. Federal Government Income Taxes; and
  3. Massachusetts State Income Taxes.

Some students and scholars may be exempt from paying FICA taxes. There are also tax treaties between the U.S. and certain countries which may apply to some international students and scholars. We strongly urge you to read Publication 519 mentioned above as well as IRS Publication 901 for tax treaty information.

You can also contact Mr. Paul Paoletti at 617-628-5000, Ext. 72593 to assist you in determining your tax status at Fletcher.

Social Security Information

Applying for a Social Security Card

Non-immigrant International Students, Faculty & Research Scholars, and their dependents who are legally eligible to work as per their immigration status, are required to apply for a U.S Social Security card once you have secured employment. To obtain a Social Security card, you must visit a Social Security Administration office. The telephone number for all Social Security offices is 1-800-772-1213.

NOTE: You are not eligible to apply for a SSN unless you have a job.

Location of the Social Security Office Closest To You

If you are on the Medford Campus, the closest Social Security Administration (SSA) office is located at 10 Fawcett Street, Cambridge.  It is located approximately 10 minutes away on foot from the Alewife Station (MBTA Red Line).

When you visit the Social Security office, you will need to present the following:

  • A Social Security Application form, which you can download from http://www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.html;
  • *
  • a valid passport;
  • *
  • I-94 card (small white card usually stapled to your passport);
  • *
  • a valid visa document (Form I-20, Form I-797, Employment Authorization Document, etc.);
  • *
  • Students will also need a work authorization letter from the International Student Advisor as well as proof of employment.

*Newly-arrived students will not be able to obtain a work authorization letter from the International Student Advisor until they have been in the U.S. for a two-week period. All questions regarding your work eligibility should be addressed to our office.

It is advisable that you wait a couple of weeks after your arrival in the U.S. before applying for a Social Security card. The reason is that the Social Security office will need to verify your immigration status on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) database system. It takes at least a couple of weeks after your arrival before this information can be accessed electronically by the Social Security office. If when you visit the Social Security office, you’re not yet listed on the USCIS database system, the Social Security office will request verification from the local Immigration office in Boston. This is done by mail and could take 6-8 weeks. The Social Security office can only approve you for a Social Security Number after they have verified your immigration status. Once the Social Security office has cleared you for a number, it will take an additional 2-3 weeks for you to receive the Social Security card. Please notify the International Student Advisor of your Number. You will not be able to be paid by the Tufts Payroll office until you have obtained a Social Security Number.

If you need to open a bank account before you obtain your Social Security Number, explain that you are a newly-arrived non-immigrant. They will have you complete a W-8 form which permits you to open a bank account without a Social Security Number.

Other General Information

* If you are a Fletcher International Student, you will be issued a Tufts Identification Number that begins with 991. This is NOT a Social Security Number; * If you are a student, when you receive your Social Security Number, from the Social Security Administration, be sure to report it to the International Student Advisor, as well as to the Payroll Office (if you’re working on campus). * If you are not eligible for a Social Security Number and need to obtain a driver’s license, present your passport, visa document and I-94 card at the Social Security Administration office and request that they give you a denial letter for you to present at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. * For information about the safety of your Social Security Number, visit the following page:
http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10064.pdf o Social Security Administration (SSA) Protects Social Security Numbers o Protecting Social Security Numbers.
Tax Treaty Information

Refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 901 for more detailed information.

The United States has income tax treaties with various countries. Since each treaty is independently negotiated, no general rule applies to all. Each treaty article must be looked at individually. Although a tax treaty may exempt you from paying income tax, you are still required to file an income tax return during tax reporting season (from January 1 – April 15th of every year). You also need to be aware of the fact that it may not always be beneficial to take advantage of a tax treaty. You may be required to pay the taxes upon returning to your home country and in some cases if you stay in the U.S. beyond a specified amount of time, you may be taxed retroactively for the entire period which you were exempt from taxes.

Please contact the Tufts Department of Payroll for assistance in determining whether or not you are eligible for tax treaty benefits. You can also refer to the above-mentioned IRS Publication 901 for treaty details and Treaty Article Number.

All international students, faculty and research scholars claiming exemptions from Federal and State taxes under a tax treaty MUST complete Form 8233 (Exemption from Withholding on Compensation for Dependent Personal Services of a Non-resident Alien Individual). Do not use a temporary student identification number on this form. Only a Social Security Number is allowed. If you do not yet have a social security number, please click here for information on how to apply.

In addition to IRS Form 8233, non-resident aliens claiming tax treaty benefits may be required to complete and submit a statement letter containing wording from the tax treaty. The Tufts Department of Payroll has prepared the statement letters for your convenience. Please contact Mr. Paul Paoletti at the Tufts Payroll Department for assistance at 617-628-5000, Ext. 72593.

The above-mentioned forms (Form 8233 and Statement) are filed with the IRS. There is a ten-day waiting period before treaty benefits become effective. According to IRS regulations, Tufts cannot refund Federal and State taxes taken out before the waiting period has expired. Refunds can be claimed at year-end on the individual’s tax return.

All individuals claiming tax treaty benefits MUST COMPLETE A NEW FORM 8233 EVERY DECEMBER. It is essential that the Department of Payroll receive a new Form 8233 prior to January 1st. The Payroll office cannot refund taxes withheld to individuals who submit their forms after that date.

Scholarships & Fellowships

Please contact Mr. Paul Paoletti at the Tufts Department of Payroll for assistance at 617-628-5000, ext. 72593. You can also refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publications 520 for more details.

Special tax rules apply to scholarship and fellowship grants. The rules for determining the taxable part of a scholarship or fellowship apply to both resident and non-resident aliens. They are separate from and in addition to any rules pertaining to exclusions from income for foreign scholarships or exclusions under a tax treaty.

Free Advice (Where to Obtain Forms)

Where to Obtain Forms and Ask Questions

Internal Revenue Service
JFK Federal Building, 7th floor, Room 775
15 New Sudbury Street
Government Center, Boston, MA 02203

For questions on Federal Filing or to Obtain Federal Tax Forms
Phone: 1-800-829-3676
Internet address: www.irs.gov

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Hurley Building
19 Staniford Street
Government Center, Boston, MA 02204

For questions on Massachusetts filing or to Obtain State Tax Forms
Phone: 1-800-392-6089 or 617-887-MDOR
Internet address: www.massdor.com

When using the above free services, be sure to ask for someone who specializes in foreign taxation and always record the name of the individual who assists you.