Tax for International Students
Tax is a word that is generally perceived with negative connotations. A long and arduous process, plaguing all international students everywhere- but it does not have to be. This post is written for incoming international students, so if that is you, I highly recommend reading through this post!
All international students who receive significant financial aid are taxed 14% on the aid they receive, above the cost of tuition and some fees. This value is usually around 1000 dollars per term, depending on the size of your scholarship, and will be charged to your student account each term. It is the responsibility of the student to make sure they have enough funds in their account to pay for this.
International students who work campus jobs also get taxed. Around April each year, you will need to file an income tax return, for the taxes you pay on your scholarship and for any taxes you pay on paychecks. It is important to take note that to file any sort of tax return, you will need a Social Security Number (SSN), which is a form of identification used in the United States. However, to get an SSN you need to get a job on campus and receive an employment letter. If you do not want an SSN, you could apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), but I believe it is a much more difficult and complicated process to complete.
To read more about the SSN application process check out my blog: https://admissions.dartmouth.edu/follow/blog/yehalah-fernando/working-dartmouth
I filed my taxes this year during Spring Break in March, and it took me approximately 12 hours to complete the entire process. Dartmouth provides access to tax software that helps you prepare tax forms. However, it is not possible to submit taxes online, you will have to mail them at the local post office.
The bottom line is, as an international student, you should make it a priority to get a job on campus and apply for an SSN as soon as possible. I can promise you, this will ease the stress on your college tax experience.