International Information

Current tax requirements, and the documents and forms required by the Penn State Payroll Office for all Penn State international employees are listed below.

Taxes (FICA/MEDIA, Federal, State, Local)

Federal Income Tax:

Federal Income Tax is withheld according to the Federal graduated tax table. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all Non-Resident Aliens (NRA) for US Residency Status for US Tax Purposes to claim "single" marital status even if they're married and "1" allowance. There are a few exceptions to this regulation. If the employee is from Canada, Mexico, or Korea, they must still claim "single", marital status but they can claim any number of allowances. If the employee is from India and they are on a student visa they must claim "single" marital status but they can claim any number of allowances.

AN NRA may qualify to be exempt from federal tax due to a tax treaty with the U.S. and their country of  permanent residence. The treaties vary in the dollar amounts and length of years they can be applied. Not all countries have a treaty that allows exemption from income tax, as well as, not all individuals qualify for the treaty benefit. In order to qualify for the treaty the individual must complete Form 8233 and the Revenue Procedure Form 87-8 for students or trainees, or 87-9 for teachers and researchers) that matches with their home country each calendar year. The form is reviewed in the Payroll Office and then forwarded to the IRS for final approval. It is the responsibility of the individual employee to make sure the form is completed each calendar year.

Pennsylvania State and Local Wage Tax: 

All employees at Penn State University have the local wage and State of Pennsylvania taxes withheld. After the tax year is over, they can file a tax return to request a refund or a partial refund. The determination of any refund is made by the local wage tax office for local tax and the State of Pennsylvania for the state taxes.

FICA/MEDI Tax is based on your USA residency status for tax purposes:  (Refer to the IRS Substantial Presence Test for more complete instructions to determine US tax residency.)

FICA/MEDI Tax for F-1 and J-1 students is not withheld for five tax years or any part of five tax years from their very first date of arrival on a F or J visa into the USA. When the student reaches the sixth year this tax will be withheld, unless they meet the criteria to be exempted as a student that became effective July 1, 2001. To determine when the FICA/MEDI tax will begin to be withheld, you need to know the month and year the person first entered the U.S., even if the individual were in the U.S. for a few days of a calendar year, that year will count as the first tax year.

Example: Enter U.S. December 20, 1997

The first tax year would be 1997, second year 1998, third year 1999, fourth year 2000 and the fifth, and the last year of exemption, would be 2001. Therefore, beginning with January 2002 the FICA/MED tax would be withheld.

FICA/MEDI Tax for J-1 non-student visa holder  is not withheld for two tax years or any part of two tax years of the  from date of arrival to the U.S. When the individual remains in the U.S. for year three they will begin to have this tax withheld. To determine when the FICA/MEDI tax will begin to be withheld you need to know the month and the year the person entered the U.S. Even if the individual were only in the U.S. for a few days of a calendar year, that year will count as the first tax year. Refer to the IRS Substantial Presence Test for more complete instructions to determine US tax residency.

Example: Enter U.S. October 20, 1999

The first tax year would be 1999 and the second tax year would be 2000. Therefore, beginning with January 2001 the FICA/MEDI tax would be withheld.

DOCUMENTS and FORMS REQUIRED
Employee Status Documents Required
F-1 VISA HOLDER (student)
- Alien Information Request Form (original)
- Photocopy of most recent  I-94 Document
- Form 8233 (if from a tax treaty country)
- Revenue Procedure Form 87-8 
J-1 VISA HOLDER (student)
- Alien Information Request Form
- Photocopy of most recent  I-94 Document
- Copy of most recent DS-2019
- Form 8233 (if from a tax treaty country)
- Revenue Procedure Form 87-8 
F-1 or J-1 VISA HOLDER
Practical Training Students
- Alien Information Request Form (original)
-  Photocopy of most recent  I-94 Document
J-1's also provide a copy of the most recent DS-2019
PERMANENT RESIDENT - Alien Information Request Form (original)
- W-9 Form if applicable (Resident for US Tax Purposes)
J-1 VISA NON-STUDENT 
- Alien Information Request Form (original)
-  Photocopy of most recent  I-94 Document
- Copy of most recent DS-2019
- Form 8233 (if from a tax treaty country)
- Revenue Procedure 87-9 
POLITICAL ASYLUM or REFUGEE
- Alien information Request Form (original)
- Photocopy of most recent  I-94 Document
- W-9 Form if applicable (Resident for US Tax Purposes)
HI-B VISA
-Alien information Request Form (original)
- Photocopy of most recent  I-94 Document
- W-9 Form  if applicable (Resident for US Tax Purposes)