Nonresident Alien (NRA) Tax

Most income received in the United States (U.S.) is subject to federal and state taxation, and in most cases, the University is required to withhold federal taxes from payments made to or on behalf of foreign nationals in NRA status. Foreign-sourced payments, such as a scholarship applied to a Student Account from a country outside the U.S., are not subject to U.S. taxation.  

The University will not make any payment to an NRA unless specifically allowed by Policy 9.16 Payments to Nonresident Aliens. Allowability is dependent on the visa status of the individual and the nature of payment. 

Potential allowable payments may include but are not limited to: 

  • Wages paid to an employee 
  • Compensation paid for independent services 
  • Scholarship or fellowship awards 
  • Royalties 
  • Prizes or other awards  
  • University business expense reimbursements

If an NRA receives payment, an annual Form W-2 to report wages, payroll taxes and withholding for employees and/or a Form 1042-S reporting other taxable payments and withholding will be issued by the University to the NRA.  

NRAs who receive payments are generally required to file annual income tax returns. Free Federal tax preparation and filing software for University employees and students is available via International Student Services. Withholding deducted throughout the calendar year is used as payment against the tax liability of the NRA. If too much tax was withheld, the NRA may receive a refund. If not enough was withheld, the NRA may owe additional monies.  

The U.S. has income tax treaties with many countries. Using Sprintax Calculus, an NRA can determine if an income tax treaty is available to be applied to reduce or eliminate required withholding on their payments. 

Sprintax Calculus

Sprintax Calculus is a web-based NRA tax compliance system. NRAs (except for lawful permanent residents) who receive payment from the University, or who have payments made on their behalf by the University, are generally required to use Sprintax Calculus.  

A Sprintax Calculus record is not required if payments only represent University business expense reimbursements, or if payments only represent qualified scholarship or fellowship.  

Sprintax Calculus collects data from NRAs such as their: 

  • Current immigration status 
  • Country of citizenship and residence  
  • Relationship with the University  
  • Type of income to be received from the University  
  • History of prior visits to the U.S. including immigration status and length of stay of each visit  

Based on the information provided by the NRA, Sprintax Calculus can: 

  • Determine tax residency  
  • Determine University tax treatment of payments provided 
  • Determine potential eligibility for tax treaty benefit application 
  • Pre-fill tax forms (Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-8BEN, IRS Form 8233, etc.)  
  • Prepare a Tax Summary Report  

Initiating a Sprintax Calculus Record 

If an NRA is aware they will receive payments from the University, or that payments will be made on their behalf, they may request the initiation of a Sprintax Calculus record using the contacts outlined below.  

Employee and student NRAs should write from their University email account and provide their complete name, student or employee ID number, and type of income anticipated.  

Other NRAs, within 30 days of entry into the U.S., should write from their personal email account and provide their complete name and type of income anticipated. Or, the department that is planning payment can request the initiation of a record with the provision of a name, email address, and type of income anticipated.

Employee (including student employees)  Salaries/Wages  Payroll  Payroll 
University student   Non-service Scholarship/Fellowship  Student Account  International Student Services (ISS) 
Tax Compliance 
Other visitors (e.g., speakers, consultants, postdoctoral fellows, performers, non-University students, etc.)  Speaker fee, honorarium, 
performance fee, royalty, prize, award, etc. 
Disbursement Voucher  Accounts Payable 

Completing a Sprintax Calculus Record 

Once a Sprintax Calculus record is initiated, Sprintax Calculus will send an email to the NRA with temporary login information. The email will come from "", which may be directed to a Spam folder. Be sure to check there if it doesn’t arrive in their Inbox. The NRA should then: 

  • Complete their record 
  • Print resulting forms and reports 
  • Complete any additional required fields including signature 
  • Submit all documentation according to the instructions on their Tax Summary Report   

Withholding on Student Accounts 

For NRA students with scholarships, tuition waivers, or other awards exceeding tuition and mandatory fees in their Student Account, these amounts are non-qualified and taxable, and the University is required to apply default withholding to the excess. If the student holds a F, J, M, or Q student visa type, the default withholding rate is 14%. For all others, the default rate is 30%. A completed Sprintax Calculus record with an applicable income tax treaty claimed is required to be submitted to potentially reduce or eliminate required withholding. 

The calculation of taxable excess fluctuates as charges and payments are applied to a Student Account. Withholding on Student Accounts is reviewed regularly for accuracy and any necessary adjustments are made.  

Scholarships, tuition waivers or other awards that cover only tuition and mandatory fees are considered qualified and are not taxable. NRA students with amounts that do not exceed University tuition and mandatory fees will not have tax withholding applied to their Student Account. 

Additional Contacts and Resources 

Access to free Federal tax filing and preparation software for University students and employees and additional tax information for international students: International Student Services 

Employee payroll taxes, Form W-2, or Form 1042-S questions: Payroll

Additional tax information for international employees: Payroll, International Employees

Student Account withholding adjustments: Bursar

IRS Tax Forms and Publications

Please contact Tax Services for information about University-related tax issues. University employees, while in their official role at the University, are not allowed to act as tax consultants or provide personal tax advice. Use of this site does not constitute advisement. For personal tax questions, individuals should consult with a professional tax advisor.