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making payments to foreign nationals

Foreign Nationals & Taxes

Student Financial Services is responsible for maintaining institutional compliance with federal Nonresident alien tax regulations.  In order to do so it guides and advises departments when it comes to making payments to foreign nationals.

Please note our office is an institutional compliance unit and not responsible for advising individuals on personal tax matters.

Determining Work Authorization & Tax Status

The federal agency overseeing US taxes is the International Revenue Service.  By law, Towson University must conduct a tax analysis for those individuals who self-disclose as not a US Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien. 

1. After you have completed all the required steps to become hired as an on-campus student employee, incuding obtaining a Social Security Number and completing the I-9, e-mail nratax@towson.edu to request an appointment (it typically takes about twenty minutes to complete your tax file). 

2.  You must have a Social Security Number before we can meet with you as State of Maryland requires this for all payments.

3.  A record will be set up in our secure web-accessed software Glacier and individuals will receive an e-mail with directions from support@online-tax.net.

Faculty/Staff Instructions for Visiting Scholars

All TU payment forms ask "Are you or the beneficiary of the payment a US Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien?" If the individual answers "No" then faculty/staff should contact the NRA Tax Office for further guidance.  You can send an e-mail to nratax@towson.edu to request a consult.

It is first important to identify the individual's immigration status to determine work authorization.  The NRA Tax Office works directly with the ISSO to determine if an individual is eligible to work and/or receive payment from TU.

You should complete an International Payment Form for visiting scholars.  The department completes page one while the individual completes and signs page two.

Type of Payment & Tax Withholding

If someone is a NRA for tax purposes, then different federal tax withholding and/or reporting rules may apply to the following payments:

Student employee wages Faculty/staff payments GA/RA/TA Stipends
Athletic Scholarships Other Prizes & Awards GSA Travel Award
Debate Scholarships Book Allowances Visiting Scholar payments
Independent Contractor Fees Honoraria (per ACWIA) Guest speaker/performer fees

Tax Filing - Do I Have to File a Tax Return?

  • YES!  Each student/dependent in F or J status must completed Form 8843.
  • If you worked in the previous year, you may be required to file a tax return (1040NR-EZ).
  • Each year the requirements change; follow instructions on this and the NRA Tax website with updated information for each tax year.

Why Should I File a Tax Return?

  • It is each foreign national’s responsibility to file appropriate U.S. federal and state tax forms each tax year.

  • Failure to file a federal tax return could jeopardize chances of obtaining approval for future visa or residency status changes.

  • If you have not filed a tax return for prior years, you may still do so. Include a letter explaining why you did not file.

  • For more information about federal tax filing obligations, see the IRS website at: http://www.irs.gov.

  • To help you file your federal tax return, the NRA Tax Office provides the following NRA software free of charge:

    GLACIERTaxPrepTM – A tax filing system exclusively for nonresident aliens. CINTAX generates all necessary tax filing forms for nonresident aliens who follow the easy step-by-step process.

  • For more information about state tax filing, see the State of Maryland’s Comptroller website: http://www.marylandtaxes.com.



The tax information on this website is provided as a service to foreign nationals who have a connection with Towson University anbd it is not intended to be a complete source of tax regulations. The function of the Nonresident Alien Tax Office is an administrative one for Towson University purposes only.  Information regarding immigration, employment, and tax filing regulations are the responsibility of each foreign national who receives payment from Towson University. 

Copyright Information

All documents, webpages, and images are the property of Towson University, except where noted. Permission is required to copy, download or use any text, checklists, or image files.  Towson University disclaims all liability from the mistreatment of information and materials on this website.

Financial Services

Administration Building,

7720 York Road, 4th Floor

Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Phone: 410-704-3537

Email: nratax@towson.edu

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