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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.

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 individuals need to contact the NRA Tax Office to have a tax analysis completed.. 

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. 

On-Campus F1/J1 Student Employees, Tenure-Track H1B Faculty, OPT Staff

1. Social Security Number.  You must have a Social Security Number before we can meet with you because we cannot process any hire paperwork without it, per State of Maryland procedures.

2.  Form I-9 (Work Authorization).  You must also complete a I-9 Form in the Office of Human Resources before we can meet with you to finalize your tax file.  This ensures that you have shown proper work authorization documentation, as required for all employees per federal regulations.

3.  Request Appointment by Email.  After you have completed Step 1 & 2 above, e-mail nratax@towson.edu to request an appointment.  The appointment is necessary in order to ensure staff has enough time to process your tax file, which typically takes about twenty minutes to complete. 

4.  Glacier.  A record will be set up in our secure web-accessed tax analysis software Glacier.  Individuals will receive an e-mail with login directions from support@online-tax.net.  Please complete your record to the best of your ability (edits can be made by staff if necessary).  Print out your Tax Summary Sheet and bring required immigration documentation.

Faculty/Staff Instructions for Visiting Scholars (Non-TU Individuals)

1.  Formal Invitation to Campus.  Departments should work directly with the ISSO to obtain an official invitation to provide visiting scholars.  This letter is typically used for travel purposes, such as being processed by US Customs and Border Patrol.

2.  Work Authorization.  It is important that visiting scholars have an immigration status which allows them to work and/or receive honorarium per ACWIA and other federal regulations. 

3.  Making a Payment.  All payments made to visiting foreign nationals are not processed by Accounts Payable, they are processed by the NRA Tax Office. Departments are required to complete an International Payment Form which includes payment/reimbursement for travel, lodging, meals and payment for services.  The department completes page one and should have the individual complete and sign page two.  All documentation is submitted to the NRA Tax Office for processing.

IRS Categories of Types of Payment & Tax

There are several factors which influence how the IRS categorizes payments.  This includes purpose of payment, beneficiary of payment, services provided, immigration status and work authorization. These factors must be used to properly identify the payment as the following, which are either taxed at a Single, 1, NRA, 14% or 30% tax withholding rate:

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




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

TU Resources

On-campus Student Employee Checklist

Student Webmail

Faculty/Staff Webmail


Payroll website

Useful Federal Websites

IRS Foreign Students/Scholars

Foreign Student Link & Learn

Social Security Administration

Form I-9 Work Authorization

Useful Maryland Websites

Payroll Online Service Center

Duplicate W2 Request:  410.260.7263


Other Tax Resources

Univ. of Utah's Tax Terms

Chinese translation of TU NRA website





University Police

Closings & News
410-704-NEWS (6397)

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