There are several opportunities for employment both on and off campus for international students. Employment not only puts money in your pocket but also allows you to earn a social security card.
All international students, regardless of whether or not they have a U.S. source of income, must file federal income tax forms. In Massachusetts, state income tax forms also must be filed if money is earned in the U.S. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code contains special provisions, which apply to no immigrant in F and J statuses. Factors affecting tax obligation include the following:
April 15 is the deadline each year for filing tax forms on income earned during the preceding calendar year. Each year toward the end of January, every U.S. employer prepares a "W-2 Form" for each employee showing the amount earned during the preceding tax year and the amount of taxes, federal and state, withheld. This W-2 Form is used in preparing income tax forms, and if the amount withheld exceeds the amount of tax obligation, a tax return must be filed in order to receive the refund.
You must have a Social Security Number to file income tax returns. If you, your spouse, or your children are ineligible for a Social Security Number, you must apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. This may be obtained from the IRS at the Social Security Administration offices. You will first need to obtain the form W-7 from the IRS website.
After leaving the U.S., you can obtain tax forms from the nearest U.S. consulate or from the IRS website for use in filing taxes for the preceding calendar year. These forms are available in January of the following year. It is important to keep records of financial transactions to use in completing income tax forms. It is also important to keep a copy of all income tax forms submitted, as well as supporting documentation.