Mason must comply with all Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations when paying non-U.S. citizens. In some situations, Mason is NOT authorized to reimburse or pay for travel expenses for a non-U.S. citizen. Please work with the International Tax Office before committing to or arranging travel for a non-U.S. citizen. Please refer to Procedures for Travel Reimbursements to Foreign Nationals.
Documents that are needed will be based on the employment status of the traveler and the activity upon which the travel is based.
- Employee (non-student)
Foreign National Mason employees follow the same travel policy and procedures as all other Mason employees.
Please see the Travel Policies and Procedures Manual for more information.
These travel vouchers are not required to be approved by the International Tax Office.
Candidates invited by Mason for interviews follow the same procedures as employees. Job hunting expenses are excluded from tax withholding under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules.
- Mason Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) (presenting) and paid with sponsored research funding
Generally, it is assumed that a GRA traveling with sponsored research funding and presenting are doing so for the benefit of the sponsored research and not for the furtherance of the GRA’s personal education. Follow the same procedures as Mason employees. However, payment must be approved by the International Tax Office.
- Graduate Research Assistant/ Graduate Teaching Assistant (GRA/GTA) not paid with sponsored research funding and all other Mason students
Generally, travel for a student is for the furtherance of his/her education and travel reimbursements are considered to be scholarships.
If the student did not previously have an appointment with the International Tax Coordinator,
The Student Should:
- Schedule an appointment to meet with the International Tax Coordinator at 703-993-2969 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complete the Online Foreign National Information Form
- Bring the following to the appointment:
- Passport (including visa and copy of stamped page in passport showing the entry date and the immigration status the inspector allowed the visitor to enter.)
- DS-2019 Form, if J-1 student/ the form I-20, if F-1 Student
- Social Security Card or ITIN (Individual Tax Payer Number)
If student does not have either of these, he/she must apply for ITIN number at the closest IRS office.
The Department Should:
- Follow procedure as outlined by the Travel Policies and Procedures Manual.
- GRA/GTA presenting at a conference: Letter from supervisor, if presentation was of a paper/poster owned by Mason and a requirement of the student’s job as a GRA/GTA.
Non Mason Visitors – Event Attendees (taxable travel grant)
Follow procedure as outlined by the Travel Policies and Procedures Manual. In addition:
|IF MEETING WITH THE INTERNATIONAL TAX COORDINATOR||IF UNABLE TO MEET WITH THE INTERNATIONAL TAX COORDINATOR|
|Tax Coordinator analyzes visitor’s tax status and prepares the appropriate tax documents. If tax treaty benefits are available, the appropriate tax documents will be processed during the interview which eliminates the 30% tax withholding.
||Please note that tax treaty benefits will not usually be granted in this situation because additional tax documents are required.
Obtain the following documents from the visitor:
Important: Need visa history: entry/exit dates for current and past two years and any activity since 1985 in F, J, Q or M status.
Complete and sign the IRS forms W-8BEN and/or W-9. The Tax Coordinator will determine the appropriate form needed when processing the payment. (If visitor knows his/her tax status, he/she may provide only the appropriate form).
Visiting Lecturers/ Speakers/ other Non-Mason Presenters (non-taxable travel reimbursement)
- Follow procedure as outlined by Travel Policies and Procedures Manual.
- Obtain the following documents from the visitor:
- Copies of immigration documents (Link to the table above).
- IRS Tax Documents – Complete and sign the IRS forms W-8BEN and/or W-9. The Tax Coordinator will determine the appropriate form needed when processing the payment.
(If visitor knows his/her tax status, he/she may provide only the appropriate form).
- Invitation letter to the visitor that stipulates dates and purpose of visit.
Please remember that F-1 and J-1 students must be authorized to engage in these activities. Hiring students who do not have the work authorization to present puts the university at risk of knowingly hiring an unauthorized individual.
- IRS website
- IRS Forms and Publications
- Social Security Administration
- International Students And Social Security Numbers
- Your Social Security Number And Card
- Social Security Numbers for Noncitizens
- Identify Theft and Your Social Security Number
- Information for Foreign Students and Scholars – IRS website
- Tax Treaty Text Listed by Country
- Handbook for Employers