The social security number is a government-issued identification number. This number is NOT a work permit. In fact, you are not eligible to apply for a social security number unless you have an offer of employment.
Most employers (including NEC) will not pay you without recording your social security number. If you have a job offer, you should pick up the Social Security Application Packet at the International Student Office (PDF below), and bring the completed form along with a signed employment offer and a letter of recommendation IN PERSON to the nearest Social Security Office.
Students interested in working in the United States after graduation may be eligible for a work visa. Generally, these visas require an employer sponsor and the assistance of an immigration attorney. Each spring the International Student Office invites an immigration attorney specializing in artists and musicians to provide an information session on work visas and green cards.
U.S. law requires that all persons file taxes each and every year, including international students and their dependents. You must file if you were physically present in the U.S. during the 2019 year, regardless of whether or not you earned income. The tax filing deadline is April 15, 2020. NEC has purchased Windstar’s Foreign National Tax Resource™ software this year, specifically for our international students. Windstar will help you with Federal and Massachusetts taxes return. You will be provided with a Windstar code through your NEC email some time in February/March. Please refer to this email for the code and Windstar's Tax FAQs.
Remember: Your International Advisors are NOT tax experts.
Tax Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I am an International Student, do I have to file US taxes?
A: Yes, all international students must file taxes even if they did not make money last year.
Q: How do I file my taxes?
A: NEC has purchased tax software just for international students called Windstar. Use the registration guide and access code to prepare and file your taxes.
Q: Can my International Advisor help with tax questions?
A: No, your international advisors are F1 experts, NOT tax experts.
Q: Who can I turn to with tax questions?
A: Please contact Windstar Tax Experts at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
Q: I received a Form MA 1099-HC, what is this?
A: This is proof that you have health insurance. All residents of Massachusetts must have health insurance. You will need this form to file your taxes.
Q: When Must I Complete and Submit my Tax Return?
A: April 15.
Q: What is a Tax Return?
A: In the US, federal and state income taxes are prepaid by each employer based on the “estimate” of tax liability indicated at the start of employment by the employee on the Form W-4. Since the withholding is only an estimate, employees are given an annual opportunity to reconcile the amount of tax withheld with how much was owed. The name of the form on which the reconciliation is made is called the “tax return”. The federal tax return must be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the state tax return must be submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and/or the state agency in any other US state where you have received income in a givenyear. In some cases, the tax return results in a refund because the tax withholding was higher than necessary. In other cases, a taxpayer did not have enough tax withheld throughout the year and may need to send a payment to the IRS with the tax return. Occasionally, the total taxes withheld match the amount due, so no money is due by either the taxpayer or the IRS.
Disclaimer: Information presented within this guide is for general information and is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal tax advice. While NEC International Student Services has arranged for the services of Windstar's Foreign National Tax Resource™, international students can choose how they wish to complete and submit tax forms, as it is the individual's responsibility to meet all tax filing obligations. International students are encouraged to follow Windstar's Foreign National Tax Resource™ instructions to prepare federal and state forms online and/or consult the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), local and state tax agencies, and tax professionals for advice and guidance regarding their individual tax situations.