Tax declarations for CfA employees

I had lots of troubles filing my tax reports for the income I got from my appointment at the CfA last year, so I decided to write some notes down in order to help myself (and any reader) next time.

The most common answer when asking information about american taxes is “seek a tax professional“, and this even comes from the employees of the tax offices.
Let me report here some useful information that cost me a lot of effort to figure out.

Federal Taxes
Information desk: 1-800-8291040

The CfA withholds some Federal taxes (but no State taxes) based on the declarations that we provided in the application for the CfA appointment. The amount of withheld taxes is reported in the form 1042-S (provided by the employer). Basically, the expected expenses for food, housing, and transportations are subtracted from the “Gross Income” (which includes both salary and travel refunds) to give a “Net Income” (see boxes 2 and 4 in form 1042-S). The “Net Income” is the amount whose 14% is withheld as taxes  (boxes 7 in form 1042-S).
To me, this value is meaningless because the calculations performed to get it cannot be reproduced in any way in neither the Federal Tax form (e.g. 1040NR-EZ) nor in the Massachusetts Tax form (e.g. NR-PY), so that the amount of taxes which is left to be payed/refunded is completely arbitrary – take this into account when filling the papers for the CfA appointment. I could get no explanation from the relevant personnel of CfA.

Massachusetts State Taxes
Information desk: 617-887-6367 (then press 1 for personal tax reports)

▸ The poverty limit is 8000$$: if the total amount of money earned in Massachusetts within the year is less than that, tax reports do not need to be filed.

The web form does not work outside Massachusetts.

▸ Payment. From abroad, it is impossible to perform a direct payment when fling the tax form. In case any taxes are to be payed, the Tax office will send a bill to the foreign address.

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Posted on April 10, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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