Office of International Services

Taxes & Other Legal Matters

Tax Matters

There are numerous tax systems in the US and everyone has certain tax obligations. There is federal income tax, state income tax, state sales tax, vehicle tax, property tax, and other taxes assessed for different things. International students and scholars may be exempt from paying certain taxes (varies by country of citizenship, length of time in the US, visa type, amount of earnings, etc) or have reduced tax liability in some situations, but taxes are inescapable. International students and scholars are required to file an annual federal tax return each year and may be required to file state and other tax forms as well. It is important to fulfill tax filing obligations and pay all required taxes – it is a condition of one’s nonimmigrant status and failure to file tax returns could prevent future entry into the US, fines and penalties (including detention and deportation), garnishment of wages, and/or denial of a future visa applications.

When you first begin employment with NC State University, you must make an appointment with NC State Foreign National Tax Specialist to complete the paperwork necessary to set up your tax withholdings correctly. To schedule an appointment, please log into OIS Online with your unity ID and password and choose an available and suitable date and time for you. Once you sign up, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with a list of documents you need to bring with you to the appointment. Generally, new international employees should take their passport, visa documents, and their offer letter to a scheduled appointment with the specialist. It is not necessary to have obtained a social security card at that time. After several forms are completed, the specialist will consider the applicability of any tax treaty benefits and enter a tax withholding rate in the HR system. Most international student and scholar employees are able to reduce their tax withholding rate from the standard 30% to 14% and some have lower withholdings than that.

Please e-mail if you have any further questions.

Each year in March, OIS organizes for the international community at NC State a Nonresident Tax Workshop and the NC State University foreign national tax specialist, and sometimes another local expert to give an overview of nonresident tax issues (including the substantial presence test and tax treaties), important tax documents, how to complete a nonresident alien tax return, and a question and answer period. OIS advisors are not able to assist with tax questions or completing tax forms. Most international students are able to complete and file the appropriate tax forms after attending the workshop, reading the instructions, and obtaining help from the Internet. Those with difficult tax issues or questions should consult a qualified tax expert or attorney.

Dates for 2012 Tax Return Seminar not available.

For walk-in hours please check the link below!

NC State Annual Tax Filing Information for Foreign Nationals:

NC State Payroll Handout on Tax Filing for 2012:

Legal Matters

University Student Legal Services (USLS) is a nonprofit corporation sponsored by the Student Government Association at NC State which is funded by student fees. The Service is aimed at helping students resolve their legal problems with as little disruption as possible to their primary educational endeavors. The office focuses on preventative law, enabling the student to make educated choices. USLS can also provide referrals to attorneys in the area that can assist with your particular issue.

You can also use the North Carolina Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service to find an attorney in your area.

For a comprehensive list of local attorneys specialized in immigration matters, please visit the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association). OIS can also refer you to experienced immigration attorneys in the area.

Tax Assistance

In order to assist international students and scholars with their annual tax filing, International Employment and Taxation have created a webpage to help explain the process.

Please click on the following link to learn more:

Also, last year OIS sponsored Non-Resident Tax Seminar. The presentation of last year’s seminar has been posted below:

  • Federal Taxes– Kent Greer Powerpoint Presentation (March 2011)
  • State Taxes– NC State Payroll Powerpoint Presentation (2012)

NC State also offers the use of Windstar Tax Software to assist students and scholars in submitting their federal tax return. For more information, please visit this link:

Please visit the following website to obtain the federal tax forms you may need:,,id=96477,00.html

To obtain the state tax forms, please visit here:

Tax Specialists

Sally Trauco
Trauco Tax Preparation:
Chapel Hill
Phone: 919-942-7303