Foreign National Payments and Taxation

Foreign National Tax Office

The Foreign National Tax Office determines the taxation applied to payments made by the university to non-U.S. citizens.  This includes foreign national students, visitors, and suppliers.  Some examples are undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, visiting professors, teachers, researchers, scientists, athletes, and guest speakers.  

Before a foreign national receives any form of payment from the University, they must register with this office by requesting access to our tax analysis software, Sprintax Calculus. This software replaced FNIS.

Please follow these instructions to request access to Sprintax Calculus:

1. If you are a current student, scholar, or employee of Brown University, please follow these Instructions for Current Students, Scholars & Employees

2. If you are a Brown University alumni or a non-Brown email user, you will follow a different process. Please refer to the Instructions for Brown Alumni or Non-Brown Email Users

In addition to our Sprintax Calculus instructions, you can refer to this Job Aid . There is also a 24/7 Chat feature in the software for immediate help. If further assistance is needed, you can refer to the company's Instruction Manual and YouTube videos. Please note that the videos reference Sprintax TDS however they apply to Sprintax Calculus. The company updated the name of their software after they uploaded the videos. 

For questions, please email us at [email protected]

Sprintax Calculus replaced our prior tax analysis system, FNIS. Sprintax Calculus is not the same software as Sprintax Returns (offered through OISSS) for income tax preparation. They are both owned by Sprintax and do interface, making next year’s filings easier. 

Foreign National Employment at Brown 

At the university, foreign national employees generally possess an F-1, J-1, or H-1B visa, and/or an EAD card (Employment Authorization Document).  They are required to apply for a Social Security Number, with help from OISSS - Social Security and must file an I-9 in person at the university’s HR Service Center

Tax statuses for foreign nationals are either a nonresident alien, resident alien for tax purposes, or Permanent Resident.  Nonresident aliens are subjected to different taxation rules and potential treaty benefits whereas the other tax types are treated like U.S. citizens for tax purposes.

Undergraduate and hourly paid graduate positions are managed through University Human Resources’ Student Employment department. 

See Foreign National Graduate FAQs for information on graduate stipend payments.  

Fellowship Payments

A fellowship payment paid to a foreign national undergraduate student is submitted via UFunds and is paid through Activity Pay in payroll, or through the Accounts Payable department if outside of the U.S. Payments to nonresident aliens, will be taxed at the time of payment, unless treaty benefits apply, and reported on a 1042-S form.

Graduate student fellowship appointments for foreign nationals may be paid through payroll, supplier invoice or Zelle. Specific payment rules and taxation apply, see Foreign National Graduate FAQs.

Payments processed through payroll require the student to complete an I-9 in person at the university’s HR Service Center.

Fellowship payments to all nonresident aliens are reported on a 1042-S form, fellowship payments to all resident aliens are not reported on a W-2 or 1099 form but may be reported on a 1042-S form if you are utilizing extended tax treaty benefits.  It is important for the student to maintain a record of all fellowship payments received each year from all sources.  See the links below for IRS Fellowship Guidance.

Awards/prizes are different from fellowship payments.  They are taxed at a higher rate, unless specific treaty language exists as determined by our tax analysis software, Sprintax Calculus. They are paid through the Accounts Payable office and need to register as a supplier, see Miscellaneous Payee Registration Form.

Excess Scholarship Payments to Nonresident Aliens

Scholarship payments to nonresident aliens used for nonqualified expenses are taxed at the time of payment and reported on a 1042-S form.  The amount of taxation is dependent on treaty benefits between the U.S. and their home country as determined by our tax analysis software, Sprintax Calculus.

Qualified expenses are defined at IRS Topic 421.

Foreign National Visitors

Foreign national visitors can be researchers, scholars, independent contractors, guest speakers, and professional service consultants. They are paid through the Accounts Payable department and must register with this office by requesting a username and entering their information into our tax analysis software, Sprintax Calculus.

Before deciding to pay a foreign national visitor, departments must understand which visa types prohibit payments.  They should review the Payments to Foreign Nationals at Brown Chart for information about when Foreign Nationals can and cannot be paid by the University.  Also, see Provost Letter: Guidelines for Inviting International Visitors to Brown.

Helpful Links:

IRS fellowship guidance: