Form 1042-S Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Form 1042-S and when should I receive it?

A 1042-S is a year-end federal tax document given to a non-resident alien who:

  1. Received wages exempted from federal and state tax withholding by a tax treaty; and/or
  2. Received a non-qualified taxable scholarship (Any amounts received for incidental expenses or by a non-degree candidate are taxable scholarships. Incidental expenses include room and board, travel, and expenses for equipment and other items that are not required for either enrollment or for attendance, or in a course of instruction).
  3. Received pay out for prizes which cannot be exempt from withholding even when there are tax treaties.  
  4. Received participation fees, research fees, etc. which fall under independent personal services but are not considered wages.  
  5. Received Royalties.

The 1042-S has an income code, which describes the type of income being reported. In certain cases, you may receive a W-2 in addition to a 1042-S.   The W-2 will be postmarked and mailed no later than January 31. The 1042-S will be postmarked no later than March 15.

Am I considered a “non-resident alien” or a “resident alien” for tax purposes?

U.S. tax law categorizes people as residents or non-resident aliens for tax purposes, which is not necessarily the same as residency according to immigration law. 

Residents for tax purposes follow the same rules as U.S. citizens, but there are special rules for non-resident aliens for tax purposes. There are also special rules that apply specifically to F-1 students, J-1 students and scholars, and H-1 employees who are non-resident aliens for tax purposes. For more information, please contact the Payroll Office.

Why is my residency status for federal income tax purposes important?

For tax purposes, U.S. residents and U.S. non-residents are taxed differently, so it is important for you to determine your residency status. U.S. non-residents are only taxed for income acquired during their stay in the U.S.

I am a foreign student at Dartmouth on an F-1 visa. I work for my department part-time, and I receive monthly scholarship payments. Do I receive a W-2 for these payments?

You will be issued a W-2 and/or Form 1042-S. If you had a tax treaty that is unlimited in the amount exempted from withholding and no taxes are deducted from your payroll checks, you will receive only a 1042-S. If your tax treaty is limited in the amount that is exempted from withholding and you were paid over that tax treaty limit with taxes deducted, you will receive both a Form W-2 and a Form 1042-S. If there is no tax treaty, all your wages are reported on a Form W-2. Your scholarship payments are reported on the Form 1042-S rather than Form W-2.

I am a foreign national on a J-1 visa employed as a Researcher. Why don’t I have any Social Security or Medicare wages reported on my Form W-2?

Non-resident alien employees visiting the U.S. for a limited period on an F-1, J-1, M-1, or Q-1 visa and performing services for which such visas have been issued are exempt from Social Security and Medicare tax withholding.

I have been in the United States over 5 years as a student. Am I exempt from FICA?

A student in F-1 or J-1 Student status will become a resident alien in their 6th and subsequent calendar years if they meet the 183-day residency formula. Resident aliens do not qualify for the NRA FICA exception. However, foreign students are eligible for the Student FICA Exception under the same rules that apply to U.S. citizen students.

Where can I receive more information on taxes?

Please go to: Tax Information

The following IRS Publications may provide additional information not mentioned here regarding your specific tax situation:

Publication 519

Publication 972



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