The information on the following pages is current as of January 16, 2020, and relates to filing 2019 income tax forms. It will be updated in early 2021 with information on filing 2020 income tax forms.
This information has been prepared to alert students to the general filing obligations under the United States and Massachusetts income tax laws and provide information on how to access any Harvard-issued tax forms that you may be eligible for. What follows are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions concerning the taxation of students. The ultimate responsibility for the reporting and payment of your taxes, however, lies with you. Harvard staff members are not permitted to give you individual tax advice, and we would suggest that you seek professional advice from a qualified accountant or attorney if you encounter complicated tax situations or need further assistance.
This information focuses on students who are U.S. tax residents. You are a U.S. tax resident if you are a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or an alien meeting the substantial presence test for the tax year*. Resources for students who are not U.S. tax residents can be found here.* The substantial presence test is met if you are physically in the United States on at least:
- 31 days during the tax year, and
183 days during the 3-year period that includes the tax year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
- All the days you were present in 2019, and
- 1/3 of the days you were present in 2018, and
- 1/6 of the days you were present in 2017.