Completing the W-4 Form
The W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate establishes how taxes should be withheld from an employee’s wages. A W-4 Form is completed when an employee is hired and should be updated annually. Students should consult with their parents or family’s tax adviser on the most appropriate way to fill out the W-4 Form.
Students and Taxes
All student earnings, including Work-Study, are considered taxable income. As such, students are subject to both state and federal income taxes. When classes are in session, students are exempt from paying FICA, the Social Security and Medicare taxes. If a student works on campus during the summer, they will be responsible for paying the FICA if they are not enrolled in classes. International students are subject to both state and federal income taxes. However, some students may be eligible to exempt a portion of their earnings from taxes if their country has a tax treaty with the United States. For more information, see Information for International Students.
W-2s and Filing Tax Returns
A W-2 is a statement of earnings. Produced each January and typically mailed the last week of the month, it displays how much an employee earned during the previous calendar year and how much was withheld in taxes. The W-2 form is needed to file the state and federal tax return. Your W-2 will be sent to the address appearing on your checks or direct deposit stubs. This address can be changed by contacting the Payroll Office at ext. 4009. Requests for duplicate W-2s should also be directed to Payroll.
Students with reportable income should file their taxes with the federal and state governments. Taxes can be filed electronically, by phone, or through the mail depending on the employee’s situation. The necessary forms can be found in U.S. Post Offices, libraries, or downloaded from the appropriate sites: Internal Revenue Service and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
The Student Employment Office cannot help students file their tax returns. If you are having difficulty with your federal income tax or state income tax forms, there is free help available. It is important to remember that each state has its own filing requirements. You should check with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and with your home state's taxing agency to determine your filing responsibilities. See below to find free tax help resources:
Federal Tax Help
The IRS has walk-in help available:
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 8 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
- Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 A.M. - 5 P.M.
Offices are located:
- John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 7th Floor
The IRS main phone line is: 1-800-829-1040
Tax help can also be found on the IRS Website.
Massachusetts Tax Help
For help with your Massachusetts state income tax forms contact the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Tax Talk line: 1-800-392-6089 or 617-887-6367
Tax help can also be found on the DOR Website.
Other States' Tax Help