University of Massachusetts Amherst

Banking & Taxes

Banking

There are several banks in Amherst which offer many different types of personal account services for checking and savings. Traveler's checks are accepted immediately. Checks from abroad may take up to two weeks to "clear" before funds are available to you. If you need specific information about banks, please contact us.

Credit Cards: Credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are widely accepted in almost all stores, supermarkets, and restaurants. Automated teller machines (ATM) will dispense cash if your card company is compatible. Common ones are-Cirrus, NYCE, and Maestro.

Taxes

You should be aware that taxes may be deducted from salaries, stipends, and fellowships. The amount withheld from your paycheck is dependent upon your tax status. Income taxes, when applied, usually amount to about 14% of total income, but may be as high as 30%. Tax treaties may exist between the U.S. and other countries which may exempt you from paying income tax in the U.S. Information about treaties and income tax requirements can be obtained from the U.S. Consulate in your country and from the UMass Payroll Office, after you arrive.

All foreign scholars and spouses are required to report their annual income by filing a tax return between January 1 and April 15 of the following year (for example: 2006 tax year, returns are filed between January 1 and April 15, 2007).Current regulations require that all F and J visa holders must file form 8843 even if they had no U.S. based income. The IPO staff is not able to answer individual tax questions. However, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) for International students and scholars is available.