Life in the United States
Income tax is paid both to the federal government (federal taxes) and state government (state taxes) on a yearly basis. Most people have to file income tax forms for both federal and state taxes once per year by April 15th. Note: if you have an NRSA fellowship from the NIH, you need to file taxes on a different schedule. Tax forms and information are available on the internet (see sites below). Tax forms are also available in libraries (including Todd Wehr) several months prior to April 15th.
Tax rates are highly variable and are dependent on many factors. It is best to refer directly to tax publications put out by the federal and state governments when figuring your taxes. In addition, there are firms (such as H&R Block) that specialize in helping individuals figure and file their taxes. However, be cautioned that these firms often charge large fees for their service.
Most states in the United States charge a sales tax on tangible personal property and services, such as clothing, restaurant and fast food meals, newspapers, books, toiletries, etc. Sales taxes vary from state to state, but average 5% or 6%. The tax rate in Wisconsin is 5%. There is an additional .6% sales tax charge in Milwaukee County. Remember that sales tax is always in addition to the marked price on the merchandise, so be prepared for your bill to be more than the price tag on an item.
The Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc. Payroll Office is solely responsible for the analysis of Tax Treaty exemptions and the appropriate taxation of Foreign Nationals. While the Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc. is not required to honor Tax Treaties or tax exemptions we will make every effort to do so. We must be able to readily determine pertinent facts about your situation. You will be required to provide certain information, such as visa status and dates of prior visits to the U.S. before MCW will grant a Tax Treaty or other tax exemption.
There are two tax "categories" each governed by separate rules. Federal and State taxation is governed by rules of the Tax Treaty for each country. Some countries do not have a Tax Treaty! Social Security and Medicare taxation is governed by rules relating to visa type, length of stay, etc. You may be responsible for paying some or all of these taxes during your stay.
MCW Payroll Office
If you need help reviewing your tax situation, contact Mary Gizewski in the Payroll Office.