Although taxes are imposed on Columbia work internationally just as they are imposed for work in the U.S., precisely which taxes are owed is often less clear. University departments should work with the Office of General Counsel (OGC) to seek the advice of local legal counsel or other local experts on tax exemptions and the application processes.
It is particularly important to consider foreign tax requirements for:
→ operations with Columbia employees spending more than 90 days in a country without a tax treaty with the U.S., or more than 180 days in any country (see the IRS page on Tax Treaties for additional information)
→ programs that hire staff locally in an international location; or
→ programs that generate revenue abroad (including sponsored funds that leave the country of origin).
Foreign taxes paid by employees may be offset, at least in part, by reductions in U.S. federal taxes due to the foreign tax credit, foreign earned income exclusion, foreign housing exclusion, and/or foreign housing deduction. In general terms, University units and staff working internationally should carefully consider:
→ Personal Income Taxes and Withholding (U.S. and Foreign)
→ Payroll Taxes (Including Social Security)
→ Program and Grant Revenue and Purchases
For assistance with taxes, please contact the Tax unit in the Office of the Controller.