FINANCIAL QUESTIONS

OPENING A U.S. BANK ACCOUNT

You will need to open a U.S. checking account. Several banks are nearby on Nassau Street, such as Bank of America, 90 Nassau Street, PNC Bank, 76 Nassau Street, Wells Fargo, 194 Nassau Street, etc. To open an account, you must bring a photo ID (a passport will suffice). Additional documentation (such as a letter of employment) could be helpful. 

You may be able to open a U.S. account at an HSBC or Citibank branch in your country.

After you leave the country, you will need to keep your account open with a minimum balance until you file your U.S. tax return in/around March. Some banks require a $1,500 minimum balance, and others, such as Wells Fargo, require $500. 


 PAYDAY

Faculty and professional staff members are paid monthly on the last business day of the month.   June and December are exceptions to this rule, with payday typically around the 20th.  Exact pay dates are listed here: https://finance.princeton.edu/payroll-labor-accounting/payroll/payroll-basics/monthly-and-biweekly-payroll-cycles
 

DIRECT DEPOSIT

The Office of Finance & Treasury strongly encourages you to enroll in direct deposit. For instructions, please visit HR Self Service: www.princeton.edu/selfservice. Select the "personal information" tile for address changes and the "payroll" tile to enroll in direct deposit.

If you are an international scholar, we recommend opening your U.S. bank account within the first few days of your arrival and updating your HR Self-Service payroll record with your banking details. 

To update your payroll record with your banking details, please log in to HR SelfService (go to the Princeton Human Resources page, click on “Quick Links” and select “HR Self-Service”). Choose the “Payroll” tile and then the “Direct Deposit” tile, where you can enter your U.S. banking details. 

For faculty and staff who are not enrolled in direct deposit, paychecks will be mailed on payday to their home/local address on file. Please make sure this address is up-to-date in the HR SelfService portal.

 

Postdocs: On or shortly after your first day, we will hold a meeting to review the center's reimbursement policies and the University’s finance systems. At the meeting, you will receive a detailed guide that includes a list of expenses that are eligible for reimbursement. After this orientation meeting, please direct any financial questions related to your credit card and expenditure policies to Debbie Puskas. For both postdocs and visiting fellows: For tax advice specific to your circumstances, please contact an accountant. University staff members are not in a position to give guidance on taxation. The Davis International Center at Princeton offers information and advice relevant to international scholars as the tax filing season approaches.
 

REIMBURSEMENT POLICY FOR POSTDOCS

The Seeger Center establishes a research expense account for each [postdoc. To check your balance, please contact Debbie Puskas. 

Please note that the following guidelines for reimbursement are provided for information purposes only. The center and the University's administration (the Office of Finance and Treasury and the Office of the Dean of Faculty) reserve the right to deny any expense reimbursement requests they feel do not align with the University’s guidelines, policies, and procedures.

At the start of your appointment at Princeton, you will be issued a Princeton Travel & Expense Card. Princeton uses a system called Concur for booking travel arrangements and seeking expense reimbursements/substantiating expenses charged to your University travel and expense card. When you use your Travel and Expense Card, your charges are automatically uploaded to your My Concur page and are ready to be substantiated on an expense report. Using the Princeton Travel and Expense Card reduces manual entries and the need to spend cash out-of-pocket.

Receipts are required for expenses of $50 or more. Please photograph or scan these receipts and attach them to your expense report in Concur. Receipts for expenses less than $50 are not required. 

The center asks that you submit a Concur report once a month for any expenses incurred the previous month. All expenses must be substantiated via a Concur expense report within 45 days of being incurred. Concur will send you an automated reminder to submit an expense report each month. You will receive an email with instructions for setting up your Concur profile and the center will provide a Concur expense report demo session in the early fall.
 

RESEARCH EXPENSE ACCOUNT: ALLOWABLE EXPENSES (POSTDOCS)

The Seeger Center will provide postdocs with support to assist your research. All expenses incurred must be for research activities that take place during your appointment at the center.  This support includes:

• Research-related expenses such as the purchase of books and other research materials including software.

• Payment of translation expenses for research materials

• Research-related travel

• Other research-related expenditures

We are not able to reimburse you for the purchase of computer hardware such as peripherals, digital cameras, phones, iPads, etc. Research funds are not available for personal or office moving expenses. 
 

TAX-RELATED QUESTIONS AND TREATY EXEMPTION FOR J-1 VISA HOLDERS

Questions relating to tax withholdings from non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. permanent residents should be directed to Global Financial Services. An orientation to complete your profile will be scheduled prior or within the first week of your arrival with Global Financial Services.

When completing your profile in Sprintax Calculus, from the drop-down menu, your visa status is 'research scholar'. Check off the box that you will be receiving a 'salary' (not a fellowship or grant).

As a non-U.S. citizen, we recommend that you confer with your personal accountant in your home country about where to claim taxes during your appointment at Princeton (home country, permanent residence country, or the U.S.), before making this selection. Tax exemption for foreign nationals is not guaranteed. You will complete Form 8233, Exemption From Withholding on Compensation for Independent (and Certain Dependent) Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual online using a system called Sprintax Calculus. However, your request may or may not be granted, depending on tax treaty agreements between the U.S. and your country of citizenship.
 

NON-U.S. CITIZENS/PERMANENT RESIDENTS

Any non-U.S. citizen/permanent resident who works at Princeton and receives payments from the University is subject to tax withholding. If you are from a country that has a tax treaty exemption, then you must apply for the treaty exemption and must have a U.S.-issued Social Security number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). More information on applying for a Social Security number can be found on the Davis International Center websiteIRS Publication 901 contains information regarding tax treaties. For information about withholding, please see IRS Publication 515

U.S. tax law requires the University to withhold income tax on payments received in the United States. You will receive information from the Office of Non-Resident Tax Compliance at Princeton University regarding the Sprintax Calculus system, and you will be required to enter your visa information in the Sprintax Calculus system within 10 days of arriving on campus. You must provide signed Sprintax Calculus forms to the Non-Resident Tax Compliance and Reporting Team (NTCR) located at 701 Carnegie Center, Ste 442A at least one month before the date of payment so that the correct tax withholding can be made; failure to do so may result in the maximum rate of tax withholding. The maximum tax rate that may be withheld from your stipend payment is 30%.

If Sprintax Calculus has determined that you are eligible to claim a tax treaty benefit at an exempted or reduced tax rate and you have not provided your signed Form W-8BEN or 8233, then you will not be able to claim a tax treaty benefit. If not already on file, the completed forms must be submitted to the Non-Resident Tax Compliance and Reporting Team (NTCR) located at 701 Carnegie Center, Ste 442A. 

You can also find information on the Office of Finance & Treasury website. Specific questions may be directed to Princeton’s Office of Non-Resident Tax Compliance at [email protected]