In general, there are several kinds of taxes you will encounter while you are in the U.S.
Sales tax is set by each state and will add a small percentage to the cost of many items you purchase. In the State of Connecticut, this tax is 6% and applies to most items except clothing under a certain amount and food items. You will find this tax applied to your text books and many items you buy at a pharmacy or grocery store (like soap or other personal care items). You will also find this tax applied to larger purchases such as a computer or car.
Property tax is set by each town or city. Property tax is a tax on large items that you may own, such as a home, car or boat. Property tax is paid each year to the town or city where you keep or own the property. If you rent an apartment, you are not responsible for property tax on the place you live. If you own a car, you must pay the property tax each year.
Income tax is set by the federal government and by each state. The amount of the tax varies and is based on money that you earn from U.S. sources. You will not be taxed on money you bring from home or that your parents or sponsor gives you. Scholarships are sometimes taxable. Campus work, including graduate assistantships, are taxable as income. Each year the International Office schedules a seminar to help teach you about paying these taxes. It is mandatory that each international student file a tax return for every year they are in the U.S. The tax returns are due on April 15th of the following year.
More information on taxes may be obtained at the Internal Revenue Service web site at http://www.irs.gov or the Connecticut Department of Revenue Service at http://www.drs.state.ct.us. To have your tax prepared by our VITA volunteers, please visit our website at http://www.bridgeport.edu/life/international/vita.