Foreign Activity Operations Guide

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Tax Reporting

The U.S. Congress is increasingly scrutinizing the activities of non-for-profit entities, and has charged the IRS with improving transparency and accountability in the sector. Accordingly, the IRS has undertaken a major overhaul of reporting requirements, and the Treasury Department is stepping up enforcement of reporting regulations, particularly around international activities. Stanford University is required to file several different tax forms relating to its international operations and activities.

Faculty/investigators are strongly encouraged to register international projects in the Global Activities Registry to facilitate compliance by the University with U.S. tax code. Some requirements such as the new IRS Form 990 Schedule F: Statement of Activities Outside the U.S. may apply to nearly all foreign activity while others are only applicable when the University has a transfer of assets or investment activities in a foreign country.

Stanford University (or its employees) may also have responsibility for tax reporting in the foreign country depending upon the types of activities involved. The U.S. has double taxation treaties with many countries which are designed to avoid duplicate tax exposure for federal taxes in the U.S. and in the treaty partner country. These treaties cover taxation of both organizational and individual activities. Faculty should be aware that the duration and extent of their activities in foreign countries may generate both individual and institutional foreign tax exposures. Regulations differ for each country, but caution should be exercised for stays greater than 90 days.

For additional information or support, please submit a help request to Global Business Services.

Please be advised that Stanford cannot provide personal tax advice.