Please keep in mind that University of Arizona employees, while in their official role at the UA, are not allowed to act as tax consultants or provide tax advice. It is your individual responsibility to understand and meet your tax obligations using the resources below.
International students and scholars temporarily present in the United States are subject to special rules regarding how you will be taxed on your income and which tax forms to file.
Nonresident Alien v. Resident Alien for Tax Purposes
Your tax status can be different from your immigration status. International students on F or J visas are nonimmigrants for immigration purposes, and most nonimmigrants are also nonresidents for tax purposes. This means you are subject to different criteria than U.S. citizens or permanent residents when paying taxes in the U.S.
If you have been physically present in the U.S. for an extended period of time, you might be considered a resident for tax purposes, even though you are a nonimmigrant for immigration purposes. The University of Arizona uses a software program called GLACIER to administer the Substantial Presence Test to determine if you should be considered a resident for tax purposes, and therefore pay taxes as a resident.
Being considered a resident for tax purposes only affects how you file your taxes and how you will be taxed—it does not affect your immigration status.
Federal vs. State Tax Filing
In the U.S. we distinguish between federal and state taxes for tax filing. If you have lived or worked in more than one state in 2016, you might be required to file income taxes for each state, in addition to your federal income taxes. The GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) software program will help nonresidents for tax purposes complete forms for federal tax filing. You can find a resource for preparing your state tax return in the Resources for Tax Assistance section below.
The term “income” refers to money received for work or through investments or from other sources, such as dividend income, scholarship or fellowships, prizes or awards. A detailed summary of what is considered U.S. source income for the purpose of tax returns can be found on the IRS website.
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government agency responsible for collecting taxes and enforcing tax laws. The IRS will never contact you by email, text or social media. If the IRS needs information, they will contact you by mail.
GLACIER Tax Prep
Students receiving any kind of payment or employment from the UA (ex: assistantship, on-campus employment, cash scholarship or prize)
Students filing federal tax forms
Prepares federal tax filing forms for nonresident aliens for tax purposes
Documentation on Hand
Print, sign and deliver the GLACIER tax summary report to the UA Financial Services office address listed on forms
Print, sign, and mail tax forms to the IRS address listed on forms
User Login and Access
Cash scholarship holders:
ISS will send an email in late January/early February with instructions on how to access.
If you are having problems accessing UA International, please send us an email us and include your Student ID.
Scholarships received from the UA are usually subject to Federal and State income tax, also known as withholding tax. Completing a GLACIER record and submitting the required forms informs the UA whether tax withholding will be required. For questions regarding withholding tax, contact ISS.
In general, payments to nonresident aliens for tax purposes will have tax withheld as follows:
Scholarship payments are subject to 14% tax withholding for foreign visitors under F, J, M or Q status; 30% tax withholding for foreign visitors under all other status
Fees for service paid through the Disbursement Voucher process are subject to 30% tax withholding
Expense reimbursements (except in the case of scholarships) are not subject to tax withholding
Scholarship payments derived from a foreign source are not subject tax withholding
Payments to nonresident aliens performing services outside the taxing jurisdiction of the United States are not subject to tax withholding
Fees paid through the Employment Process have tax withholding issues unique to the employee.
If you receive any kind of payment from the UA, you should create a GLACIER account to ensure you are being taxed appropriately. If you do not create a GLACIER account, you will be taxed at the highest rate. GLACIER is an online tax compliance software system used by the University of Arizona to maintain tax compliance with nonresident alien tax issues, determine tax residency, and evaluate income tax treaty benefits.
You should create a GLACIER account if you:
Work on campus
Receive a U.S. based cash scholarship payment (example: Athletics cash scholarship)
Receive other taxable payments, such as winning a prize.
You do not need to create a GLACIER account if you:
Receive a non-cash scholarship (example: a tuition waiver)
Receive a scholarship from a foreign source (example: scholarship from home government)
You can find more information about GLACIER under "GLACIER vs. GLACIER Tax Prep" (above).
|Scenario||How to Access|
|You have employment at the UA|
You will receive an receive an email with GLACIER login information from the UA Payroll office after your employer completes the new hire process
|You have employment at the UA but did not receive an email with GLACIER login information|
Contact the UA Payroll Office to request access
|You receive payments from the UA (cash scholarship or fellowship)||Log into UA International, complete the ITIN e-form to start application process (read more under Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) below), and wait for instructions from ISS|
All international students and scholars present in the U.S. during 2017 must file a tax form in 2018, regardless of whether or not you had employment. You can find descriptions of the different tax filing forms under "Forms for Federal Tax Filing" and resources for tax filing under "Resources" (below).
Tax Filing Deadlines
April 17, 2018: F-1 or J-1 students and scholars with U.S. income must file Form 1040NR-EZ or 1040NR and Form 8843 before this deadline.
June 15, 2018: If you did not receive income in the U.S. during 2017, you must file Form 8843.
April 17, 2018: You must file form 1040 or 1040-EZ
GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP)
The University of Arizona provides free access to GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP), a tax preparation software which will help complete forms for federal tax filing. GTP is a software program that will help nonresidents for tax purposes complete forms 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ and 8843 for federal tax filing. You can find a resource for preparing your state tax return in the Resources for Tax Assistance section below.
You are not required to use GTP to prepare your federal tax forms; however, other software programs such as TurboTax are intended for residents for tax purposes. If you use one of these programs and you are not a resident for tax purposes, you could be filing an incorrect return. The University of Arizona does not provide tax advice and therefore disclaims all liability from the misinterpretation or misuse of GLACIER Tax Prep.
GTP does not have an online tax filing option. You must print, sign, and mail your tax forms.
Accessing GLACIER Tax Prep
|Scenario||How to Access|
|You already have a GLACIER account because you have employment or receive payments from the UA.||From your GLACIER account, select the option highlighted in green: "Complete my U.S. tax return using GLACIER Tax Prep."|
|You were in the U.S. in 2016 and do not have a GLACIER account because you do not have employment or receive payments from the UA.||Log into UA International, and click on the GTP icon under “Insurance and Finances.”|
|You do not have a GLACIER account but you have employment or receive payments from the UA.||Contact the UA Payroll Office to request access to GLACIER.|
You can find more information about GTP under "GLACIER vs. GLACIER Tax Prep" (above).
You may receive some of the following forms in the mail or electronically in UAccess Employee which will be submitted with your tax return. If you signed up to receive your W-2 and 1042-S electronically, you will be able to access them in early January. The types of forms you receive depend on what kind of payment you received. If you have questions about the forms below, please contact the Payroll office.
Form W-2 or "Wage and Tax Statement"
This form reports how much income you received from wages and salary from your employer. It also states how much has already been withheld from your income for taxes.
This form is used by the university to report to the IRS:
- Salaries and wages that are exempt from Federal income tax due to a treaty between the employee's country of residence and the United States
- Scholarship or fellowship that is taxable or exempt from Federal income tax under an income tax treaty
If you are issued a 1042-S you will be able to download the form in GLACIER by selecting the option "I would like to view/print my Form 1042-S."
Scholarship or fellowship grants that are used to pay certain expenses such as tuition, registration and other mandatory fees are not taxable, and not reportable on Form 1042-S. For more information, read Frequently Asked Questions About the 1042-S Form.
This form is used to indicate qualified educational expenses that residents for tax purposes can use to file for education tax benefits. If you are a nonresident for tax purposes, you are not eligible for education tax benefits and should not submit this form for tax filing. You may have received this form because the UA cannot determine who is a resident or nonresident alien for tax purposes. Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires universities to provide a 1098-T to any nonresident alien student who requests one. You can find more information about nonresidents and resident for tax purposes in the section titled “The U.S. Tax System” and more information about the 1098-T on the Bursar’s Office website in the Frequently Asked Questions.
GLACIER Tax Prep automatically determines which of the following forms is applicable to your federal tax filing situation. You can find a resource for preparing your state tax return in the Resources for Tax Assistance section below.
The SSN is a nine-digit number issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for Federal tax purposes only. It does not entitle you to social security benefits and does not change your immigration status or grant employment authorization.
How to Apply
You are only eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) if you have on-campus employment or authorization to work off campus. If you have on-campus employment, such as a student worker position or graduate assistantship, International Student Services (ISS) will provide you a letter (a Social Security Letter for F-1 students and a J-1 Employment Authorization letter for J-1 students) to take to Social Security Administration (SSA) to apply for your SSN.
If you have been authorized for work off campus (curricular practical training, optional practical training, academic training or severe economic hardship) you do not need to request a letter from ISS before applying at SSA. Take your I-20/DS-2019, passport and I-94 to SSA to apply for the SSN.
F-1 Social Security Letter Requests
J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization Requests
Submit the On-Campus Employment Authorization e-form in UA International.
Normal processing time for ISS is 5 business days. You cannot apply for an SSN until 10 days after your entry to the U.S., and 2 days after your initial immigration record has been registered in SEVIS.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
If you are not employed on campus but received a U.S. sourced cash scholarship, you may be eligible for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), a nine-digit number issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for Federal tax purposes only. It does not entitle you to social security benefits and does not change your immigration status or grant employment authorization. The normal Form W-7/ ITIN processing time with the IRS is 1-2 months.
If you or your dependent need an ITIN, but ISS is unable to assist, please contact the Tucson Taxpayer Assistance Center.
How to Apply
Submit the request using the ITIN e-form in UA International.
ISS will review your request and eligibility.
Once your request has been reviewed and we have determined you are eligible, we will contact you to sign up for an ITIN workshop or appointment.
At the ITIN workshop or appointment, we will walk you through the application process and forms. Bring all your immigration documents with you.
The normal Form W-7/ITIN processing time is 1-2 months.
Once you receive your ITIN, update your GLACIER account and bring your ITIN to ISS so we can update your record.
Resources for Tax Assistance
Tax Filing Information Sessions
ISS will provide informational sessions explaining the tax filing process using GLACIER Tax Prep. These sessions are intended for nonresidents for tax purposes. You can find more information about residency for tax purposes under “The U.S. Tax System” (above). A list of informational sessions can be found below.
All sessions will be from 2-3:30 pm in University Services Building 214 (link to map). Register on the ISS Programs and Events page.
Friday, February 16, 2018
Friday, March 16, 2018
Friday, April 13, 2018
These sessions will not provide help with the completion of the forms as University of Arizona employees, while in their official role at the UA, are not allowed to act as tax consultants or provide tax advice.
GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) Assistance
GTP provides the following options for assistance available to users upon login.
Six instructional videos
Frequently Asked Questions
HELP link to submit questions online
- If you have problems accessing GTP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Tax Filing
Once you have completed your federal tax return using GTP, if it is determined that you are also required to file a state return, you can click on a link to access the Sprintax program for assistance in preparing your state tax return. This program charges a $26 fee for use.
VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program
ISS does not endorse individual vendors, products or services.
IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center
Tucson Federal Building 1st Floor
300 W. Congress Street
Tucson, AZ 85701
Monday – Friday: 8:30-4:30
Internal Revenue Service Telephone Assistance
IRS Helpdesk for problems with individual returns: 1-800-829-1040
For automated refund information from the IRS: 1-800-829-4477
Arizona Department of Revenue (for state tax filing)
400 W. Congress Street
Tucson, AZ 85701
Monday – Friday: 8:00-5:00
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have reported an increase in the number of scams targeting international students. Often scammers pretend to be government officials in order to obtain personal identifying information and money. They might already know information about you when they call, or they may try to scare you by threatening that you will be arrested or deported if you don’t pay immediately.
The tricks that scammers use are very sophisticated, and it is easy for anyone to fall victim. Here are some tips for protecting yourself from scams:
1. Government agencies will never request money by phone or email.
If payment is needed, you will receive letter on official stationery requesting payment.
2. Do not provide your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) over the phone or by email.
Keep your documents in a safe place. You do not need to carry your card around with you.
3. Only go to government websites for immigration information and forms.
In the United States, official government websites include “.gov” in the web address. All application forms are free to download.
4. You will not be penalized for reporting a scam.
Reporting a suspected scam will not negatively affect your immigration status. You have the right to protect yourself against identity theft and fraud.
If the Scammers Call You
Do not provide personal identifying information or bank information. If you have any doubts about whether it is a scam or a real government official, ask for the caller’s information and a call back number, then call International Student Services at (520) 621-4627 or email us so we can help you report the scam.