Taxes: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What are the Top Ten Tax Myths among international students? Click to find out!


Typical forms that a student may receive for tax filing purposes are:

W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement): Summary of the total amount of wages earned during the year and the amount of money withheld for any taxes (federal, state and local).
 

  • This is an income statement, NOT a tax return! If you receive one, you will utilize the information on this form to complete your tax return and a copy of your W-2 will be included with the tax return you file with the IRS.

1042-S (Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding): Issued to document taxable scholarship income and scholarship or wage income that is exempt from withholding because of a tax treaty.
 
  • This is an income statement, NOT a tax return! If you receive one, you will utilize the information on this form to complete your tax return and a copy of your 1042-S will be included with the tax return you file with the IRS.

1099-INT (Interest Income): Issued by your bank and shows the interest you received on deposits in your bank account or certificate of deposit (CD). Bank interest is not taxable for nonresident aliens, so most international students do not need to consider this form in preparing your tax return.
 
  • This is an income statement, NOT a tax return! If you receive one and you are a resident for tax purposes, you will utilize the information on this form to complete your tax return.

1099-MISC (Miscellaneous Income): Used to show "independent contractor" income. Sometimes students who work in off-campus jobs for CPT, OPT, or Academic Training are given this form to document job income instead of the W-2. If the income shown on the 1099-MISC is very large, you may owe taxes when you file your return because taxes were not withheld from "independent contractor" income.
 
  • This is an income statement, NOT a tax return! If you receive one, you will utilize the information on this form to complete your tax return and a copy of your 1099-MISC will be included with the tax return you file with the IRS.
 
1098-T (Tuition Statement): Issued by educational institutions in the U.S. to show the educational expenses for each tax year. This form helps residents for tax purposes to take advantage of education tax credits. Nonresidents for tax purposes are not permitted to utilize this form. ISS recommends that nonresidents for tax purposes simply keep this form for their records.
 
  • This is a tuition statement, NOT a tax return! If you receive one and you are a resident for tax purposes, you will utilize the information on this form to complete your tax return.

Please note there may be other tax forms that you receive. If you receive other forms and you are unclear what to do with them, e-mail isstaxinfo@tamu.edu for assistance.
 
GLACIER Tax Prep

GLACIER Tax Prep is a software program that will assist nonresidents for tax purposes in preparing your U.S. Income tax return. ISS will send access information and the password to the TAMU email account of all international students. GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) will generate tax forms (1040NR-EZ, 1040-NR, 8843) for all who are eligible to file as a nonresident.
Yes! Based on the information that you provide, GLACIER Tax Prep(GTP) will determine if you are considered a nonresident or resident for tax purposes.
No! GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) can only be used to file federal income tax returns. In order to file a state tax return, you will need to download the applicable State Tax Forms . Email isstaxinfo@tamu.edu or contact the appropriate state tax office directly for assistance with filing your state income tax return.
You will be asked whether you would like GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) to save your information until June or delete your information. If you select “save”, your information will be available to you for modification and/or reprint until June. If you select “delete” you will be required to reenter all your data. After June, your data will no longer be stored and you will no longer have access to your GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) account.

Tax Filing

Yes! You need to file Form 8843. This is the only form you will need to complete if you had no US income (wages or scholarships) or only earned bank interest. F1 or J1 students with US income from other sources will need to file form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ in addition to Form 8843.
Yes! If you and/or your dependents are in the U.S. for even 1 day during a tax year, you must file Form 8843 with the IRS for that tax year.
Yes! All F-2 and J-2 dependents who are considered nonresidents for tax purposes must file Form 8843even if they did not have any U.S. income during the tax year. If they did earn any U.S. income, they will need to file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ in addition to Form 8843.
You can file as Married filing Separate. Single is only for individuals who are not married by the end of the tax year.
Make sure that your foreign address has been updated with your payroll office (i.e. in GLACIER, HRConnect, etc.) so that your tax forms can be mailed to you. You can file your federal income tax return from abroad. Additionally, to ensure that you receive the GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) access code and other important tax information, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
International students may receive a variety of tax forms. Not every student will receive the same forms. In addition to the forms you may receive from your employer, school, banking institution, etc., you will also need to use your immigration documents as a reference. Typical forms that may be received include:

W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement)
1042-S (Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding)
1099-INT (Interest Income)
1099-MISC (Miscellaneous Income)
All individuals must complete their name and address in the section of the form that appears directly above Part 1. If you have a U.S. taxpayer identification number (i.e. an SSN or ITIN), add this to the form. If you do not, leave it blank. If you are an F-1/J-1 student, complete Parts 1 and III of the form. If you are an F-2/J-2 dependent, you only have to complete Part 1 of the form.. Form 8843 must be signed at the bottom of page 2 if you are filing ONLY Form 8843 with the IRS. If you will be filing Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ as well, you do not have to sign Form 8843.
No! A U.S. taxpayer identification number is not required to complete Form 8843.
Yes! You will enter the information from this form into GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) and it will be reflected on the Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ that is generated for you.
GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) will help you determine which form is most appropriate for your specific situation.
No! Simple bank interest and interest on certificates of deposit (CDs) is not considered taxable income for nonresidents for tax purposes and therefore does not have to be reported to the IRS. Retain the 1099-INT form for your records. Bank interest IS considered taxable income for residents for tax purposes.
Your tax forms must be postmarked by no later than April 15th.

No! It is not possible to receive a refund of sales tax paid. The federal tax return process is related to income tax – not sales tax. 
If you need more time, you can file Form 4868 to request an automatic extension of time until August 15. You will not be notified that the extension request is approved, - it is automatic. If you owe any taxes, you must still mail your estimated tax payment by April 15 or you will be assessed penalties and interest as of April 15 on any payment owed. Be sure to sign and date the forms and keep copies for your records.
Contact ISS for assistance. You DO still need to file previous year forms even if they were not filed by the deadline!
Most international students are required to mail their tax forms to the IRS and are not permitted to submit them online. Taxpayers can choose to receive a paper check or direct deposit of their tax refund, if applicable.

All international students who have never filed tax forms in the U.S. should first use GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) when filing their Federal income tax return. GTP will let you know if you are a resident or nonresident for tax purposes. If you are a nonresident for tax purposes, you can continue to use GTP to complete your tax forms. 

Always make copies of the documents you send to the IRS and save copies of tax returns and receipts. This information is not only important to the IRS but also to you as it may have an impact on your immigration status, under certain instances. 

Important Reminder

International students who are nonresidents for tax purposes CANNOT e-file. Please uses GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) to determine your tax residency status - DO NOT ASSUME your tax residency status. 

FAILURE TO FILE A TAX RETURN, OR FILING IT INCORRECTLY, MAY RESULT IN SEVERE PENALTIES, INCLUDING FINES AND INTEREST ON UNPAID TAXES. ALSO, NOTE THAT AN INDIVIDUAL’S TAX FILING HISTORY IS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENCY (i.e. the green card process).

 All IRS forms and publications are available in PDF format online at the IRS website

 

No! It is not possible to receive a refund of sales tax paid. The federal tax return process is related to income tax – not sales tax. 
If you need more time, you can file Form 4868 to request an automatic extension of time until August 15. You will not be notified that the extension request is approved, - it is automatic. If you owe any taxes, you must still mail your estimated tax payment by April 15 or you will be assessed penalties and interest as of April 15 on any payment owed. Be sure to sign and date the forms and keep copies for your records.
Contact ISS for assistance. You DO still need to file previous year forms even if they were not filed by the deadline!
Most international students are required to mail their tax forms to the IRS and are not permitted to submit them online. Taxpayers can choose to receive a paper check or direct deposit of their tax refund, if applicable.

All international students who have never filed tax forms in the U.S. should first use GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) when filing their Federal income tax return. GTP will let you know if you are a resident or nonresident for tax purposes. If you are a nonresident for tax purposes, you can continue to use GTP to complete your tax forms. 

Always make copies of the documents you send to the IRS and save copies of tax returns and receipts. This information is not only important to the IRS but also to you as it may have an impact on your immigration status, under certain instances. 

Important Reminder

International students who are nonresidents for tax purposes CANNOT e-file. Please uses GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) to determine your tax residency status - DO NOT ASSUME your tax residency status. 

FAILURE TO FILE A TAX RETURN, OR FILING IT INCORRECTLY, MAY RESULT IN SEVERE PENALTIES, INCLUDING FINES AND INTEREST ON UNPAID TAXES. ALSO, NOTE THAT AN INDIVIDUAL’S TAX FILING HISTORY IS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENCY (i.e. the green card process).

 All IRS forms and publications are available in PDF format online at the IRS website

Social Security / ITIN

No! Your UIN is assigned by Texas A&M University and is attached to your individual student record. A Social Security Number (SSN) is issued by the Social Security Administration to all eligible F-1, J-1 student and J-2 dependents. Any student or dependents who will not work,does not have an SSN , but is required to have a taxpayer identification number must obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Tax Treaties: Tax Credits, Deductions and Exemptions

Maybe! Only students from Mexico, Canada, South Korea, and India can claim exemptions for their dependents. For specific requirements, refer to IRS Publication 901 US Tax Treaties.
Yes! ONLY students from India are allowed to claim the standard deduction on non-resident tax forms. More information regarding this benefit can be found in IRS Publication 901 US Tax Treaties. By electing to claim the standard deduction, you CANNOT claim any itemized deductions.
F-1 and J-1 students who are nonresidents for tax purposes (i.e. have been in the U.S. in this status for 5 years or less) and who have been employed with appropriate work authorization (i.e. on-campus employment, CPT, OPT, Academic Training, Economic Hardship) are exempt from paying Social Security (FICA) and Medicare taxes. However, F-1 and J-1 students in the U.S. in this status for more than five years, J-2 dependents, J-1 scholars and faculty in the U.S. for more than two years, those in other non-immigrant statuses, and those who worked without authorization ARE subject to Social Security (FICA) and Medicare Taxes.

IRS resources that confirm the information described above:
If you had Social Security/Medicare tax improperly withheld, this unfortunately cannot be resolved by using GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP). To attempt to get a refund of this money, first try contacting the employer who withheld the tax for assistance. You must ask the employer, in writing, to issue a refund. The employer should reply to you, in writing, to confirm whether a refund is possible. If the employer is unwilling or unable to provide a refund, email isstaxinfo@tamu.edu and we will provide further instructions.

Additional Information

The IRS typically conducts all correspondence via regular mail. If you receive a letter from the IRS requesting additional information, you are encouraged to reply. Contact ISS If you would like assistance.
If a mistake is found in a tax return that has already been filed, you will need to file an “amended” return. Contact ISS for assistance.
No! Texas does not have a state income tax. Be aware, however, that if you earned income while living in another state for part or all of the tax year, and that state does have a state income tax, you may need to file that state’s tax forms. Visit http://www.taxadmin.org/state-tax-forms  to determine which U.S. States have income tax requirements and to access the appropriate forms.
Visit http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/link/default.php for more information about State taxes. This website will help you determine whether a specific state does indeed have a state income tax. If it does, it will link you to the appropriate state government agency that handles taxation for that state. Review the website to determine (1) whether you are required to file, (2) how you should file (i.e. were you considered a resident or nonresident of the state?), (3) what form(s) you may need to file, and (4) how you can submit the forms (i.e. by mail, electronically, etc.).

You can also look at your income tax statement, such as Form W-2, to see if State and/or Local income taxes were withheld. If they were, then most likely you will have to file a State and/or a Local income tax return in addition to the Federal income tax return. It is possible that you may have to file up to 3 tax returns: Local, State and Federal. Local taxes are typically paid to the City where you resided. Most areas in the U.S. do not withhold Local income tax in addition to State income tax so just because you have to file a State tax return does not necessarily mean you will have to file a Local tax return.
No! ISS advisors are not certified public accountants or tax professionals. ISS advisors are not permitted to complete tax forms for you. ISS advisors may offer information, resources and limited assistance with tax inquiries.


If you have additional tax-related questions, visit ISS during tax advising walk-in hours, attend a tax workshop, e-mail ISS at isstaxinfo@tamu.edu, or set up an appointment with an ISS advisor by calling 979-845-1824.

You may also utilize the following additional resources:
 
  • Payroll Services: http://payroll.tamu.edu/ (Information on Form W-2, Form 1042-S, and Form 1098-T)
     
  • IRS web page: www.irs.gov
     
  • International Tax Help Line: 215-516-2000