Understanding your Tax Reporting Requirements
As a reminder, your tax reporting requirements depend on whether you are categorized as a "Resident Alien" or a "Non-Resident Alien" for tax purposes. The University's GLACIER software will make this determination for you and print this information on your Tax Summary. Your tax category can also change over time, so be sure to verify your filing status each year! Federal tax forms (requirements below) must be filed separately from US state tax forms.
Non-Resident Aliens for tax purposes
- You may access GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP), via GLACIER, to prepare your federal tax forms. Most other tax preparation software programs are not able to handle Non-Resident Alien taxes. All forms must be printed, signed, and mailed; you are NOT eligible to e-file.
- You must file Form 8843, the Statement of Non-Resident Status, even if you did not receive any type of income from US sources. This form can be generated through GLACIER Tax Prep, along with forms needed for any spouse and/or child dependents in the US If you prefer to complete the form on your own, you may access the IRS website directly. Parents may sign this form for young Non-Resident Alien child dependents.
- You must report US earnings greater than $4000 for tax purposes, using Form 1040-NR or Form 1040-NR EZ. If your 2016 income is less than $4000, you are not required to file a tax return. However, if taxes were withheld from your payments throughout the year, you must file a tax return in order to get this money back in a refund.
- For assistance, please consult our GLACIER Tax Prep Assistant.
Resident Alien for tax purposes
- GLACIER Tax Prep cannot prepare your tax forms. Other software systems are widely available for purchase or use over the internet, or obtain free instructions from the IRS. You are eligible to e-file.
- You do NOT have to file Form 8843.
- You must report US earnings greater than $10,300 for tax purposes, using Form 1040, Form 1040 A or Form 1040 EZ (only one, not all three). If your 2016 income is less than $10,300 (the $4000 personal exemption, plus the $6300 standard deduction), you are not required to file a tax return. However, if taxes were withheld from your payments throughout the year, you must file a tax return in order to get this money back in a refund.
- In your FIRST YEAR filing as a Resident Alien, you will not be eligible for most tax credits. There are strict limits on claiming a spouse or dependents, or taking the standard deduction unless your country's tax treaty allows it. After your first year as a Resident Alien for tax purposes, you will be eligible for the same credits as a US permanent resident or citizen (although the US will tax your worldwide income, unless you can claim a foreign tax credit for taxes paid to your home country).
- All Forms 1040, 1040-NR, EZ versions must be postmarked by April 18th.
- Form 8843 (when NOT required to file with tax return) must be postmarked by June 15th.
- Extensions: If you need additional time to prepare and file your tax forms, you can file Form 4868 to request an automatic extension for 6 months. To be eligible, this form must be filed by the April 18th deadline. This extension does NOT apply to any tax payments that may be due. Therefore, any tax payment due to IRS will be subject to interest charges. Requests to extend state tax filings must be handled separately.
Return to additional information for File Your Taxes: 2017.