Filing Taxes as an International Student

About the U.S. Tax System

International students and scholars in the U.S. have certain U.S. tax obligations. All international students and scholars are required to file a U.S. (federal) tax return.

  • If you receive U.S. source income, including wages, stipend, or scholarship funds, you will likely have federal taxes withheld from your checks (unless you benefit from a tax treaty.)
  • The U.S. tax system is a pay-as-you go system so there may be automatic tax withholdings from your paycheck, stipend or financial aid. This means that your available income may be reduced by tax withholdings.
  • When you file your annual tax return in April of each year, you will calculate the exact amount of tax due. You may get a refund or you may owe additional taxes.
  • The tax year runs from January 1 to December 31. Tax returns are due the following year in mid-April.

If you are employed by UNT and have questions about your automatic tax withholdings, please contact the UNT Tax Office. The UNT Tax Office is located off-campus in the Business Support Center (BSC). 

Do you work on-campus? All international students that work on-campus at UNT must fill out the Foreign National Information Form with the UNTSystem Tax Office.

Understanding your U.S. Tax Obligations

View the UNT Student Money Management Center Powerpoint Presentation

All international students and scholars (F, J, M and Q visa status) must complete a tax return once per year for the first 5 calendar years they are in the U.S.

If you've been in the US long enough to be considered a resident, please see the tax filing resources listed at the bottom of this page.

UNT staff and employees are not permitted to act as tax consultants or provide tax advice. It is your individual responsibility to meet your tax obligations.

Filing Form 8843

Form 8843 must be filed if an individual is:

  • present in the U.S. during the tax year
  • a nonresident alien
  • present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status

If an individual meets all three qualifications above, the individual must file Form 8843, regardless of the individual’s age and even if the individual is not required to file a U.S. income tax return. 

All nonresident aliens present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status must file Form 8843 —even if they received NO income during the tax year.

  • Form 8843 is not an income tax return. 
  • Form 8843 is an informational statement required by the U.S. government for certain nonresident aliens (including the spouses or dependents of nonresident aliens).
  • If you already have an SSN or ITIN, the number must be included on Form 8843
  • Form 8843 is typically attached to an income tax return.

If you have NO income and are ONLY filing Form 8843, you must print, sign, and mail it by June 17, 2019, to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215

Filing an Income Tax Return - How UNT Can Help

The Division of International Affairs has contracted with GLACIER Tax Prep to provide online income tax return assistance to international students at UNT. 

GLACIER Tax Prep provides step-by-step instructions to prepare the appropriate forms required for your tax return. The software will walk you through the required forms based on your personal situation.

GLACIER Tax Prep access codes will be available mid-March and sent to your EagleConnect/UNT email address.

The access code allows you to utilize the GLACIER software free of charge. Codes are limited.

If you have questions about the software, please visit the Tutorial Videos link on the GTP welcome page.

GLACIER Tax Prep Eligibility

You are eligible to use GLACIER Tax Prep if you are a nonresident for tax purposes / if you have been in the U.S. 5 years or less.

International students on F, J, M, or Q visas are excused from the Substantial Presence Test for the first 5 years in the US (or the first 2 years if you are a scholar.)

After this period you will be subject to the Substantial Presence Test, which is used to determine if someone was in the US long enough to be considered a resident.

If you've been in the US long enough to be considered a resident, please see the tax filing resources listed at the bottom of this page.

Documents and Information Needed to File 

  • I-20 or DS 2019 and Passport
  • U.S. Entry and Exit dates
  • Form W-2 (UNT W-2 forms will be available online the last week of January and/or sent via USPS)
  • Form 1042-S (UNT System Tax Office will mail Form 1042-S mid-March - NOT EVERYONE WILL RECEIVE FORM 1042-S)
    • Claimed tax treaty benefits
    • Scholarships that exceed tuition and fees
  • Form 1099 (if applicable)

When to File

  • You must have the documents and information listed above before accessing GLACIER.
  • Plan to spend at least 30 minutes preparing your tax return with GLACIER.
  • You must print, sign and mail your tax return to the IRS
  • Refunds are processed within 4-5 months.

Important Notes

All information entered in GLACIER is encrypted and secured via SSL technology. GLACIER will NOT use your email address for any purpose other than to contact you if an error has occurred with your tax return preparation. Record your GLACIER user ID and password. This information is required to access the site at a later date, or in the case of a dropped internet connection. If you used GLACIER last year, your previous user ID and password should work. If you cannot login, follow the prompts on the screen to recover your account.

Additional Resources

If you have been in the U.S. more than 5 years, you are considered a resident for tax purposes. 

Not sure you meet this distinction? Take the Substantial Presence Test.

If you are considered a resident for tax purposes, you cannot use the free GLACIER Tax Prep software provided by UNT. Instead, you may utilize any of the following options:

United Way of Denton County offers free tax services by volunteer tax accountants
TurboTax online tax returns
H&R Block processes tax returns for a fee
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service processes tax returns for a fee
Liberty Tax Service processes tax returns for a fee

Please Note:

  • U.S. tax laws can be complex and confusing. Laws that apply to international students are not the same as those that apply to U.S. citizens.
  • This page is meant to be a general introduction. We are not tax professionals, so this cannot be considered legal tax advice.
  • We suggest you review the information from the IRS specifically addressed to foreign students and scholars.
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you by email OR text message. If you are contacted by the IRS and are unsure if it is a real request or not, contact ISSS as soon as possible.