Filing Taxes as an International Student

Understanding your U.S. Tax Obligations

All international students and scholars are required to file a U.S. tax return even if you do not have U.S. source income. Every international student (F and J status) has an obligation to complete a tax form once per year for the first five calendar years that you are in the U.S. If you receive U.S. source income, including wages, stipend, or scholarship funds, you will likely have federal tax withheld from your checks (unless you benefit from a tax treaty.) 

The U.S. tax system is a pay-as-you go system. There may be automatic tax withholdings from your paycheck, stipend or financial aid. In some instances your available income will be reduced by the tax withholdings. If you are employed by the University of North Texas and have questions about your automatic tax withholdings, please contact the UNT System Tax Office at

When you file your annual tax report in April of each year, you will calculate the exact amount of tax due. While employers withhold money from your paycheck throughout the year and send it to the IRS, it may not equal the exact amount owed at the end of the year. If too much was withheld, you may be eligible for a refund. If not enough was withheld, you may owe more.

The tax year runs from January 1 to December 31. Tax returns are filed in the spring of the following year with a mid-April deadline.

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.


UNT International has contracted with GLACIER Tax Prep, a tax software program, to provide online tax form assistance to international students at University of North Texas. This includes active F-1 students who are on post-completion OPT. GLACIER Tax Prep codes will be available for student use after the University of North Texas has sent out Form 1042-S to eligible students mid-March. Codes will be sent to your EagleConnect/UNT email address. 

We will continue to allow access to Glacier Tax Prep until all the access codes have been used. ISSS advisers are immigration experts and are not allowed to give tax advice. This is why we contract with Glacier Tax Prep to assist you with this process. If you have questions regarding how to use the software, please go to the GTP Tutorial Videos link on the welcome page of Glacier Tax Prep.

GLACIER Tax Prep Eligibility

  • If you have been in the U.S. for less than 5 years, you are eligible to use Glacier Tax Prep.
  • If you've been here 5 years or more, you are NOT eligible to use Glacier Tax Prep. Please see the resource links 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
    • Summary of wages earned during the year and the amounts withheld for taxes
    • UNT W-2 forms will be available online the last week of January and/or sent via USPS
  • Form 1042-S (if applicable)
    • Required for students that have claimed tax treaty benefits
    • Required for students who received scholarships that exceed tuition and fees
    • UNT will mail Form 1042-S to eligible participants mid-March
  • 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. 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.

    Have you been in the U.S. for 5 years or more?

    Additional Resources

    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 visit the IRS website for more information

    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.