Income Tax Information for International Students and Scholars at Florida Tech
Disclaimer: the following information does not constitute legal advice nor should it be considered a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) or a qualified tax professional. The staff of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) are neither licensed nor qualified to provide personalized tax advice.
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Understanding your U.S. Tax Obligations
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 even if you do not have U.S. source income. Below are a few things you need to know.
- If you receive U.S. source income, including wages, stipend, or scholarship funds, you will likely have federal and state tax withheld from your checks (unless you benefit from a tax treaty.)
- The U.S. tax system is a pay-as-you go system in that there may be automatic tax withholdings from your paycheck, stipend or financial aid. These means that in some instances your available income will be reduced by the tax withholdings. When you file your annual tax report in April of each year, you will calculate the exact amount of tax due. Some years you may get a refund and in others you may owe additional taxes.
- The ISSS Office provides more specific tax filing information in the spring of each year, along with a free-to-you tax program in which to help you file your taxes, as long as you have access to your student TRACKS account
- In addition to filing a federal return, if you worked in another state on CPT, OPT, OPT STEM, some students and scholars must also file a state tax return for that particular state; information about filing state returns should be addressed to a professional tax preparer.
Tax Filing Season: NOTE: TAX FILING DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MAY 17, 2021
The tax year is from January 1 to December 31 of any given year. You file your tax return in the spring of the following year with a filing deadline of mid-April.
Foreign National Information Request
If you are considered a Nonresident Alien (NRA) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and become employed by Florida Institute of Technology OR are a student with taxable scholarships, you will be subject to entering personal information into a software provided by the university called Foreign National Information System (FNIS).
The Controller's Office will enter information into FNIS which will generate an email to you with a link to the system and your user ID and password. The email will be sent to your @my.fit.edu email. Please check your @my.fit.edu email account for this email. After you have completed the information, please send an email to email@example.com stating that you have completed this process.
Click FNIS Request for detailed instructions on how to complete the FNIS Request.
Resident Alien Tax Filing
If you are a “resident alien for tax purposes,” you will not be able to use GLACIER since it is designed only for NON-RESIDENT ALIEN filers. The ISSS Office suggests that you seek professional tax assistanace from a reputable tax preparer (ex: H & R Block, Liberty, Hewitt-Jackson, to name a few).
Tax Filing Assistance
GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) is easy to follow - it does the tax-filing work for you. If you need assistance, there will be a video tutorial available on GTP which will assist you.
GLACIER Tax Prep is a free NONRESIDENT ALIEN tax preparation software purchased by Florida Tech to assist international students and scholars with non-resident tax filing responsibilities. As you answer the questions in GLACIER Tax Prep, it prepares the appropriate federal tax filing forms for you.
Important: Make copies of everything to keep in your records before mailing the original forms!
Who Has To File Tax Returns?
1. Do I Have To File A Federal U.S. Income Tax Return?
All international students and scholars who were in the U.S. for any period of time during the year 2020 in any visa type other than B1/B2 (Visitor) must file an annual income tax return with the U.S. federal government. In addition, some international students and scholars will also be required to file a New Jersey state income tax return.
2. I Am An International Student And I Had No U.S Earned Income Or Scholarships For 2020. Do I Need To File?
Yes. You must simply file IRS Form 8843. You can complete this form by using GLACIER Tax Prep. GLACIER Tax Prep will also advise you on where you should mail this form
3. I Only Arrived In The U.S. In December Of 2020 And I Didn't Work. Do I Still Have To File Form 8843?
Yes. If you were in the U.S. even 1 day in 2020, you must file Form 8843. You can complete form 8843 by using GLACIER Tax Prep.
4. If I Worked In The U.S. In 2020 But Have Since Returned To My Home Country, Do I Still Have To File Taxes In The United States?
Yes. All individuals who were present in the United States any time during 2020 must file a tax return for that year.
5. Are There Any Repercussions If I Don’t File Tax Returns?
One of the conditions of your visa is to follow U.S. laws. Payment of U.S. income tax due is required by law. If you owe taxes and don't file, the IRS can assess penalty and interest. There may also be immigration consequences if you fail to file taxes; applicants for permanent residency (green cards) are often asked to show proof of tax filing for their previous years in the U.S.
Filing Tax Returns Using GLACIER Tax Prep
6. How Do I File My Personal Federal Income Tax Return?
Florida Institute of Technology offers GLACIER Tax Prep, a free and easy-to-use tax filing software for international students and scholars. Use GLACIER Tax Prep to file your nonresident alien federal income tax returns. It will help to make your tax filing responsibilities easier. If you do not use GLACIER Tax Prep to file your federal taxes, you will need to file on your own or with the assistance of an outside professional tax preparer. We regret that the ISSS staff or other University staff cannot advise you on your individual taxes.
7. What Does GLACIER Tax Prep Do?
As you answer the questions in GLACIER Tax Prep, it will:
- Determine your U.S. residency status for tax filing purposes. NOTE: Even though you are a nonresident alien for immigration purposes, you may be a U.S. resident for tax filing purposes. GLACIER Tax Prep will determine your tax filing status.
- Collect information about all types of income (if any) that you received to determine if you are eligible for a tax exemption based on a tax treaty or any other type of exemption.
- Gather additional information to make sure all applicable deductions or allowances are applied.
- Populate fields in all of the correct tax forms applicable to your situation.
- Allow you to print your tax return form and all attachments
- Provide detailed instructions about how, when, and where to mail the tax return, as well as information about the documents necessary to attach and complete the tax return filing process.
8. How Can I Access GLACIER Tax Prep?
GLACIER Tax Prep is accessed through your TRACKS account. You cannot use GLACIER if you no longer have access to your TRACKS account.
9. Can I Submit My Non-Resident Tax Forms Electronically Directly Through GLACIER Tax Prep?
NO, nonresident aliens cannot file federal tax reports electronically through GLACIER Tax Prep or any other electronic method. Once you supply GLACIER Tax Prep with all of the requested information, it will auto-populate the appropriate tax forms for you. You must print the forms and mail them to the address provided by GLACIER Tax Prep. The appropriate address will depend on the form you are filing.
Tax Reporting Documents
10. What Forms And Documents Do I Need Before I Can Begin Using GLACIER Tax Prep?
You should gather the following documents before you enter GLACIER Tax Prep. Depending on your type of income in 2017, you may or may not receive the following forms:
- W-2 Wage and Tax Statement: If you earned income in 2020, you will need your W-2 Form from Florida Tech or from the employer under whom you earned income in 2020.
- Form 1042-S: A nonresident alien student or scholar who was employed and was exempt under a tax treaty in 2020 will receive a Form 1042-S. Any nonresident alien student or scholar who received a taxable fellowship, award, or stipend in 2020 will also receive a 1042-S. And any nonresident alien who received a non-employee service payment will receive a 1042-S.
- Form 1099: Very few international students and scholars will receive the 1099 form. To request a duplicate or if you have questions about IRS 1099 form, contact Florida Tech’s Office of Accounts Payable at firstname.lastname@example.org during regular University business hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday .
- Passport and Visa documents, such as I-20 Form (F visa) or DS-2019 Form (J visa).
11. What Is A Form W-2? I Lost Or Never Got My W-2. Can I Get Another One?
A Form W-2 is used to report U.S. federal or state wages and taxes. You will receive a Form W-2 only if you received compensation during 2020. Forms W-2 from Florida Institute of Technology are available online for active faculty, staff and students to view and print.
To obtain your Form W-2 online:
- Login to PAWS
- Select PAWS from the Main Menu drop-down
- Select the link Employee- then Tax Forms
- Select the link to View W-2 / W-2c
- Your 2020 W-2 Form will appear in a PDF version that you may view and print
- If you are not able to obtain your Form W-2 through PAWS contact email@example.com
12. I Believe My W-2 Form Is Incorrect, Who Do I Contact?
You may e-mail your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
13. I Received My Form W-2 With Income Entered In Box 14. Should I Enter This Amount In GLACIER Tax Prep?
NO, you must leave box 14 on the Form W-2 in Glacier Tax Prep blank
14. I Received A Form 1099 Florida Institute Of Technology And I Don't Understand It. Who Can I Ask About It?
Very few international students and scholars will receive the 1099 form. For 1099 questions, please send your inquiry email@example.com.
15. What Is The Form 1042-S? What Should I Do If I Didn't Receive Form 1042-S From Florida Institute Of Technology?
Form 1042-S is a foreign person’s U.S. income that is subject to tax withholding. You should receive it if you are a nonresident student or scholar who has reportable U.S. income under a tax treaty. The Office of the Controller will distribute Form 1042-S by March 15, 2021. If you expect to receive a Form 1042-S and have not received it by March 15, 2021, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Not all students and scholars will receive a Form 1042-S; only students and scholars who have reportable U.S. income will receive a Form 1042-S.
Getting Help For Nonresident Alien Tax Issues
16. Will There Be Tax Filing Workshops Where I Can Get Help On How To Use GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP)?
The GTP system is simple to use and they no longer offer onsite workshops. Instead they offer a U.S. tax system information video and a tax-filing tutorial on the GTP site that you may access at any time. If you have any questions about general federal tax issues, please select “View Welcome to the U.S. Tax System Informational Video” from the GTP main menu. The video is approximately 30 minutes long and will provide an overview of federal tax issues related to the preparation of your tax forms. In addition, you may also view the “GTP Tutorial Video” for more information about how to complete GTP; this video is approximately 23 minutes and is also available on the GTP main menu. Should you have any questions about federal tax issues or how to use GTP, you may also simply select “Help” located at the top of every GTP screen to submit your questions to the GTP Support Center.
17. I Am Using GLACIER Tax Prep Right Now And Have A Question About How To Use The Software. Where Can I Get Help?
On each GLACIER Tax Prep screen, you can access "Help" located at the top of each screen to submit a question to the GTP Support Center. Or you email GLACIER Tax Prep directly by clicking the "HELP" button in the GLACIER Tax Prep to connect to a live tax professional at the GTP support center. GLACIER Tax Prep will respond to your email within 24 hours. For privacy concerns do not include our social security number or ITIN in your email.
18. Once I Fill In The Information In GLACIER Tax Prep Online, Am I Done?
NO. You must print the tax return forms from GLACIER Tax Prep, sign them, copy them, and then mail them to the IRS at the address provided to you by GLACIER Tax Prep. Be sure to keep copies of all of your forms before you mail them!
19. Where Can I Find Additional Tax Preparation Resources For Nonresident Aliens?
- United States Internal Revenue Service http://www.irs.gov (click on Individuals)
- Another professional tax preparation company or certified public accountant. Be sure to ask if they have expertise in filing Nonresident alien taxes.
- U.S. Tax Treaties Publication 901
20. What Do I Do If I Am A Resident For Tax Filing Purposes?
If you qualify as a RESIDENT alien for tax purposes, you CANNOT use GLACIER Tax Prep but you can file your RESIDENT taxes on your own or with a professional tax preparer. (See FAQ #21) Resident aliens file taxes in the same manner as U.S. citizens using Form 1040 or Form 1040EZ.
21. Where Can I Find Additional Tax Preparation Resources For Resident Tax Filing Purposes?
- United States Internal Revenue Service http://www.irs.gov
- Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
- TurboTax software: http://turbotax.intuit.com
- H&R Block : http://www.hrblock.com
- Another professional tax preparation company (Search the internet for tax preparers in the local area)
22. Can Florida Institute of Technology Help Me Prepare My RESIDENT Tax Forms?
NO. U.S. Tax Laws are complicated. Only authorized tax preparation professionals are eligible to advise you on the specifics of your individual tax return. FIT employees are not professional tax preparers and are not authorized to advise you on how to file your tax return forms.
Miscellaneous Tax FAQs
23. Who Should I List As My Academic Program Director?
All: Students and Scholars
Academic Program Director Name: Jackie Lingner, Director for International Students
Program Director Telephone Number: 321 674-8053
Academic Institution Address: ISSS, 150 West University University Blvd, Melbourne, FL 32901
24. What Is The Latest Date That GLACIER Tax Prep Will Be Available To Use?
Although the deadline to file taxes is April 15, 2021, GLACIER Tax Prep may be available for you to use until December 1, 2021 (a final cut-off date has not yet been announced). If you file a late return (after April 15, 2021) and you are due a refund, you will not have late filing penalties. If you file a late return and you owe taxes, you will have late filing penalties based on the amount of tax that is due.
25. Can I File My Tax Forms After The Deadline?
If you need additional time to file your return, you may file an extension by using Form 4868 located on the Internal Revenue Service website (www.irs.gov). Follow all guidance on what to do if you owe taxes or if taxes are refunded.
Form 8843 FAQs
26. Who Is Required To File Form 8843?
Any individual who is in F, J, M, or Q visa status for the tax year 2020.
27. Do I Need To Apply For An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Or Social Security Number (SSN) To File My Form 8843?
No, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or Social Security Number is not required to file the Form 8843.
28. Can I Use GLACIER Tax Prep To Complete Form 8843?
YES, you may use Glacier Tax Prep to complete the Form 8843 for your spouse, dependents, and yourself.
29. Do I Need To Complete A Form 8843 For My Spouse And Dependents?
YES, if your spouse and dependents have accompanied you to the United States and are in F or J dependent visa status, you must complete a Form 8843 for them.
30. Where Do I Mail Form 8843?
Department of the Treasury
International Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
Social Security FAQs
31. If I Don’t Have A Social Security Number (SSN), How Do I File My Tax Forms?
Social Security Number (SSN): Social Security Numbers are only available to people who are legally employed in the U.S. If you are currently employed, you must have a social security number. If you do not have one, you should apply for one immediately. If you were employed in the U.S. at any time during the previous tax year, then you must have a Social Security Number before you can file your tax forms.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) FAQs
32. If I Don't Have An Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), How Do I File My Tax Forms?
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN): An ITIN is issued by individuals who don't qualify for a Social Security Number because they are not employed but who need a number for tax-filing purposes. If you DO NOT have an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), then GLACIER Tax Prep will create a Form W-7 Application for an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number along with your other tax filing forms.
33. Where Can I Get The Non-Employment Letter That Must Accompany The W-7 Application For Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
You will obtain this letter in person from the ISSS.