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Tax Resources

The UC San Diego International Center, Office of Graduate Studies and Payroll Office have purchased the web-based software Glacier Tax Prep to help you prepare your U.S. income tax returns. Only international students and scholars who were affiliated with UC San Diego during 2014 are authorized to use this software.

Those persons who are already in the Glacier system will be emailed their Glacier login and password sometime toward the end of February. If you are not in the Glacier system, or do not receive and email with a login and password, you may request an access code by emailing your request to internationaltaxhelp@ucsd.edu toward the middle of March, 2015.  Before accessing Glacier Tax Prep, please read the following information below to begin familiarizing yourself with the U.S. tax filing process for nonresident aliens for tax purposes.

When preparing your 2014 taxes, remember the following simple rules:

  • All internationals must complete and submit tax documents.
  • The deadline for filing 2014 taxes is April 15, 2015
  • Filings should reflect U.S.-based income paid between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Do not consider income from any time outside these dates. If you are filing as a nonresident alien, do not consider income from sources outside the USA either.
  • Remember that filing tax returns means doing three different things:
    • Informing the U.S., state, and local governments of how much money you made
    • Based on your reported income, calculating how much tax you owe
    • Determining how much money should be refunded (or how much you still owe)

Additional tax information

GLACIER Tax Prep (formerly CINTAX) software

If you do not receive an automatic email toward the end of February, 2015, with the GLACIER Tax Prep instructions and the required access code, please contact the International Students and Programs Office (ISPO) and International Faculty & Scholar Office (IFSO) via e-mail at internationaltaxhelp@ucsd.edu or in person at the appropriate front desk (campus ID required) toward the end of February, 2015.

Tax workshops at the International Center

Federal Tax workshop 

Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Time: 12:00 -2:00pm
Location: To be determined

  • Presentation on using Glacier Tax Prep software in preparing nonresident alien tax returns
  • Students and scholars should bring all tax-related forms with them to the workshop

State Tax workshop

Date:  Friday, March 20, 2015
Time: 2:00 - 4:00pm
Location: To be determined

  • Representatives from the California Franchise Tax Board will be present
  • Students and scholars should have completed their federal tax returns prior to attending this workshop.  State tax forms will be available.

Important:  These workshops are sequential. You will need to have completed your federal tax return in order to begin your state tax return.

See the PDF presentation materials for:

Are you missing important tax documents?

To properly file your tax returns, you need important tax documents from your school, your employer (if you have one), and your bank. If needed make sure you have all the following documents. If you do not have what you need, follow the directions below each document listed.


Form 1099-INT lists the amount of interest you earned from the bank in 2014. If you did not receive it, request it from your bank.


Your employer issued a Form W-2 in January 2015 stating how much money you earned during 2014. If the University of California, San Diego was your employer and you did not receive your W-2, please go to http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/w2 to learn about requesting a duplicate copy. If your employer was NOT UC San Diego then you must contact your employer directly.


Form 1042-S is an official statement from a US institution that has paid a taxable grant, fellow-ship, or scholarship on behalf of an international student or scholar claiming a tax treaty benefit.

When applicable, the untaxed pay will be reported on Form 1042-S. If you did not receive your UC San Diego 1042-S, please contact the Payroll Office at (858) 534-3247 and arrangements will be made for a duplicate copy to be made available to you.


UC San Diego issues Form 1098-T to clearly state the amounts of tuition and fees paid on a student’s behalf during 2014. Internationals are NOT required to have a 1098-T. Nonetheless, it can help establish how much money you spent on tuition and fees, and occasionally can be very valuable.

If you did not get a Form 1098-T from UC San Diego and you would like one, you can print one out yourself! Go to http://www.1098-T.com.

Familiarize yourself with the web site. Be sure to click on the left hand column menu item called “User Instructions.”
Click on the item called “Access My Record.” If you prefer, you may also call - (877) 467-3821 to request that a Form 1098-T be mailed to you.

ITIN Information

Please see our ITIN Information page for more details about the ITIN.

Frequently asked tax questions

Is there someone at the International Center I can speak with regarding my taxes?

No. Neither UC San Diego nor any of its employees is authorized to offer tax advice and International Center employees are not trained on answering tax questions. For support in completing your tax filings, please use the resources on our website. On our website you will be able to use GLACIER Tax Prep to complete your federal tax forms. If you have additional questions regarding your specific situation, we recommend contacting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at (800) 829-1040. You may also contact the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) for questions about state taxes at (800) 852-5711. You may also visit this helpful link from the IRS

I did not earn any income last year. Am I still required to file taxes?

While you are not required to file taxes, you are still required to file a Form 8843. All nonresident aliens who are present in the U.S. under F, J, M, or Q I-94 statuses at any point in the tax year are required to file this form. Form 8843 is not an income tax return but an informational statement required by the U.S. government. More information can be found here.

How do I determine if I am a resident or nonresident?

Part one of GLACIER Tax Prep determines whether you are a resident or nonresident for federal tax purposes. You can also refer to Publication 519,“U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens” for more information. For California state tax purposes, you can refer to Publication 1031,“Guidelines for Determining Resident Status,” for more information.

Where can I get my tax forms?

If you use GLACIER Tax Prep, it will help prepare the form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ and Form 8843. Tax forms can also be found at the Internal Revenue Service or the California Franchise Tax Board.

I need an ITIN to claim a tax treaty benefit for myself or a dependent. What should I do?

If you are an F-1 or J-1 student enrolled full-time in classes at UCSD, contact ISPO at (858) 534-3730; if you are a scholar in J-1 status (not enrolled full-time in classes at UCSD), you will need to apply for an ITIN at the IRS office in San Diego. You will only need an ITIN if, in completing your tax return through Glacier Tax Prep, the software application indicates that you will need to file the form W-7 in order to obtain an ITIN.

I missed the April 15th deadline. What should I do?

You are still required to file. You can file by June 15, 2015 under certain conditions. Please see http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf. For more information on filing for an extension for federal taxes, please visit the IRS website. Please note that the form for filing an extension must be received by the regular due date of the return (April 15, 2015).

For more information on filing an extension for California state taxes, please visit the State Board of Equalization website

Glossary of U.S. tax terms for internationals

Calendar Year: Internationals in the U.S. for even only one day between January 1 and December 31 of any given year are considered to be in the U.S. for a “calendar year.” Example: internationals arriving in the U.S. on December 30, 2014, although in the U.S. for only two days in 2014, for U.S. tax purposes were in the U.S. for one calendar year.

Compensation: This is any payment made in exchange for services performed. Payment might include cash, reduced tuition or rent, partial board, or other method of payment. Among other categories, compensation can be earned by anyone who is an employee, an intern, or a contractor.

Deduction or Exemption: This is an amount of money you may be permitted to deduct from your total taxable income when calculating how much tax you must pay.

FICA Tax: Also known as the “Social Security tax,” FICA is the composite of a retirement pension and medical benefits tax on employers and employees. The current tax rate is 15.3%: the employer pays 7.65% and the employee pays 7.65%.

Foreign-Source Income: Income from sources outside the U.S. For nonresident aliens, this income type is not taxable; only U.S.-source income is taxable. See Publication 519, Table 2-1 to determine whether income is foreign- or U.S.-source.

Form 1040NR: Nonresident aliens are required to use this form if claiming dependents, tax treaty, or other exemptions or deductions, or if U.S.-source annual income was over $100,000.

Form 1040NR-EZ: Nonresident aliens who meet the qualifications may use this "easy" form.  See Tax Obligations for Internationals in F‑1 & J‑1 Statuses.

Form 1042-S: Form issued to researchers, teachers, and students to report amounts, whether or not exempt from tax under an income tax treaty, that were paid to internationals even if no amount was withheld. Usually these amounts are the result of income earned from scholarships, fellowships, or grants, but they may also be compensation for personal services.

Form 1098-T: Form 1098-T is an official statement from UC San Diego clearly documenting how much was paid on a student’s behalf for tuition and fees.
Form 1099-Int: Form 1099-Int is a bank statement listing the amount of interest earned.

Form 8833: Form 8833 is an official document used to claim tax treaty benefits.

Form 8843: All IRS-defined nonresident aliens must complete this form. It declares that—

  • An international is exempt from having to take the substantial presence test, or
  • An international falls below the minimum number of days needed to establish substantial presence.

In either case, without substantial presence, an international may file tax documents as a nonresident alien. Form 8843 does NOT declare exemption from having to do tax returns or pay taxes. (See IRS Publication 519 for details.)

Form I-94: Form I-94 is the Arrival/Departure card (stapled in passports). The date written on this card is the date on which authorization to stay in the U.S. expires. Most internationals in F-1 or J-1 statuses have “D/S” written in place of the end date. “D/S” means “duration of status” or that stay in the U.S. is authorized indefinitely if internationals keep complying with U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidelines.

Form W-2: Issued by employers in January stating the amount of wages earned during the year.

Form W-4: Employees complete this form upon accepting employment to tell employers how much tax to withhold. Unlike U.S. citizens and permanent residents, internationals filing as nonresident aliens cannot decide how much to have withheld. They must follow special rules for completing Form W‑4 found in IRS Publication 519, page 40.

Form W‑8BEN: Form W‑8BEN notifies U.S. institutions that persons are IRS-defined nonresident aliens, or that they are claiming U.S. tax treaty benefits on scholarships, fellowships, and other types of income.

Grant: Used to describe fellowships or scholarships. An amount to support study, training, or research, but does not represent compensation for any required service (such as teaching or research).

I‑94 Status: This is the nonimmigrant classification indicated on the Form I-94. It is also on I‑20s or DS‑2019s. (It usually but not always echoes the classification of visa used to enter the U.S.). This is “your status”—i.e., F‑1 or J‑1, etc.

Interest Income: Interest from a bank account or certain other US sources (for details, see IRS Publication 519: U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens). Bank interest is not taxable, and IRS-defined nonresident aliens should not report it.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS): The U.S. federal government authority charged with enforcing tax laws.

Itemized Deductions: If you file the 1040NR, you may list specific expenses within the guidelines of IRS Publication 519 and deduct these expenses from your taxable income.

Medicare Deductions: A significant part of what is known as the FICA tax. Medicare Deductions are imposed on wages and salaries and credited to a combination of a retirement pension and medical benefits. The current rate is 15.3%: the employer pays 7.65% and the employee pays 7.65%. Those filing as nonresident aliens do not have to pay Medicare Deductions.

Original Date of Entry: This is the first date you arrived in the U.S.—just before beginning your education or appointment. It is not the date that you last entered the U.S. after returning from a vacation or other trip.

Nonresident Alien: U.S. tax residency status of non-US citizens temporarily in the U.S. F‑1 Students and J‑1 Exchange Visitors are usually nonresident aliens when they first arrive in the U.S. H-1B Specialty Workers may be nonresident aliens, but usually only for their first year. Unlike US citizens and resident aliens, who are required to pay taxes on their worldwide income, nonresident aliens are required to pay taxes only on income from US sources. In addition, if a tax treaty exists between the nonresident alien’s home country and the USA, all or a portion of US-source income may be exempt from taxes. (See Publication 901: U.S. Tax Treaties.)

Permanent Resident Alien: This is a lawful permanent resident, also known as a “green-card holder.” This is an individual who has been accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the U.S. These persons are taxed in the same manner as US citizens—on worldwide income.

Resident Alien: An alien who is either a lawful permanent resident, an H-1B or O-1 holder, or an F-1 or J-1 holder who has spent enough time in the U.S. to pass the substantial presence test (see below). Resident aliens are taxed in the same manner as U.S. citizens—on income worldwide.

Social Security Deductions: Part of what is known as the FICA tax, Social Security Deductions are imposed on wages and salaries and credited to a combination of a retirement pension and medical benefits. The current rate is 15.3%: the employer pays 7.65% and the employee pays 7.65%. Non-resident aliens do not have to pay Social Security Deductions.

Substantial Presence Test: Determines “IRS residency status” (not the same as I‑94 status) for tax purposes. It calculates the number of days that an individual has been in the U.S. and finally determines whether that person is a “resident alien” or a “nonresident alien.” Internationals in F-1 or J-1 status are exempt from having to take the Substantial Presence Test—

  • For students, for the first five calendar years, and
  • For scholars, for the first two calendar years

This exemption deems them to be nonresident aliens for the tax year in question. To claim this exemption, students and scholars in their first year file Form 8843.

Tax Return: An official statement filed with the IRS to report taxable income during a calendar year.  All inter-nationals in the U.S. who have taxable income must file tax returns—a version of the 1040.  Form 8843 alone is NOT a tax return.

Tax Year: For almost all internationals, this is the period of time from January 1 through December 31.

U.S.-Source Income: Income from sources within the U.S. For nonresident aliens, this type of income is taxable (as opposed to “foreign-source income,” which is not). See Publication 519, Table 2-1 on page 12 to determine whether income is foreign- or U.S.-source.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”): The U.S. government entity that is charged with administering and enforcing U.S. laws concerning internationals, including laws and regulations governing F-1 and J-1 statuses.

U.S. Tax Residency Status: Non-U.S. citizens’ tax liability depends on this. All non-U.S. citizens are classified as either “resident aliens” or “non-resident aliens.” U.S. Tax Residency Status is independent of I‑94 status.

Withholding: Employers withhold a percentage of each paycheck and pay an estimated tax liability to the IRS, state, and local authorities. In this way, employees are not stuck with a very large tax bill to pay by April 15. In most cases, estimated tax liability is too high, and employees must file a tax return to get a refund of the money owed to them.

Contact Us

International Students & Programs Office (ISPO)
Phone: (858) 534-3730
Email: Visit our Contact Us page

Monday through Friday
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.