All international students and scholars who are on an F or J visa and were physically in the U.S. during the tax year (2012) are expected to complete and file tax forms with the U.S. federal government, whether or not they earned income. To assist international students and scholars with completing their federal tax forms, the University of Kentucky offers free tax preparation software called Glacier Tax Prep. It is a web-based program designed for international students and scholars to provide step-by-step instructions and assistance with the preparation of federal income tax forms. The software will help you:
Complete the correct U.S. income tax form - either Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ or Form 8843 (non-employed ONLY)
Prepare any additional statements or attachments, as applicable - Form 2106, Schedule C, Form 8843, and/or Scholarship/Fellowship Grant Statement
Print the tax return and all attachments (please note, the IRS does not allow nonresident aliens to file a tax return electronically)
Provide detailed instructions about how, when and where to submit the tax returns, as well as information about the documents necessary to attach and complete the tax return filing process.
Calculate the substantial presence test to determine the foreign national's U.S. residency status
Verify each type of payment for any applicable income tax treaty exemptions
Check if the individual is eligible for "away-from-home" expenses (if he or she has been in the U.S. for less than 12 months)
Glacier Tax Prep Password
You have been sent an email from the UK International Center – ISSS office which includes a password for access to the Glacier Tax Prep software. This password is intended for your personal use and should not be shared. Click here for instructions on how to access Glacier Tax Prep (pdf).
Form W-2 & 1042-S
If you were employed during 2012, your employer will send you a statement of earnings, called a Form W-2, that details your income and any taxes withheld during the previous year. If you receive benefits of a tax treaty for employment, scholarship or fellowship income, you will receive a Form 1042-S that details your income and treaty benefits. You will need these documents to complete your tax forms.
Additional Tax Help
The Glacier Tax Prep software will only assist you in completing your federal tax returns. For additional assistance with your tax returns, the UK College of Law is offering a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program through April 15. The VITA volunteers can help prepare your state return or review your federal return. Assistance is only provided for those with appointments. You can make appointments by visiting the UK College of Law VITA website. Appointments tend to fill up quickly, so be sure to schedule an appointment early. VITA appointments are unavailable during Spring Break, March 9-16. Please take all of the necessary forms and documents with you to your appointment.
Unfortunately, UK-ISSS advisors are NOT trained in the complexities of the US Tax Code and therefore, cannot advise on tax issues. If you have questions while entering your information into Glacier Tax Prep you can click on the “Help” option at the top of the screen in the blue area. This will provide general information regarding the questions on the screen; it will also provide an email link to ask for assistance from GLACIER. Answers are typically provided rather quickly depending on the time of day.
Make photocopies of your documents for your records.
Sign and date all forms, and be sure to mail them before the April 15 deadline.
Start the process using GLACIER Tax Prep and then (if needed) seek additional assistance.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
If you are filing a tax return and are not eligible to apply for a Social Security number, you may obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). A Social Security number or ITIN is necessary only if you are filing a tax return Students and scholars filing the Form 8843 are not required to have an ITIN or SSN.
Tax Prep for Non-Residents ONLY
Most F-1 and J-1 international students and scholars will be eligible to use the Glacier Tax Prep System. Students and scholars who exceed the physical presence requirement because of prior visits to the U.S. and/or the length of their program will be considered a Non-Resident for tax purposes and will not be eligible to use the Glacier software.