Rice Unconventional Wisdom

 Taxes

Rice University cannot provide individual tax advice. We can only provide basic general guidelines to get you started in preparing your taxes. No information on this site may be considered formal tax advice. Consult appropriate tax counsel as necessary.

Tax forms are due to the IRS by April 15, 2017.
Please note that we have no more Glacier Tax Prep license codes available.  

Filing taxes in the United States can be a confusing responsibility. Failure to comply with IRS regulations can produce serious consequences. Even if no taxes are owed, it is required by law to comply with filing procedures. Penalties range from additional costs plus interest for any tax not paid to incarceration if convicted of tax fraud or evasion. While Rice cannot file your taxes for you, we have compiled the following resources/guidance to assist you.

**NOTE: For questions or concerns regarding issues with your 2014/2015 tax return, please contact the IRS directly by phone at their International Taxpayer Assistance line (1-267-941-1000)  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

1) Are you a non-resident for tax purposes? If so, please use the following resources to complete your tax return:
a) Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) software (see yellow box for details)
b) Tax Workshop (see blue box for details)
c) VITA volunteer assistants at the University of Houston (see details below)

2) Are you now a resident for tax purposes? 
If you don't know, you may use Glacier Tax Prep software to determine or go to the IRS website to use the substantial presence test. If you are a resident for tax purposes, you may use the following resources to complete your tax return:
a) TurboTax or similar software - see the IRS website for details https://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free
b) Tax Workshop
c) Find a tax accountant (ex: HR Block - has a location in Rice Village)
d) VITA volunteer assistants at the University of Houston (see details down below)

3) Not eligible for a SocialSecurity Number (SSN)
Apply for an Individual TaxpayerIdentification Number (ITIN) in order to file taxes. If using GTP, it will also guide you on the process. To learn more about the ITIN application process, http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96287,00.html#apply 
If you are on an F-1 or J-1 status at Rice, you are employed, and do not have a Social Security Number, contact OISS about making arrangements to apply for one as soon as possible. If you are on F-1 or J-1 student status and you do not have an on-campus job, you will need to apply for an ITIN.   

4) Where can I get specific information about IRS tax forms? 
 In addition to using the “FAQ” feature on software programs like Glacier Tax Prep (GTP), please visit www.irs.gov for information on all tax forms, like some familiar ones below: 
 - W-2 (receive from employer regarding income
 - 1042-S (receive from Rice regarding fellowship and/or stipend income
 - 8843 (IRS form documenting your international non-resident status)
 - 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ (forms for non-residents to report income)
 -
1040 or 1040-EZ (forms for residents to report income)

 5) Where do I get the tax documentation to prepare my tax return?
If you are expecting any tax documentation from Rice, please be sure that your Permanent Address in ESTHER is the address where you would like to receive these documents.  You may also work with Payroll to configure your FNIS and ESTHER account where you may receive some documents electronically.

6) If I didn't make any money last year, do I still need to file anything?
Yes, you must file Form 8843. You may use the Glacier software for this, or follow the instructions on the IRS website directly.

7) I have received incorrect requests from the IRS for my 2014/2015 tax filing. What should I do?
Contact the IRS directly. We recommend calling the International Taxpayer Helpline at 267-941-1000 (not a toll free number) and documenting the time, date, and with whom you spoke. Request a "hold" on your record. Ask them to correct it. Then follow up in writing to them and keep all your documentation. 

GLACIER Tax Prep Access Code Sign-up - 

Sign-up for GLACIER Tax Prep for 2016 tax year in OISS - March 8 - April 12, 2017! 

**GLACIER Tax Prep licenses are only valid for a particular tax year,
you must sign-up every year**

Based on availability, first-come, first-served

GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) is a web-based software program designed to assist internationals with tax form preparation. It is available to Rice international students (both F-1 and J-1 status) who have been in the U.S. for less than 5 years, or international scholars on J-1 status who have been in the U.S. for less than 2 years and are considered non-residents for tax purposes.

How to Sign-up:
1) Visit OISS between March 8 - April 13, 2017
2) Pay $2 in cash for a user license
3) Receive a unique access code by email within 2 business days to use GLACIER Tax Prep

Using GTP:
1) Make sure you are using the license you purchased for this year
2) Make sure you have received all your tax documents before beginning (including W-2's if you worked during 2016, 1042-S if you received a fellowship or scholarship, etc.) - see the calendar at the bottom of the page for details of when you will receive these.
3) Follow the instructions provided by GTP very carefully, so that you don't miss any steps.
4) If you need an ITIN because you are not eligible for an SSN, please see OISS and read ITIN Process

 

 

Tax Preparation Workshop

We understand that filing your U.S. tax return can be a confusing process, but it is a legal requirement.  Join us for the Tax Workshop, where we will have an expert guide you through the process and be available for questions.

Presenter: Crystal C. Gates, CPA, Tax Manager and Kelley Heng, CPA, Tax Supervisor from Briggs & Veselka Co. (http://www.bvccpa.com/)

Date: Thursday, February 22, 2017

Place: Room 100 Keck Hall

Time: 4:00pm-6:00pm for international students & scholars

Click here for presentation slideshow

 

GENERAL GUIDELINES/RESOURCES:
 All international students and scholars in F, J, Q, or M status must file Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 8843.

University of Houston VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program
Since 1998, the Houston CPA Society has sponsored and staffed a VITA site at the University of Houston's Main Campus. There, CPAs and accounting student volunteers provide free tax return preparation assistance to foreign students. Help dates for the current year are as follows: 

 

University of Houston VITA (tax assistance volunteers) Site Schedule 2017
March 11th, 18th, 25th & April 1st, 8th (Saturdays), 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM
 in the UH Student Center South (Multipurpose East Room 237)

 

Schedule of Tax Events for the calendar year

January 31:

W-2 and/or 1099 mailed by employers.  For Rice forms, please make sure you have updated your ESTHER Permanent Address with the address where you would like to receive your documents. You may also download your W-2 from your ESTHER account.

See Events Calendar:

OISS hosts a Tax Seminar with a tax expert as a guest speaker once per year, typically in March (please visit our Events Calendar for details).  The tax expert speaks mainly on tax law for internationals. Presentation

March 15:

Form 1042 and 1042-S due to IRS by Payroll; Payroll will notify individuals when they may pick up form from their office or FNIS account in early March.  If form is not picked up by March 15, Payroll will mail the form to the Permanent Address located in ESTHER.  Please update your address to ensure proper delivery of these important tax documents. 

April 15:

Forms 1040NR and 1040NR-EZ due to IRS by individuals
(if Nonresident Alien receives compensation).

June 15

Form 8843 due to IRS (if Nonresident Alien does not receive compensation and that is only form that is required to be filed.)

 

Helpful Resources

Please note: The OISS staff is not trained nor qualified to give any tax advice.