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.
GLACIER Tax Prep Access Code Sign-up
Sign-up for GLACIER Tax Prep for 2019 tax year in OISS - March 1 - April 15, 2020! (coming March 2020!)
**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:
Visit OISS or sign up online (NEW - CLICK HERE!!) between March 1 - April 15, 2020
Pay $2 in cash for a user license, or $2.06 with credit card if signing up online
Receive a unique access code by email within 2 business days to use GLACIER Tax Prep
Make sure you are using the license you purchased for this year
Make sure you have received all your tax documents before beginning (including W-2's if you worked during 2017, 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.
Follow the instructions provided by GTP very carefully, so that you don't miss any steps.
If you need an ITIN because you are not eligible for an SSN, please see OISS and read ITIN Process
If you need to file State Taxes because you worked in a state that charges State Income Tax, you may purchase a Sprintax software license to assist you in filing those taxes. Please visit Sprintax.
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: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Place: Room 100 Keck Hall
Time: 4:00pm-5:30pm for international students & scholars
Click here for the presentation slideshow.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 above for details)
b) Tax Workshop (see above for details)
c) VITA volunteer assistants at the University of Houston (see details below)
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 General Guidelines / Resources below for details)
Not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN)?
Apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification 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.
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)
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.
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.
General Guidelines / Resources
All international students and scholars in F, J, Q, or M status must file Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 8843.
If there was income from a US source (including scholarships, fellowships, salaries, income on investments, as well as other types of income), you must file Form 8843 and a tax return on IRS Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ along with any corresponding schedules no later than April 15.
To file Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ, a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is required. Those who are ineligible for the SSN may request an ITIN by completing Form W-7 and mailing it as instructed on the form (Note: To file Form 8843 only, SSN or ITIN is not needed). See our ITIN handout for further instructions.
AARP Tax Aide Program
Volunteers provide free tax return preparation assistance to foreign students and scholars, for both the non-resident and resident alien tax forms. Walk-ins are welcome (please arrive at least 1 hour before closing):
Central Library 500
McKinney St., Houston, TX 77002
Mondays and Thursdays
2:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Ask for Teresa McCandless when filling out the intake sheet
University of Houston - Downtown VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program
Free Tax Preparation by IRS Certified Preparers. Walk-ins are welcome. All appointments take place in the Shea Street Building, Room B-308 (320 North Main Street, Houston, TX 77002). Help dates for the current year are as follows:
Mondays – Thursdays until April 15th
1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Fridays until April 12th
1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Saturdays until April 13th
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
If you have any questions prior to visiting VITA, please feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may be requested to fill out a W-8BEN. Contact the institution who requested it directly (Bank/Payroll/Etc.) and reference the information below. The IRS has prepared two forms to identify foreign entities; the revised W-8BEN will be used exclusively by foreign individuals. The W-8BEN for individuals and instructions can be found on the IRS website. It should be used by individuals to document their foreign status and claim any applicable treaty benefits.
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 Event 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 the form from their office or FNIS account in early March. If the 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.)
SSN and ITIN Process
A SSN or ITIN is needed to facilitate payment for scholarships, fellowships, employment in the U.S., and to file a U.S. tax return. If you are not eligible to apply for a SSN, you may need to request an ITIN in order to receive tax treaty benefits and to file a U.S. tax return. For more information, please see http://oiss.rice.edu/ssn.
NOTE: If you are only required to file form 8843 for your U.S. tax return, then no SSN nor ITIN is required.