GLACIER — Nonresident
For tax purposes in the United States, individuals can be classified in one of four groups: U. S. Citizen, Permanent Resident, Resident for tax purposes, or Nonresident for tax purposes.
To determine tax residency, non-U.S. citizen employees, students or independent contractors, excluding permanent residents, are required to use GLACIER, a nonresident tax compliance system, which collects information about an individual's immigration status, visa, country of residency, and history of presence in the United States. In order to properly pay and tax employees, the following determinations must be made:
- residency tax status (nonresident or resident for tax purposes),
- eligibility to claim a tax treaty exemption (based on country of residence) and/or
- Nonresident Social Security and Medicare tax exemption.
Upon completion of the required data within GLACIER, all system generated forms as well as copies of immigration documents must be submitted to Payroll Services in order to withhold the appropriate taxes from an employee’s payroll payments.
A nonresident employee who earned wages that were exempt from federal withholding taxes due to a tax treaty will receive a Form 1042-S from Payroll Services. Nonresidents will receive both a 1042-S and W-2 form if wages earned are above the tax treaty limit.
Students & Independent Contracts
The Payroll Services department provides 1042-S forms for the reporting of scholarships, fellowships, royalties and cash prizes paid to nonresidents during the tax year.
1042-S forms are also provided for independent contractors who are international visitors. All international visitors must have a mandatory 30 percent U.S. federal income tax deducted from any non-payroll payment for independent personal services performed inside the U.S. In limited cases, this tax may be avoided with a treaty benefit application.
- Some countries allow treaty benefits for business or personal services. Independent contractors in valid immigration status who are residents of these countries may wish to apply for the treaty benefits to reduce the required 30 percent U.S. federal income tax that must be withheld from service payments. A listing of treaty benefits is available in IRS Publication 901.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires employers to send 1042-S forms to eligible individuals no later than March 15 of each year, and the university typically mails them mid-February to the individual’s campus or home mailing address.
GLACIER—Nonresident Tax Compliance System
What is GLACIER?
The University of Texas at El Paso has implemented use of a Web application called GLACIER to assist with federal nonresident tax compliance.
GLACIER is designed to collect information about an individual's immigration status, citizenship, residency and history of presence in the United States (U.S.) to determine an individual's residency tax status (nonresident or resident alien for tax purposes) and eligibility to claim a tax treaty exemption and/or the nonresident social security tax exemption. The system is designed to allow the individual to input all information online.
GLACIER presents easy-to-understand question and answer screens that allow employees to quickly and easily enter their information, calculate their substantial presence, and print their tax forms (provided as PDF documents on the final screen). Users will be required to print and sign their forms and submit them to Human Resources along with copies of their visa, passport and immigration documents.
GLACIER Record Creation and Updates
All non-U.S. citizen employees (excluding permanent residents) are required to use GLACIER. Individuals who need to create a GLACIER record will be programmatically identified based on their I-9 citizenship code.
Users must remember these because they will need them to return to GLACIER in the future to renew a tax treaty or make a change to the information entered in GLACIER.
Throughout the year, all individuals who have established records in GLACIER will be periodically reminded to log back in to GLACIER to update their records and resubmit paperwork if there are changes to the following:
- immigration status
- expected departure date
- email or home address
- social security number
Doing so will prompt Payroll Services to make any changes required in a timely manner to ensure compliance with all federal nonresident tax laws. Additionally, individuals claiming a tax treaty exemption will be required to log in to GLACIER to create a new Form 8233 each tax year, as required by the IRS.
GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP)
To assist international students and scholars with tax concerns, The University of Texas at El Paso is sponsoring free access to GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP). GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) assists students and scholars in preparing Nonresident U.S. tax returns. It is a web-based U.S. federal income tax filing system specifically formulated for international students and scholars. GTP is available free of charge this inaugural year, to all UTEP international students and scholars. It provides step-by-step instructions and assistance with the preparation of the appropriate tax forms. GTP will be available early March of each year.
DISCLAIMER: Access to Glacier Tax Prep is being made available by The University of Texas at El Paso Payroll Office. It is intended for only UTEP international students and scholars. To request access please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (915) 747-5109.
Please have the following documents and information available before you start using GTP:
- Form I-20 (F visa) or DS2019 (J visa)
- U.S. Entry and Exit Dates for current and past visits to the U.S.
- Forms W-2, 1042-S and/or 1099 (if received)
Before you start preparing your tax returns, please be sure you have received all your year-end tax statements including W-2 and 1042-S. UTEP sends Form 1042-S around March 1. If you file your tax return without all the appropriate tax statements you will need to file a corrected form and you could be liable for penalties.
GTP helps determine whether you are a resident alien or nonresident alien for tax purposes.
After you completed all information in GTP, it generates the correct U.S. federal income tax forms – either Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ, Form 8843, and other forms as applicable. If you did not earn any income in the U.S. during the year, GTP will generate Form 8843 for you.
Glacier Tax Prep is a product of Arctic International LLC and was neither created nor developed by UTEP. UTEP does not warrant its accuracy or otherwise warrant its performance. UTEP assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the completeness, accuracy or usefulness of Glacier Tax Prep, or your use or misuse of this product. Glacier Tax Prep is provided strictly "as is." UTEP disclaims all liability or responsibility of any kind arising out of the use of this product and makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, with respect to Glacier Tax Prep, including without limitation, as to (a) the merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use; or (b) the results to be obtained from using Glacier Tax Prep. Glacier Tax Prep is not a substitute for obtaining advice from a qualified tax professional and UTEP recommends that you obtain advice from a qualified tax professional. Please bear in mind that this software is intended only for international students and scholars at UTEP with income sources and levels typical of students and scholars at the University. By using Glacier Tax Prep, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions set out herein and all applicable laws and regulations. If you do not agree with any of these terms, do not use Glacier Tax Prep. Because UTEP is not the creator of Glacier Tax Prep, no UTEP office will be able to provide any technical assistance.
**If your Glacier Tax Prep tax return is rejected or if you receive a letter from the IRS asking for clarification or a request for more information, you should contact the Glacier Tax Prep Support Center via the help link at their site. You will need to provide a copy of the IRS letter and the tax return as submitted.