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Taxes and Social Security

Listed below is information about taxes for international students and scholars. Please note that International Affairs coordinators do not provide advice about tax matters.

  1. Who needs to file tax forms?
  2. How are people notified about taxes they should pay?
  3. What federal tax forms should be filed?
  4. Where are forms available?
  5. Where are information and assistance with taxes available?
  6. Ohio State tax preparation assistance
  7. Tax information for foreign national students/scholars/researchers

GLACIER Tax Prep (Free tax preparation software) Demonstration

International students, scholars and employees who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes are invited to attend a live demonstration on how to file their taxes using the GLACIER Tax Prep software provided through OSU. For a PDF on how to use the software, visit the Office of the Controller's website.

Who Needs to File Tax Forms?

All international students, faculty, staff and visiting scholars who are not eligible to file the standard Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form 1040 (or 1040-EZ) must file IRS Form 8843, even if they did not earn income in the U.S. during the year. Foreign nationals who received U.S. source income must also file federal and state tax returns. Income normally includes salary, scholarship, income from mutual funds, etc. For tax non-residents, income does not include bank interest or money received from outside the U.S. If you were an employee and received wages subject to U.S. income tax withholding, your forms are due by April 15. If you did not receive wages as an employee subject to U.S. income tax withholding, your forms are due by June 16.

How Are People Notified About Taxes They Should Pay?

Some time in January and March of each year, universities and other employers send W-2 or 1042-S forms (tax statements) to current and former workers, telling them how much money has been held back from their pay or scholarship award checks for taxes. You will receive a tax form from any source of interest or income you have received. This information is used by the employee to complete and submit tax forms. If additional taxes are owed, the amount owed is submitted with the tax forms. If too much tax has been withheld, the IRS will issue a refund.

What Federal Tax Forms Should be Filed?

Most international students and J-1 scholars should file a special tax form (1040 NR or 1040 NR-EZ) along with Form 8843. If a tax treaty exemption is being claimed, form 8233 must also be submitted. These are the tax forms for non-residents.

International students (and their working spouses) who have been in the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status for more than five years should review IRS publications to determine if they should instead file form 1040 or 1040-EZ. J-1 scholars (and their working spouses) who have been in the U.S. in J-1 status for more than two years should review IRS publications to determine if they should instead file form 1040 or 1040 EZ.

H-1B, TN or 0-1 status holders who have been in the U.S. for more than 183 days also should review IRS publications to see if they should file resident rather than non-resident tax forms.

Where are Forms Available?

Federal Tax Forms
Download the forms from the IRS website.

Call the IRS at 1-800-829-3676

Most students and J-1 scholars will need Form 1040 NR-EZ and instructions; Form 8843, Publication 519 (U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens), and Publication 901 (U.S. Tax Treaties).

State of Ohio Tax Forms

Where are Information and Assistance with Taxes Available?

Federal Taxes

  1. IRS International Tax Question Number (215) 516-2000 (at prompts press 2 then 3) 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Friday. If the line is busy, call before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m.
  2. Private tax preparation companies. See telephone book yellow pages listing "Tax Return Preparation." Ask if the company can assist with Form 1040 NR (non-resident) form. Ask for the fee amount in advance.
  3. The University of Texas self-help website. Please note: some areas of the site refer to services and policies of the University of Texas, but the tax information is useful for all international students and scholars in the U.S.

State Taxes

  1. 1-800-282-1780
  2. Ohio Department of Taxation

International Affairs does not recommend or endorse any tax preparation companies, websites or software.

City Taxes

If you work for the university, city income taxes will be deducted from your paycheck. The City of Columbus does not require a return to be filed at the end of the year.

Free Tax Preparation Software

Ohio State has purchased a software license for international students, scholars and employees to use GLACIER Tax Prep to help prepare Non Resident Alien Income Tax Returns – 1040 NR or 1040 NR-EZ. (Please note that this software does not help prepare Form 1040 or 1040 EZ forms). GLACIER Tax Prep may not be available until mid-March. GLACIER users will be notified via e-mail when GLACIER Tax Prep becomes available. Access information is below.

To use GLACIER Tax Prep gather the following information before logging in: passport, Form DS-2019 or I-20, or I-797; Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number; local and foreign address information; U.S. entry and exit dates for current and past visits to the U.S.; name/address/phone number for your academic advisor or supervisor; letters confirming scholarships or fellowships; form W-2 or 1042S and 1099 (if you received one). You may need to wait as late as mid-March to receive the 1042S form from Ohio State.

You can access GLACIER Tax Prep from a Windows based computer with Internet access.

If you are already a registered user of GLACIER, you can enter GLACIER using your GLACIER password and click on the option that says "I am ready to complete my tax return." This will take you to the GLACIER Tax Prep income tax return software and carry over some of your information to make completing your tax return easier.

If you are not a registered user of GLACIER, you will need to contact the tax office at taxoffice@hr.osu.edu for information about creating a GLACIER account. To ensure that your income tax information remains private and secure, do not share the password or your user ID with anyone.

During your use of the software, you will be asked whether you want your information to be saved until June 15, 2012 so that you may reprint or modify your return until that date. If you use that option, do not change your user ID in the meantime. (If instead you select to delete your information, you will need to create a new user ID to log in again and you will need to reenter all of your data). You must print out your tax return, sign it and mail it with copies of other documents.

If you encounter problems while using GLACIER Tax Prep, click on the Online Help link at the bottom of the screen. That will provide you with specific information relating to the topic on that page. If you have a technical problem, contact the GLACIER Tax Prep National Support Center at support@online-tax.net.

The Office of International Affairs, the Ohio State Tax Office or other staff at The Ohio State University cannot answer specific questions regarding individual tax return situations.

Additional information can be found at: