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General Tax Information

Glacier Tax Prep is now live!
Remember: ISS advisers are not able to provide guidance on filing taxes.

About Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government agency that collects taxes. If you work in a paid capacity, your employer typically will withhold money from your paycheck and send it to the IRS. Other income such as scholarships and fellowships may also be taxed.

At the beginning of each year, you are required to file an income tax return for the prior year which checks that the right amount of taxes were withheld. If too much was withheld, you may be eligible for a refund. Or, perhaps not enough was withheld, and you will owe more. In this case, you will need to pay the additional amount.

Who Must File a Tax Return?

Every international student (F and J status) has an obligation to file taxes once per year for their first five years in the U.S.

How Do I File Taxes?

International Student Services provides a free tax prep software, Glacier Tax Prep (GTP). However, this software does not become available until mid-February.

Filing Taxes

Filing Taxes

  • Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement: W-2 forms are mailed to current and former employees. This form shows how much you earned last year and how much was taken out for taxes. You will only receive this form if you have been employed. Many employers allow you to print your W-2 online.
  • Form 1042-S: The 1042-S form will only be given to nonresident alien students who have received scholarships or fellowship money that exceeds tuition and related fee charges. You will not receive a copy of the 1042-S form if you only have a tuition waiver on your account and do not receive any checks. 1042-S forms will be issued by the UW Payroll Office around mid-FebruaryIf you expect to receive a 1042-S form, wait until it is issued before filing your tax return.
  • Form 1099 (if applicable): The 1099 form documents miscellaneous income. For example, if you had CPT authorization to work as an independent contractor, rather than as an employee of an organization, you might receive Form 1099 instead of Form W-2 to document your earnings.
  • Passport
  • I-20 (F-1 status)
  • DS-2019 (J-1 status)
  • Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number (not required if you will file only Form 8843)
  • Address information (current U.S. address and foreign address)
  • U.S. entry and exit dates for current and past visits to the U.S. You can get much of your travel information from the online I-94 system: USCBP I-94 Website
  • Academic institution or host sponsor information (name, address, phone)
  • Scholarship/fellowship grant letter (if any)
  • A copy of last year’s federal income tax return, if filed

ISS advisers are not able to provide guidance on filing taxes. If you do not already have one, you will be asked to create a user account for GLACIER Tax Prep. Do not use your UW NetID for this purpose but create a UserID and Password that is unique to GLACIER Tax Prep. Students who work on campus will already have a GPT account.

Students Who Worked on Campus
Did Work On-Campus –

Students Who Did Not Work on Campus
Did Not Work On-Campus – Glacier Tax Prep [UW NetID required]

The tax software will determine whether you are a resident or non-resident for tax purposes.

Resident for Tax Purposes:
If GTP determines that you are a resident for tax purposes, please click on the link provided by GTP and go to Free File: Do Your Federal Taxes for Free and select a company. Please note that this is only for students who are told by GTP that they have been in the U.S. for such a long time that they are residents for tax purposes and cannot use GTP. If you are considered a resident for tax purposes, you will be taxed like a U.S. citizen and will file a 1040EZ or 1040 instead of the 1040NR.

Non-resident for Tax Purposes:

  • If you received no U.S. source income in 2023 and you are a nonresident alien for tax purposes, you must file Form 8843 by June 15, 2024.
  • If you received wages or taxable scholarships from U.S. sources and you are a nonresident alien for tax purposes, you must file Form 8843 AND 1040NR by April 15, 2024.

Depending on whether you have wages, you will need to file taxes by the following deadline:

Forms: Who: Deadline:
Form 8843 Only Non-resident – no income June 15, 2024
Form 8843 and Form 1040 NR/NR-EZ Non-resident – income April 15, 2024
Form 1040 or 1040-EZ Resident – income April 15, 2024

Need Help with Taxes?

ISS advisers are not able to provide guidance on filing taxes.
We encourage you to use any of the below resources to help you with this process.


The UW Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provides free tax help and preparation including preparing non-resident returns.

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Seattle Public Library

Offers in-person tax help at eleven locations in partnership with United Way of King County and AARP.

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Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

U.S. government agency responsible for collecting taxes and providing tax-assistance services.

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Find answers to commonly asked questions about taxes.

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Tax Clinic

The UW School of Law Federal Tax Clinic assists low-income individuals throughout Western Washington resolve disputes with the Internal Revenue Service.

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Integrated Service Center

ISC provides tips for international students filing their personal tax returns.

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