Frequently Asked Questions about Tax Returns

Basic Questions

What are tax returns?
Each April, Americans and visitors file tax returns to report total earned income from the previous year. If the IRS determines you have paid more taxes in the previous year than necessary, you can receive a full or partial tax refund.

Should I file tax returns?
All international students who were in the United States in the previous year should file at minimum the Form 8843. International students who received income, either through employment or through a scholarship, will file the 1040NR. Note: Nonresident students must file the 1040NR rather than the 1040 or 1040EZ. These later forms are only for residents.

Will I get money back?
If you did not receive income and are only filing the Form 8843, you will not receive a refund because you did not pay any income taxes throughout the previous year. If you received income, you have already paid taxes on that income. Based on your tax return, you may be able to receive a full or partial refund. You will find out the amount of refund you are eligible for when you file your tax returns with Glacier Tax Prep.

Will I have to pay more money?
If Glacier Tax Prep determines from your situation that you did not pay enough taxes throughout the previous year, you may be required to pay more income taxes. This is rare for students.

I am now a resident alien. How do I file my tax returns?
If you have been in the United States for more than 5 years, you may be considered a resident alien for tax purposes. You cannot use Glacier Tax Prep and will need to find a tax preparation service or software.

Questions about Form 1098-T

My friends said I could get $1000 back from a tax service. Is this right?
No! Nonresident students are not eligible for the education tax credit associated with the 1098-T. Some tax preparation offices may offer international students the refund without understanding the differences between resident and nonresident aliens.

I’ve already received $1000 from my 1098-T. What should I do?
If you have already received the refund, return to the tax preparation office and explain that they incorrectly filed the Form 1040. Tell them to file an amended return and include the refund check along with this amended return. Do not let them charge you for the amended return. This was their mistake, but you still need to act to correct it.

Tax Forms

What is the Form 8843?
All international students in the U.S. in the previous year must file the Form 8843. Students without U.S. income can file this on their own. Students with income can file it along with the 1040NR. Glacier tax prep will assist students in filing the 1040NR and the Form 8843 at the same time.

What is a Form 1040NR?
The Form 1040NR is used to file income tax returns for nonresident aliens. Use Glacier Tax Prep to file your tax returns. If you worked on campus in the previous year, you will receive an Access Code in your UCA email around March 15. If you did not receive this email, you can Request an Access Code.

What is a W-2?
A W-2 is a statement from the employer to employee that proves how much income you earned in the previous year and how much you paid in taxes. UCA employees can access their W-2 through myUCA beginning in January each tax season. Use this form to complete the 1040NR tax returns.

What is a 1042-S?
Students with a significant scholarship from the university will receive a 1042-S from Student Accounts on March 15. Use this form to complete the 1040NR tax returns.

What is a a 1098-T?
The 1098-T is a statement from a university that indicates how much you have paid in tuition in the previous year. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can use this to receive a tax credit or reimbursement. Nonresident aliens are not eligible to receive this tax credit. If you have already received the refund, return to the tax preparation office and explain that they incorrectly filed the Form 1040 rather than the Form 1040NR. Tell them to file an amended return and include the refund check along with this amended return. Do not let them charge you for the amended return. This was their mistake, but you still need to act to correct it.

Filing Tax Returns

Can I get help filing my tax returns?
Yes! International Engagement offers access to Glacier Tax Prep for all international students who need to file the Form 1040NR. You will need an access code to be able to use the software at no cost to you.

How can I get an Access Code?
If you worked at UCA or Aramark or received a scholarship for UCA in the previous year, International Engagement will send you the access code on March 15. If you are on OPT or transferred from another university this year, you can Request an Access Code.

How can I register for a tax workshop?
Find the workshop schedule, then register online for a workshop convenient for you.

Should I register for an income or non-income tax workshop?
Attend an income workshop if:

  • You received U.S. income in the previous year or,
  • You received a 1042-S or,
  • You received a W-2

Attend a non-income workshop if:

  • You were in the United States in the previous year and,
  • You did not receive income in the previous year

What should I do about state tax returns?
If you received income in the state of Arkansas in the previous year, you may need to file state tax returns. Unfortunately, Glacier Tax Prep only files federal tax returns and will not assist you with state taxes.