This following information is intended for students in F-1 and J-1 status and scholars in J-1 status. It will provide you with general information on U.S. income tax filing requirements and services available to you through International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in order assist you in complying with these requirements.
Please note that the University of Miami does not give tax advice, does not guarantee, and is not responsible for any final tax results. It is the responsibility of each international student, scholar and dependent to comply with U.S. tax regulations. While we offer tax information in the form of resources, ISSS is not trained to provide tax advice and disclaims all liability stemming from the misinterpretation or misuse of the resources offered.
Persons who must comply with IRS filing requirements
All international students and scholars and their dependents in "F" and "J" immigration status that were present in the U.S. in 2016 have to comply with certain filing requirements with the IRS:
Service offered by ISSS to assist you with your IRS filing requirements GLACIER Tax Prep Online Tax Return Preparation System: ISSS has purchased a license to allow all UM international students, scholars and their dependents in "F" and "J" immigration status to access a very user-friendly online tax filing preparation software called GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP). The program guides you through a series of questions and determines if you are a nonresident for tax purposes. If you are a nonresident for tax purposes, you will be able to use GTP to complete and print the required forms and send them to the IRS. This applies to you regardless of whether or not you earned any U.S. source income in 2016. Residents for tax purposes cannot use GTP to complete the required forms but may file an income tax return through any number of online tax filing programs or use the services of a tax accountant. In order to use GTP, you need to use your assigned access code. The assigned access code, Welcome to GTP Info Sheet, and GLACIER Tax Prep instructions regarding the completion and filing of Form 8843 will be e-mailed to all current international students in F-1 and J-1 status and all current scholars in J-1 status in February 2017. It is very important that you enter the access code correctly. Please follow the instructions on the Welcome to GTP Info Sheet to log on to GLACIER Tax Prep and follow the prompts GTP provides to you in order to complete the required forms. Once you have completed the required forms, you must print them and send them to the IRS yourself. The IRS does not allow you to file your tax forms electronically. If you or your F-2 or J-2 dependents were present in the U.S. in 2016 but did not have any U.S. source income, please read and follow the GTP instructions regarding the completion and filing of Form 8843.
You are not allowed to share your GTP access code with anyone other than your F-2 or J-2 dependents. Sharing your GTP access code with anyone else is a serious violation of the GTP-UM licensing agreement and is therefore strictly forbidden as it will jeopardize our ability to offer this program to UM international students and scholars in the future. ISSS is not responsible for the information included in GTP or the information you provide to the IRS through the use of GTP. ISSS disclaims all liability from the misinterpretation or misuse of GTP.
If you have any questions about your assigned access code for GTP, please contact your ISSS Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need assistance with GTP, select the HELP link at the top of any screen in GTP and submit your question to the GTP Support Center through the HELP Link. All support questions are handled via the HELP link by GTP. Phone calls and e-mails are not accepted by the GTP Support Center.
Tax forms and publications
Tax forms and publication for the year 2016 are available:
Any person who earns money in the United States may be required to pay income tax. This tax is normally withheld from the salary you receive, and an income tax return is filed by April 15, covering the previous year in which you earned money.
If you receive an income through an assistantship, other on-campus employment, or authorized off-campus employment, you will be asked to complete various forms, which allows the payroll department to estimate how much tax to withhold. If you receive scholarships or fellowships from the University of Miami, part of the amounts you receive may be subject to taxes. Any excess tax you pay will be refunded to you when you file a tax return. You cannot state that you are exempt from taxes unless you have a verified reason for doing so (i.e., a reciprocal tax treaty between your government and the U.S.). Erroneously stating that you are exempt may carry an expensive penalty.
Due to tax withholdings, your University of Miami paycheck may be lower than you expected. How much money is withheld from your paycheck depends on your tax status which, in turn, is determined by your visa classification and the amount of time you have spent in the United States. Although income tax may be legitimately withheld from your paycheck, your employer should not withhold F.I.C.A. or Medicare (Social Security taxes) if you have been a student in F-1 or J-1 status for less than five years or a scholar in J-1 status for less than two years. Dependents in J-2 status who earn money in the U.S. are subject to Social Security taxes from the start of their employment in the U.S.
The University of Miami Payroll Office determines Income Tax and Social Security tax withholding for international students and scholars who receive funding from the University of Miami. If a J-1 scholar is being paid by UM, it is critical that he or she complete the Foreign National Information Form and forward it to the Payroll Office on the Coral Gables Campus. Based on this form, the Payroll Office will take into consideration immigration status, any tax treaty that the scholar’s home country may have with the U.S., and length of time the scholar has been in the U.S., in order to determine the amount of withholding, if any. Questions regarding tax withholdings should be directed to Alicia Lopez, Director, Payroll Office, 760 Gables One Tower, (305) 284-3664.
The IRS website offers valuable information and resources for tax filing: