Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

GLACIER

How should I complete GLACIER as a DACA individual, and what should I submit?

As a DACA individual, your situation is unique. GLACIER automatically generates for all foreign individuals. Your presence in the US is likely enough for you to be considered U.S. tax residents (resident alien), but we still are required by the IRS to collect information to support this conclusion. You would still need to complete GLACIER, since you are not yet a permanent resident. Please use the guidance below to help you proceed with GLACIER:

  • Enter the approximate original date when you entered the US. Though you may not have been in the U.S. legally at that time, or your legal status expired, you still need to enter this information (to the best of your abilities) from when you entered as a child. This is nothing we will be verifying
  • You would also enter your country of citizenship and country of residency prior to entering the U.S as a child. Your address in your original home country should be used, or you can use any known last address. Again, we do not verify this information
  • For your immigration status type, you would select “Other Immigration Status or Purposes”
  • The date your DACA status expires should reflect when you have been approved to work until on your employment authorization card
  • For your immigration documents, you should provide what you have. I know that you will have an employment authorization card and an I-797 Approval Notice indicating your status under the DACA program. These documents will be enough.
  • On your GLACIER Tax Summary Report that generates, please write "DACA" on the top to help identify your unique situation.

 

 

 

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Tax Reporting/Filing

Why didn't I receive a 1042-S tax reporting document for tax treaty benefits claimed last year, even though my fellowship/stipend/scholarship was not taxed?

Non-service fellowship income, in the absence of tax treaty benefits, is also exempt from tax withholding when paid to a resident alien. First, confirm your residency status, and only if you were a nonresident alien, last year, should you look into updating your mailing address and requesting a reprint of the document.

There is a number on my tax reporting document that is located in the field for a Social Security Number, but I either never applied for an SSN/ITIN or the number doesn’t match my actual tax ID. Should I use this number on my tax return?

  • If you never applied for an SSN or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), the number on your 1042-S or W-2 is just a number Harvard has assigned for administrative purposes, and should not be used on your tax return. You should apply for an SSN, or, if ineligible for one, for an ITIN, as soon as possible. The latter can be applied for while completing your tax return, although it is strongly recommended that you do not wait till then to do so.
  • If you now have an SSN or ITIN, you should deliver a copy of the card/letter to our office, and use the SSN/ITIN on your tax return. 

I completed my tax return and already mailed it. Now I’ve received a 1042-S from Harvard, which includes income I did not report. What should I do?

You will have to file an amended tax return in order to include the income listed on the 1042-S. Windstar (the online tax preparation software provided by the International Office) does not assist with amended returns, so you’ll have to obtain the amended form from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website..

Why didn’t I receive a 1042-S when I received a scholarship, stipend, fellowship, or grant?

If the Nonresident Alien Tax Office has classified you as a resident alien for tax purposes (a status based on your visa type and U.S. visa history), then you will not be receiving a 1042-S. As a resident alien, you are responsible for independently reporting your income to the U.S. tax authorities by referring to your personal pay records.

Alternatively, if your scholarship was less than your tuition and related expenses, it would have been reported on the 1098-T, not the 1042-S. Please contact the Student Accounts Office for more information.

Should I receive any tax reporting documents?

If you had no U.S.-source funding, you will not receive any tax reporting documents. It is possible to receive more than one type of tax reporting document, if you received more than one type of funding from a U.S. source (wages plus a fellowship, for example). The type of document you might receive depends on the type of funding you received.  If the only funding you received from Harvard was a scholarship that was applied directly to your term bill (1098-T), you will not receive any tax reporting documents. If you had no U.S. source funding, you will not receive any tax reporting documents. 

Can I file my tax return electronically?

It is not possible to file nonresident alien tax forms electronically. The Windstar tax preparation software, available through the International Office, will help you complete your nonresident tax form(s). You will then need to print, sign, and mail the form(s) to the Internal Revenue Service and Massachusetts Department of Revenue addresses listed on the instructions pages.

Do I have to file a Massachusetts State tax return?

Not everyone has to file a State tax return. It depends, among other things, on the source and amount of income you received during the tax year. You do not have to file a Massachusetts tax return if you only have to file Federal Form 8843. You should go to the Windstar tax preparation software for nonresident aliens (available through the International Office) to determine if it is necessary for you to file a State form.

Since I already had taxes withheld from my paychecks, do I need to file a tax return?

Yes, you should still file a tax return. The U.S. tax system is a “pay as you go” one, where taxes are withheld from your paychecks as you receive them (based on information you gave your employer at the time of hire). You should file a federal and/or a state income tax return to determine if you paid too much tax and are due a refund, or if you did not pay enough and owe tax.

Do I have to file a tax return?

If you were a nonresident alien and were present in the United States during any part of the tax (calendar) year in question on an F,J, M, or Q visa, there is at least one tax form you must complete (IRS Form 8843).

If you were a nonresident alien who did not receive funding from a U.S. source (please be aware that funding from a foreign source that is paid through Harvard is usually considered U.S.-source), you do not have to complete an actual tax return (eg.1040 NR), but, as mentioned above, may need to at least file Form 8843. If you have F-2 or J-2 dependents accompanying you, they may have to file tax forms, as well.

 

Please contact the Harvard International Office (HIO) for access to the online tax preparation software, Windstar, available for use by nonresident aliens.

 

Resident aliens have the same tax filing obligations as U.S. citizens.

 

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Tax Withholding

Why didn't I receive a 1042-S tax reporting document for tax treaty benefits claimed last year, even though my fellowship/stipend/scholarship was not taxed?

Non-service fellowship income, in the absence of tax treaty benefits, is also exempt from tax withholding when paid to a resident alien. First, confirm your residency status, and only if you were a nonresident alien, last year, should you look into updating your mailing address and requesting a reprint of the document.

My country has a tax treaty with the U.S., so why was my paycheck taxed?

  • First of all, you'll need to complete the GLACIER forms, making sure to select the correct income type (your country's tax treaty with the U.S. may not cover the relevant income type)
  • Your GLACIER forms then have to be submitted to the NRA Tax office and processed, as treaty benefits are not granted automatically. If you've already done so, and still have questions, please see the following

Since I already had taxes withheld from my paychecks, do I need to file a tax return?

Yes, you should still file a tax return. The U.S. tax system is a “pay as you go” one, where taxes are withheld from your paychecks as you receive them (based on information you gave your employer at the time of hire). You should file a federal and/or a state income tax return to determine if you paid too much tax and are due a refund, or if you did not pay enough and owe tax.

Why am I paying taxes when I’ve submitted all the required forms to claim tax treaty benefits?

This could be due to one or more of the following factors:

  • GLACIER has indicated that you're eligible for tax exemption on a dollar limit for the tax year, however, administrative/technical restrictions at Harvard prevent us from granting treaty benefits when there's a dollar limit.
  • On average, it takes around 1 month to process tax classification/treaty forms, and your submission is still in the queue.  Once it has been processed, however, your earnings will be tax exempt and we can refund Federal and State tax withheld from the month you first submitted all the required forms and document copies.  In the case of Social Security and Medicare tax, we can refund from as far back as 3 calendar years prior.
  • You have become a resident alien for tax purposes (and would have received an email confirming this), so are now subject to Social Security and Medicare (FICA) tax on dependent personal services income (salary/wages), though still exempt from Federal and State tax, as per the terms of the treaty. Alternatively, if you were claiming treaty benefits on non-service fellowship income (stipend, scholarship, fellowship), your status as a resident alien now makes you ineligible to continue claiming treaty benefits through Harvard.
  • The tax treaty exemption form for service income (Form 8233) is only valid for 1 calendar year, and your form has expired. If your treaty benefits eligibility period extended into this year, you should have received an email reminding you to submit new forms for the current calendar year. Please log back into GLACIER to access the required forms.
  • Your work authorization period was extended, as reflected on your U.S immigration document (I-20, DS-2019, or I-797), but we did not receive a copy of the updated document, so continued to use the expiration date on your old form as the treaty expiration date. Please log back into GLACIER, update your record, and resubmit all forms and required document copies, including your updated immigration document.
  • We have not received a copy of your Social Security card or ITIN letter, which is required for treaty benefits if we don't have your U.S. tax ID listed in our payment system. Please make this submission along with your tax treaty exemption forms (8233 or W-8BEN).

 

At what rate should my income be taxed?

In most cases, taxes are automatically withheld from your pay. Such tax withholding may include Federal, State and Social Security/Medicare taxes that can range from 14-30% of your total income. The amount of tax withheld depends on the type of income you receive and your tax status in the United States. Most incoming F and J visa holders are considered non-residents (students for the first five years in the United States and J-1 scholars for the first two years). But there are of course other visa types, and exceptions, so it’s important that the Nonresident Alien Tax Office classifies you for tax purposes as soon as possible. You will need to complete the online GLACIER form to begin the process.

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Tax Treaties

Why didn't I receive a 1042-S tax reporting document for tax treaty benefits claimed last year, even though my fellowship/stipend/scholarship was not taxed?

Non-service fellowship income, in the absence of tax treaty benefits, is also exempt from tax withholding when paid to a resident alien. First, confirm your residency status, and only if you were a nonresident alien, last year, should you look into updating your mailing address and requesting a reprint of the document.

My country has a tax treaty with the U.S., so why is Glacier saying I cannot claim tax exemption on my payments from Harvard?

This could be due to one or more of the following factors (as indicated by the "Hold" at the top right of the Glacier Tax Summary Report):

  • Hold 1: You do not have a U.S. tax ID (Social Security number or ITIN). You will need one before you can claim tax treaty benefits through Harvard.
  • Hold 2: Your country of tax residence and country of citizenship are not the same, and/or  your permanent address is not in your country of tax residence. 
  • Hold 3: Your visa history raises a discrepancy in relation to a tax treaty clause. Please contact NRA Tax for more information.
  • Hold 4: Your visa is not sponsored by Harvard. Please note that a Fulbright Scholarship is considered Harvard sponsorship.
  • No Hold indicated: You have selected the wrong relationship to the University/income type, or the tax treaty does not cover your relationship/income type. Please contact your department for confirmation.

With the exception of a Hold 3, which, depending on the situation, can sometimes be removed, we cannot grant tax treaty benefits when Glacier has placed a hold on your record.

My country has a tax treaty with the U.S., so why was my paycheck taxed?

  • First of all, you'll need to complete the GLACIER forms, making sure to select the correct income type (your country's tax treaty with the U.S. may not cover the relevant income type)
  • Your GLACIER forms then have to be submitted to the NRA Tax office and processed, as treaty benefits are not granted automatically. If you've already done so, and still have questions, please see the following

Why am I paying taxes when I’ve submitted all the required forms to claim tax treaty benefits?

This could be due to one or more of the following factors:

  • GLACIER has indicated that you're eligible for tax exemption on a dollar limit for the tax year, however, administrative/technical restrictions at Harvard prevent us from granting treaty benefits when there's a dollar limit.
  • On average, it takes around 1 month to process tax classification/treaty forms, and your submission is still in the queue.  Once it has been processed, however, your earnings will be tax exempt and we can refund Federal and State tax withheld from the month you first submitted all the required forms and document copies.  In the case of Social Security and Medicare tax, we can refund from as far back as 3 calendar years prior.
  • You have become a resident alien for tax purposes (and would have received an email confirming this), so are now subject to Social Security and Medicare (FICA) tax on dependent personal services income (salary/wages), though still exempt from Federal and State tax, as per the terms of the treaty. Alternatively, if you were claiming treaty benefits on non-service fellowship income (stipend, scholarship, fellowship), your status as a resident alien now makes you ineligible to continue claiming treaty benefits through Harvard.
  • The tax treaty exemption form for service income (Form 8233) is only valid for 1 calendar year, and your form has expired. If your treaty benefits eligibility period extended into this year, you should have received an email reminding you to submit new forms for the current calendar year. Please log back into GLACIER to access the required forms.
  • Your work authorization period was extended, as reflected on your U.S immigration document (I-20, DS-2019, or I-797), but we did not receive a copy of the updated document, so continued to use the expiration date on your old form as the treaty expiration date. Please log back into GLACIER, update your record, and resubmit all forms and required document copies, including your updated immigration document.
  • We have not received a copy of your Social Security card or ITIN letter, which is required for treaty benefits if we don't have your U.S. tax ID listed in our payment system. Please make this submission along with your tax treaty exemption forms (8233 or W-8BEN).

 

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Frequently asked by Administrators

What should I do if GLACIER is saying that I cannot continue because I'm not currently in the U.S. and my departure date from the U.S. was last year?

 

If you were unable to complete GLACIER before the end of the calendar year that corresponds to your recent visit, and you are expecting payments relating to that visit, then you will need to indicate at least 1 day present in the U.S. this calendar year in order to proceed through GLACIER.

You should:

• Enter January 1st, of the current year as the “Estimated or Actual Date of Final Departure from the U.S.
• Enter your actual date of your visit to Harvard for “Original (or anticipated) Date of Entry to the U.S.”
• Enter the actual expiration date of your immigration status of your recent visit for “Date Permission to stay in the U.S. Expires

Copies of the immigration documents you must provide relating to your immigration status while visiting Harvard, which will be listed on your “Tax Summary Report”, under the section “Document Copies Required”, will support actual presence in the U.S.

A submission is only considered completed if:

• It includes signed hard copies of all forms that GLACIER generates at the end of your completed record, and
• Copies of all required immigration documents listed on your Tax Summary Report

 

Why didn't I receive a 1042-S tax reporting document for tax treaty benefits claimed last year, even though my fellowship/stipend/scholarship was not taxed?

Non-service fellowship income, in the absence of tax treaty benefits, is also exempt from tax withholding when paid to a resident alien. First, confirm your residency status, and only if you were a nonresident alien, last year, should you look into updating your mailing address and requesting a reprint of the document.

Do I need to resubmit Glacier, if I'm receiving the link for the second time?

You may have received the link to Glacier twice, because Harvard uses two independent payment systems. If your Glacier record does not need to be updated (e.g. change in income type or visa status), then you don't need to resubmit the forms, and should contact our office to confirm your first submission was received, Otherwise, please update and submit your Glacier forms, as requested.

What if I have to pay someone before they arrive in the U.S?.

 

You can set up an individual ahead of time only if the individual is receiving a travel grant payment only, which may be necessary to arrange their travel to Harvard. This can be initiated in Vendor system by selecting the advance travel grant "ADVTR" visa option, which will result in tax withholding at the maximum 30% rate until the completed GLACIER forms and required document copies are submitted. GLACIER can be completed in advance as long as the completion date is within 30 days of the individual's entry to the U.S., but the required I-94 document can only be accessed after arrival, ultimately delaying submission. This option cannot be used for advance processing of honoraria or service payments due to government compliance requirements Harvard must adhere to. Please note that tax treaty benefits or reduced withholding cannot be claimed on payments made prior to the submission of GLACIER forms.

For more information, please contact NRA Tax.

What if I don't know what my relationship to the University or income type are?

You  should select the best option, which a few points might help reveal:

  • If you've already received a paycheck, from which FICA tax (MED and OASDI) was withheld, then you're either an employee, faculty member, teaching assistant, or student worker receiving compensation/salary/wages. 
  • If your payment was not subject to FICA tax, and is a fellowship, stipend, or scholarship, then you should select student, fellow, or fellowship recipient as your relationship to the University. You can then select any of the associated income types, as they're all treated the same way for tax purposes.
  • If you haven't yet been paid, and don't know what category your payment will fall under, please contact your department for clarification.
  • If you're receiving a reimbursement, you should select "other income" as your relationship to the University, then select "travel reimbursement" as the income type.

 If your selection is incorrect, NRA Tax will contact you, directly, to update your account and paperwork, as required. 

If a foreign individual completed the GLACIER program already for one payment system and the information is unchanged, do I need to have the foreign national complete the program again if I add them as a payee in another Harvard payment system?

GLACIER will only accept one record per individual, even if a payee is set up in a second payment system.  NRA Tax, which receives updates, will contact the foreign national asking them to log back into GLACIER and add a relationship and payment type to update their GLACIER Tax Summary Report, if necessary

I do not currently have an SSN or ITIN. What do I select in GLACIER under "U.S.-Issued SSN or ITIN"?

 

If you're receiving income in the U.S., you may have specific tax filing obligations that require a U.S. tax ID (SSN or ITIN). If you are not receiving income or have decided not to apply for a tax ID, at this time, you will still need to make a selection in Glacier in order to proceed. Whatever the situation, you're not obligated to apply for a U.S. tax ID based on your selection. 

 

 

What is GLACIER?

GLACIER is an online tax compliance program, to which foreign nationals receiving payment from Harvard will be given access.  It is a secure, web-based system that will classify them for U.S. tax purposes and determine appropriate tax withholding and tax treaty eligibility (if applicable).

Disclaimer

The information contained within this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice.  All information in this site is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance and fitness for a particular purpose.