Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

GLACIER

If I'm a DACA student, how should I complete Glacier, and what should I submit?

The Glacier submission is still required for DACA students. You should enter whatever visa information you have relating to your initial entry to the U.S., then select "other" for your current immigration status. Glacier forms must be submitted along with the I-797 immigration document and your employment authorization card. 

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.

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.

Why haven't I yet received the link to the Glacier tax classification program, if I've already been notified via email of my tax obligations as a Harvard payment recipient?

If you haven't yet received the email from support@online-tax.net, which includes your original login information, or have lost or forgotten your login information, you can click on “Forgot Login?” on the GLACIER login page to access Glacier. If you still cannot access Glacier, please contact NRA Tax.

See also: Glacier, Individual

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. 

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

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).

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).

 

Who should contact the Nonresident Alien Tax office?

All foreign nationals expecting to receive income from the University, including fellowships, stipends, compensation, and other payments for service, who have not received the link to the GLACIER online tax classification program and/or have tax-related questions. Please note that if the only “payments” from the University received by an undergraduate or graduate student are scholarship amounts applied directly to the student’s term bill, the student will not have tax withheld or be issued a tax reporting document, so does not have to contact this office. For more information on your term bill, please contact the Student Accounts Office

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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

If I'm a DACA student, how should I complete Glacier, and what should I submit?

The Glacier submission is still required for DACA students. You should enter whatever visa information you have relating to your initial entry to the U.S., then select "other" for your current immigration status. Glacier forms must be submitted along with the I-797 immigration document and your employment authorization card. 

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, for payment in the Vendor system by selecting the advance pay "ADVTR" visa option, which will result in tax withholding at the maximum 30% rate at least till the 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. Please note that tax treaty benefits cannot be claimed on any 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.