Nonresident Alien

Table of Contents


This page is designed to help you, as a nonresident alien, understand your yearly tax responsibilities while being compensated by The Ohio State University.

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As a foreign national, you may already know how daunting understanding your tax obligations can be. That's why the university has provided you with a program called Glacier.

Glacier is a web-based computer program that provides a "beginning to end" tax compliance solution. Once the university determines that you are a nonresident alien, you will receive an email to your email address directing you to the Glacier website ( with a password for entry. After asking a few simple questions, the Glacier program will guide you through the tax filing process. Glacier does the following:

  • Makes tax residency, withholding and income tax treaty determinations
  • Manages all paperwork
  • Maintains data
  • Provides you with next steps
  • Files appropriate reporting statements with the IRS

If you are a nonresident alien and you have not received Glacier information, please contact the Tax Office at

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Tax Return Guide

Each year, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that all workers file a tax return which is due on April 15 of the following year. As a nonresident alien, you are also required to file a tax return, which is sometimes called Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ. As an employee of The Ohio State University, you can complete your federal tax return (1040NR-EZ) through the Glacier web site.

About U.S. Taxes

The United States has several different sets of tax laws. Federal tax law applies to taxes paid to the United States government. State tax laws apply to taxes paid to the state in which you live or work. In some places there are also local or city taxes. It is important to comply with all federal, state, and local tax laws that apply to you.

The federal and state tax system is a graduated tax system, which means that the percentage of tax one pays is dependent on the amount of income one earns. If you earn a smaller income, you pay a smaller percentage in tax, but if you earn a larger salary, you pay a higher percentage. The city of Columbus taxes are not on a graduated tax system. Columbus taxes are a fixed 2.5 percent.

Residency and Non-Residency for Tax Purposes

U.S. tax law categorizes people as residents or nonresident aliens for tax purposes, which is not necessarily the same as residency according to immigration law. Residents for tax purposes follow the same rules as U.S. citizens, but there are special rules for nonresident aliens for tax purposes. There are also special rules that apply specifically to F-1 students, J-1 students and scholars and H-1 employees who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes.

The U.S. Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service Publication 519 explains the rules used to determine tax residency for those who are not U.S. citizens. Nonresident aliens for tax purposes are taxed on U.S. source income

Non-Resident alien for Tax Purposes


If you are in F or J status and a nonresident alien for tax purposes:

You are required to fill out and mail to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 8843 "Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition" if you were in the United States for any part of the current calendar year. This is true even if you had no income from the United States ("U.S. source income"). The GLACIER Tax Prep link on the Glacier system will provide these forms, if applicable.

If you received any U.S. source income in the current calendar year, you may have to complete and mail the IRS Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ in addition to Form 8843, depending on the type and amount of U.S. source income you received. The GLACIER Tax Prep link on the Glacier system will provide these forms, if applicable.

If you received U.S. source income in the current calendar year, you are required to fill out and mail in IRS Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ in addition to Form 8843. You must file a tax form even if your employer deducted ("withheld") money from your paycheck for taxes. The amount that is deducted is an estimate, so you may, in fact, owe more or less than your employer subtracts. Therefore, you must file a tax form to calculate the difference between what you owe and what you paid. Also, even if a tax treaty applies to you and the amount you owe in taxes is reduced or eliminated, you are still required to file IRS Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ. The GLACIER Tax Prep link on the Glacier system will provide these forms, if applicable. Not filing a tax return is a violation of U.S. tax law.


Some international students and scholars are required to file a State of Ohio Tax Form. The GLACIER Tax Prep link on the Glacier system only provides assistance with the Federal tax return.


In order to meet these deadlines, the form must be postmarked on or before April 15 each calendar year

Form 1042-S

In order to complete your tax return, you will need some basic information about your employer, as well as detailed information about your income over the past year. As a nonresident alien, you will receive this information through Form 1042-S for your tax exemption amount or for your fellowship payments; U.S. citizens receive this information through Form W-2. As a nonresident alien you may receive a form W-2 for income that was not covered under the tax exemption.

Ohio State is required to furnish your yearly 1042-S by March 15 of the following year. You may elect to receive your 1042-S online through Glacier. Otherwise, you will receive a copy of Form 1042-S by U.S. Mail.

Some nonresident aliens may receive both a W-2 and a 1042-S. If this applies to you, then you may refer to W-2 Online for instructions on how you can access your W-2 form.

A 1042-S Form is a year-end tax document given to a Nonresident Alien who:

  1. Received wages under a tax treaty
  2. Received a fellowship payments
A Form 1042-S will be generated for each or all of the above. The Form 1042-S will indicate the income code, which describes the type of income. In certain cases, you may receive multiple 1042-S forms with different income codes.

Income Codes

16  Scholarship or Fellowship

17  Independent Personal Services

18  Dependent Personal Services (generally limited to individuals from Canada)

19  Teaching or Research

20  Studying and Training

42  Payments to Performers/Artists (without a CWA)

43  Payments to Performers/Artists (with a CWA)

54  Other Income

Form W-2 reports all taxable wages you received from The Ohio State University during the calendar year and all taxes withheld from those wages. The form serves as an annual statement that enables you to file your personal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as well as state and local taxes. Form W-2 reports only wages paid during the calendar year, regardless of when they were earned; that is, it does not include amounts earned but not paid until the next year. The University provides W-2 forms that are mailed out no later than January 31 each year. The Ohio State University employees may elect to receive their W-2 electronically or on paper.


For more information on gaining access to the Glacier system, please refer to the Glacier section above.