GLACIER General Information

Glacier FAQs

What is GLACIER?

GLACIER is a nonresident alien tax compliance system designed to allow institutions to efficiently and effectively collect information, make tax residency and treaty determinations, manage paperwork, maintain data, and file reporting statements with the IRS. Texas A&M University will be using this web-based tool to ensure tax compliance on payments made to foreign nationals.

NOTES:

  • Departments making payments to TAMU (M-PIN) Employees should follow the GLACIER Password request procedures provided by Payroll Services.
  • Departments making payments to Guest Speakers/Independent Contractors who are not TAMU employees should follow the GLACIER Password request procedures provided by Financial Management Operations – Accounts Payable.
  • Only individuals receiving payment for services need to access GLACIER. Payments for Travel expenses with receipts do not require this information.
Can I be exempt from tax withholding?

The U.S. maintains income tax treaties with approximately 63 countries. Certain taxable payments made to you (or portions of those payments) may be exempt from U.S. tax based on an income tax treaty entered into between the U.S. and your country of tax residence. The existence of a tax treaty does not automatically ensure an exemption from tax withholding; rather, you must satisfy the requirements for the exemption set forth in the tax treaty and provide all applicable forms and documents to the Institution Administrator as identified in GLACIER. If you qualify for a tax treaty exemption, you must complete and submit Form W-8BEN (for all scholarship, fellowship, or royalty payments) or Form 8233 (for all compensation payments).

How long will I be a nonresident alien?

Your Residency Status Change Date is the day on which your U.S. Residency Status for Tax Purposes will change, generally from Nonresident Alien for Tax Purposes to Resident Alien for Tax Purposes. The U.S. tax system is based on a calendar year period (January 1 - December 31). In most cases, when your U.S. Residency Status for Tax Purposes changes, you will become a Resident Alien for Tax Purposes retroactive to the first day of the calendar year during which your status changed; this day is called the Residency Status Start Date. Most students on F or J visas will be a nonresident for tax purposes for the first five years in the U.S. as an F or J student.

What if I do not submit my Glacier forms and documents?

If you do not complete the information in GLACIER and/or submit the required forms and documents in a timely fashion, the maximum amount of tax will be withheld from all payments made to you.

Why am I required to provide information in GLACIER?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. government tax authority, has issued strict regulations regarding the taxation and reporting of payments made to individuals who are not citizens or U.S. permanent residents. Because US tax regulations governing such individuals are different from those governing U.S. citizens or permanent residents, it is important to be sure payments made to you are appropriately taxed and that benefits such as tax treaties are correctly applied if you are eligible for them. The GLACIER Online Tax Compliance System is an efficient and effective way to manage tax liability and is much easier for you to use than the previously used paper forms.

Why is my tax status important?

In order to comply with U.S. tax laws, your U.S. Tax Residency Status must be determined. The Substantial Presence Test is used to determine whether an individual is a Nonresident Alien or Resident Alien for purposes of U.S. tax withholding. GLACIER Online Tax Compliance System will calculate your U.S. Residency Status for Tax Purposes based on the information provided by you. For many people, the test is simple, but for others it can become complex. Because of the complexity of the many exceptions to the rules for this test, it is much easier for the software program to help determine your tax residency than for you to try to do this by reading the tax regulations. However, if you want to read the regulations yourself, you may do so in IRS Publication 519, the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

International Employees/Students

Are international students and teachers/researchers exempt from paying federal income tax withholding?

An international employee is exempt from paying federal income tax withholding only if there is a tax treaty between the U.S. and the country for which the employee is trying to claim a treaty benefit. The employee must meet the conditions as set forth in the treaty.

In order to claim a treaty benefit, the employee must complete Form 8233 and Attachment to Form 8233. These documents are completed using the GLACIER Online Tax Compliance System and hard copies are submitted to Payroll Services for review. If approved, these documents are submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS has ten days to accept or reject the application.

Are students exempt from paying Social Security (OASI) and Medicare (OAHI) taxes?

Under IRS Section 3121(b)(10) of the Internal Revenue Code, students performing services as an employee of a college or University could be exempt if certain conditions are met.

For detailed information, go to the Student FICA Exemption Verification.

How can I tell if a USCIS-issued document has expired?

Individuals on specific visa types need to keep abreast of the expirations dates of their documents by periodically reviewing them.  Any questions as to the validity of the documents should be addressed with IFSS for faculty and staff or ISS for students.

How should the W4 form be completed for an international student or teacher/researcher?
A nonresident alien employee is required to complete form W4 using the GLACIER Online Tax Compliance System.
How will I be taxed on payments from U.S. sources?
  • If you receive dependent compensation (salary or wages), you are generally required to complete Form W-4 as "Single" (regardless of your actual marital status), "One" Personal Withholding Allowance (regardless of your actual number of dependents).
  • If you receive a scholarship or fellowship (for which NO services are required), your scholarship or fellowship may consist of nontaxable items (tuition, book allowance, required registration fees, and mandatory health insurance), Taxable items (including, but are not limited to, room and board, stipend, living allowance, travel payment/reimbursement), or a combination of both nontaxable and taxable items. If you are present in the U.S. under an F, J, M, or Q immigration status, the applicable rate of tax withholding is 14 percent; if you are present in the U.S. under any other immigration status, the applicable rate of tax withholding is 30 percent.
  • If you receive an honorarium, guest speaker fee, consultant fees, royalty, or any other type of income, the applicable rate of tax withholding is 30 percent.
What is the difference between a nonresident and a resident for tax purposes?

U.S. federal regulations use the term "alien" to refer to someone who is not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident. If you are a Nonresident Alien for Tax Purposes, you are subject to different tax withholding and reporting regulations than a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident; if you are a Resident Alien for Tax Purposes, you are taxed in the same manner as a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident. There are benefits and disadvantages to both situations. For additional details, you should refer to the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens. (Remember, many uses of the terms "resident" and "non-resident" exist. For instance, use of these terms occurs when determining your immigration status in the U.S. and also in relation to a student's residency status in Texas when paying in-state or out-of-state tuition. Neither of these definitions of "resident" or "non-resident" have anything to do with your tax residency status. For example, it is possible to be a "non-resident" for tax purposes but a "resident" for tuition purposes.)

When will I be able to get my W2 form?

If you signed up to receive your W-2 form electronically, you will receive an email no later than January 31st that it is available in HRConnect.

If you did not sign up to receive your W-2 electronically, the paper form will be mailed by no later than January 31st and available in HRConnect by the second week in February.

Why are my W-2 form wages less than my actual wage?

A W-2 worksheet will be available online in February through Single Sign On (SSO). The worksheet will show what information was used to create your Box 1 taxable wages.

Box 1 - Taxable wages = Gross pay + Longevity + Emoluments - Pretax deferred compensation (TRS/ORP/TDA/DCP) - Pretax health related deductions (medical, dental, vision, ADD and health spending accounts) - Pretax Parking

Box 3 - Social Security wages = Gross pay + Longevity + Emoluments - Pretax health related deductions (medical, dental, vision, ADD and health spending accounts) - Pretax Parking

Why does my Box 1 wages differ from my Box 3 Social Security wages?

The wages in these boxes are computed differently.

Box 1 - Taxable wages = Gross pay + Longevity + Emoluments - Pretax pension (TRS/ORP/TDA/DCP) - Pretax health related deductions (medical, dental, vision, ADD and health spending accounts) - Pretax Parking

Box 3 - Social Security wages = Gross pay + Longevity + Emoluments - Pretax health related deductions medical, dental, vision, ADD and health spending accounts) - Pretax Parking

Why does my last pay stub of the calendar year not match the wages information on my W2?

A W-2 worksheet will be available online in February through Single Sign On (SSO). The worksheet will show what information was used to create your Box 1 taxable wages.

Box 1 - Taxable wages = Gross pay + Longevity + Emoluments - Pretax deferred compensation (TRS/ORP/TDA/DCP) - Pretax health related deductions (medical, dental, vision, ADD and health spending accounts) - Pretax Parking

Box 3 - Social Security wages = Gross pay + Longevity + Emoluments - Pretax health related deductions (medical, dental, vision, ADD and health spending accounts) - Pretax Parking

1042 S

When and where will I be able to get my 1042S Form?

Payroll Services reports all 1042S Forms through the GLACIER online tax system and the forms should be ready for distribution no later than the end of February.

Individuals who had completed a GLACIER tax record during the previous calendar year and selected to receive their 1042S form electronically will be able to access their GLACIER record and print their 1042S form(s) for Wage/Compensation payments, Non-service Scholarship/Fellowship type payments, and Prize or Award payments. To determine whether you selected to receive the 1042S form electronically, log onto your GLACIER tax record and view your selection on the first screen under "User Agreement." If you have any questions email payroll@tamu.edu and include your UIN number.

Individuals who selected to receive their 1042S Form(s) electronically through GLACIER will receive a notice no later than February 15 via email letting them know that their 1042S Form(s) are ready. This email will contain specific instructions on how to access GLACIER and print your 1042S Form(s).

If you experience difficulty accessing your GLACIER record or printing your 1042S form, please contact Payroll Services via email at payroll@tamu.edu and indicate the problem. Please include your UIN number in the email.

If you selected NOT to receive an electronic Form 1042S via GLACIER or did not complete a GLACIER tax record during the previous calendar year, then your 1042S Form(s) will be mailed to you. If you do not receive your form by the first week of March, you can request a duplicate copy by submitting the following form, Request for Duplicate 1042S, to Payroll Services by mail, fax or in person.

Will I be receiving a 1042-S form?
  • If you received wages/compensation from TAMU and all or parts of these wages were exempt from Federal Income Tax because of a tax treaty, you should receive a 1042-S Form.
  • If you are a Nonresident for tax purposes and were billed International Withholding Tax on your student fee account, you should receive a 1042-S Form.
  • If you are a Nonresident for tax purposes and received a taxable non-service Scholarship/Fellowship/ Stipend payment(s) that was exempt from International Withholding tax because of a tax treaty, you should receive a 1042-S Form.
  • If you are a Nonresident for tax purposes and received a student travel reimbursement that was considered a non-service scholarship/fellowship and/or a Prize or Award payment that was subject to tax withholding, you should receive a 1042-S Form from TAMU.

Note: It is possible to receive more than one 1042-S Form from TAMU. For example, if you received wages/compensation type payments and non-service scholarship/fellowship type payments you will receive a 1042-S for each type of income. Or if you worked for different departments whose payroll is processed by different workstations, you could receive a 1042-S from each workstation.