Controller's Office

International Employees

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. government tax authority, requires Bowdoin College to collect information from all non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent resident aliens to determine the appropriate rate of tax withholding and reporting for any payments that may be made to such individuals.  For assistance with determining this information, Bowdoin College provides you with access to a software system called GLACIER Online Tax Compliance SystemThe Controller's Office and Student Employment Office (for students) will work with you to complete the online process and appropriate forms so that the correct tax withholding and reporting decisions are made for you.  Information provided to GLACIER is transmitted and stored securely and will only be used by Bowdoin College for purposes of tax withholding and reporting. 

Filing your Federal Tax Return:

GLACIER Tax Prep is a tax return preparation software program designed primarily for Nonresident Alien students, scholars, trainees, researchers, and other educational immigration statuses to prepare their U.S. Federal income tax return (form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ).  Use of the software is free of charge, but is limited to people with Bowdoin College connections. 

GTP logo

GLACIER Tax Prep will be available for the 2013 tax-filing season in the middle of February 2014. The Controller’s Office will send an email to all Nonresident Aliens associated with Bowdoin when the software becomes available. 

Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes may seek assistance from CA$H Maine; a local non-profit organization that prepares tax returns at no charge by IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers.   Other options include using one of the free tax preparations services listed at the U.S. Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service web site or paying to use commercial tax preparation software.  Two examples of the many such products available are Turbo Tax or H&R Block At Home.  

Filing your State of Maine Tax Return:

Maine Revenue Services offers links to software companies offering tax preparation and e-filing services for filing your tax return. 

The information contained in this web site is not a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Service or a qualified tax professional.

The IRS sent me an email in which they asked for tax return information and my social security number. Can I safely assume it is spam?

Yes, it is spam!  If it includes a link to a web site, do NOT click on it as it may download a virus on your computer.  The IRS will only reach out to you via a US Postal Service letter.  They will never never never ask for credit card information, pin numbers, SSN and/or ITIN through email.

Where can I obtain assistance with my federal income tax return?

Bowdoin College offers GLACIER Tax Prep, a free tax filing software for our international students, scholars and guests who are Nonresident Aliens.  Although not recommended because of unique Nonresident Alien situations, you may also seek assistance of an outside professional tax preparer.  We regret that Bowdoin staff cannot advise you on your individual taxes.

Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes may seek assistance from CA$H Maine; a local non-profit organization that prepares tax returns at no charge by IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers.   Other options include using one of the free tax preparations services listed at the U.S. Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service web site or paying to use commercial tax preparation software.  Two examples of the many such products available are Turbo Tax or H&R Block At Home.

I received wages from Bowdoin. When must I file my U.S. tax return?

You must file your tax return by April 15 (or the next business day if April 15 falls on a weekend or holiday).

How can I access GLACIER Tax Prep?

You will receive an email from the Controller’s Office when the software is available…. generally by March 15; this email will contain a link to GLACIER Tax Prep and instructions on how to access the software.  You may also access the software via the Controller’s Office / Payroll / International web page

Why do you recommend that I (as a Nonresident Alien) use GLACIER Tax Prep?

GLACIER Tax Prep will help you:

  • determine your U.S. residency status for tax filing purposes.  Note:  Even though you are a Nonresident Alien for immigration purposes, you may be a U.S. Resident for tax filing purposes.  GLACIER Tax Prep will determine this for you.
  • collect information about your income to determine if you are eligible for a tax exemption based on a tax treaty.
  • ensure all applicable deductions or allowances are applied.
  • prepare the correct tax forms applicable to your situation.
  • provide instructions on which documents to attach to the tax return and when and where to mail the tax return.

What is the difference between Resident Alien and a Nonresident Alien?

A Resident Alien for Tax purposes is treated in the same manner as a U.S. citizen when filing a tax return and paying taxes; a Resident Alien for Tax purposes must report ALL income from ALL sources, regardless of whether from the U.S. or foreign payers.  A Nonresident Alien for Tax purposes has a completely different method of having tax withheld, completing tax forms and tax documents, and is eligible for limited deductions and allowances when paying taxes; a Nonresident Alien for Tax purposes reports and pays tax on money that he or she received from U.S. sources only.

Will I always be a Nonresident alien?

No, the time period for which you are a Nonresident Alien for Tax purposes depends on the results of what is called the “Substantial Presence Test.” Individuals present in the U.S. under an F, J, M, or Q STUDENT immigration status will be a Nonresident Alien for the first FIVE calendar years they are present in the U.S.; individuals present in the U.S. under a J or Q NON-STUDENT immigration status will be a Nonresident Alien for the first TWO calendar years they are present in the United States. GLACIER Tax Prep will determine your status based on your facts and circumstances.

Do I have to file a tax return even if I did not receive a paycheck?

Yes, the requirement to file a federal tax return is based on receiving income from U.S. sources – not solely on receiving a paycheck.  Other types of income may include free housing, travel to/from a conference, scholarship, stipend, prize, and award.  As a general rule, if you did not receive any income from U.S. Sources, you are not required to file a U.S. tax return; however, if you are a Nonresident Alien who is present in the U.S. under an F, J, M or Q immigration status, you are required to file Form 8843, regardless of whether or not you have received any income.

I received funds from sources outside of the U.S. Do I have to include the amount on my U.S. tax return?

Nonresident Aliens are not required to report or pay tax on money that they received from sources outside the United States.  Resident Alien for Tax purposes must include income from ALL sources (both U.S. and foreign) on the U.S. tax return.

I am a student employee at Bowdoin. Am I required to obtain a social security number?

Yes, any individual who works in the U.S. as an employee is required to obtain a SSN.  Individuals who complete a tax return in GLACIER Tax Prep and do not have an SSN will be prompted to complete Form W-7 to apply for an ITIN in connection with the filing of the tax return.

What forms should I have received by January 31st of the following year?

The forms that you receive depend on the facts of your particular situation. In general,

W-2 Wage and Tax Statement

  • If you earned income in the tax filing year and you did not claim a tax treaty exemption, you will need your W-2 Form from Bowdoin or from the employer under whom you earned income in the tax filing year.

Form 1042-S

  • A Nonresident Alien student or scholar who was employed and was exempt under a tax treaty in the tax filing year will receive a Form 1042-S.
  • A Nonresident Alien student or scholar who received a taxable fellowship/award/stipend in the tax filing year will receive a 1042-S.
  • A Nonresident Alien who received a non-employee service payment will receive a 1042-S.

Form 1099

  • In some cases you may receive a Form 1099 (DIV, G, INT, or MISC).  Generally Nonresident Aliens should not receive such forms; however, if you do, you may use the information on the form to complete GLACIER Tax Prep.

You should not receive Form 1098-T; however, if you do receive the form, retain with your copy of your tax return.  Do not enter the information in GLACIER Tax Prep. 

I claimed a tax treaty exemption in the tax filing year. Do I have to file a tax return?

Yes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to report the amount of tax treaty exemption for the calendar year.

I became a Resident Alien during tax filing year. Can I use GLACIER Tax Prep?

No.  GLACIER Tax Prep is only available to Nonresident Aliens.

I was a Nonresident Alien but my country does not have a tax treaty with the U.S. Can I still use GLACIER Tax Prep?

Yes.  GLACIER Tax Prep is available to all Nonresident Aliens.

If I worked in the U.S. in the tax filing year but have since left the United States, do I have to file taxes in the United States?

Yes, all individuals who were present in the U.S. must file a tax return for that tax filing year.

I received a Form 1098-T from the Controller’s Office but GLACIER Tax Prep did not prompt me for the information. What should I do with the form?

Nonresident Aliens should not receive Form 1098-T; if you incorrectly received the form, attach the form to your copy of the tax return and do NOT enter any data from Form 1098-T into GLACIER Tax Prep.

Can I use GLACIER Tax Prep to file my State Tax return?

No, GLACIER Tax Prep is for U.S. federal income tax return only.  When you have finished your federal tax return, GLACIER Tax Prep will provide you with a link to the State of Maine’s website.

Where can I get more information or assistance?

If you have questions or need assistance, please click on “Online Help” at the bottom of any screen in GLACIER Tax Prep. DO NOT include your social security number or ITIN in your message.  ALL support questions are handled by GLACIER Tax Prep Support via the “Online Help” feature; no phone calls will be accepted.

Can I file my tax return electronically?

The IRS does not allow Nonresident Aliens to electronically file Forms 1040NR/N1040NRZ; you must print, sign and mail it to the IRS; refer to GLACIER Tax Prep’s instruction sheet for the mailing address applicable to your specific situation.

Should I make a copy of my tax return?

Yes, prior to mailing your tax return, make a copy of the tax return.  Retain the copy for three calendar years after you file your tax return.

Where should I mail my tax return form(s)?

The specific mailing address will depend on your particular situation; refer to GLACIER Tax Prep’s instruction sheet that prints with your tax return to find the correct mailing address for your specific situation.

How long will it take to get my refund?

If you request a tax refund via direct deposit, you should receive your refund within 6-12 weeks.  If you request a tax refund via a check, you should receive your refund within 12-18 weeks.

What are the consequences of not filing a U.S. tax return?

Please keep in mind that paying income tax is not voluntary - it is required by law.  One of the conditions of your visa is to follow U.S. laws.  If you owe taxes and do not file, the IRS can assess penalty and interest.

Can I view and/or print prior years’ return?

If you have previously used GLACIER Tax Prep to prepare a tax return and you have logged into that same account, you may obtain the unofficial copy of your tax return in the dropdown menu. If you do not see the year you wish in the dropdown list, then you did not use GLACIER Tax Prep for that year or you used a different account. If you are contacted by the IRS, you must have the copy of the SIGNED tax return; this copy should be located in your personal tax file.

I graduated from Bowdoin last Spring. As an alumnus, can I still access GLACIER Tax Prep via GLACIER?

Yes, you may access your “terminated” GLACIER record to print Form 1042-S (if electronically posted) and to access GTP only.