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International Tax FAQs

How does Vanderbilt collect my information to make an assessment of my taxes?
Vanderbilt uses an online database called GLACIER to collect information to make a tax assessment.  GLACIER is the secure online database used to collect and manage tax information for all international persons receiving payment from Vanderbilt.

What do I need to do to be sure I have the right amount of tax withdrawn?
When the International Tax Office (ITO) is notified that you will be receiving payments, we will send you an email with instructions to access GLACIER. You will receive an email from which will contain your GLACIER access codes.  You must complete the GLACIER questionnaire, then print and sign the completed forms. You can send the forms by regular postal mail, scan and email them, or drop off the signed forms and any listed copies of immigration documents to the address listed in the GLACIER instructions. If you have problems completing GLACIER please contact

What taxes are paid in the USA?
There are three federal taxes that are paid in the USA:  Social Security Tax, Medicare Tax and Income Tax.  Social Security Tax and Medicare Tax together are referred to as FICA.

Will I have to pay U.S. tax?
F-1 and J-1 students are exempt from FICA taxes for the first 5 calendar years of status.  Additionally, in certain situations, if an F-1 or J-1 continues to be a student for more than 5 years, they can continue to receive the FICA exemption.  J-1 non-students (researchers, professors, trainees, etc.) are exempt from FICA taxes for the first two calendar years of J-1 status.

Income tax is paid unless there is an Income Tax Treaty between your country of tax residence and the US that exempts you from paying income tax.  Note that your country of tax residence may be different than your country of birth or country of citizenship.  The country of tax residence is the country you resided in for at least one year immediately before coming to the US.  When you complete GLACIER, you will be informed if there is a tax treaty that can be applied to exempt you from income tax.

Am I required to update GLACIER when my address or status changes?
Yes.  Your GLACIER record must remain accurate as changes to your personal information may affect your tax withholding and exemptions.  Be sure to update changes to your address, compensation type, immigration status, and anything else that changes that is part of your GLACIER entry.  This includes your departure date(s) from the U.S.

Which tax forms will I receive at the end of the year?

  1. If you have a job, receive a paycheck and don't have a tax treaty benefit you will receive a W-2 at the end of the year.
  2. If you have a job, receive a paycheck and do have a tax treaty benefit you will receive a 1042-S at the end of the year. If your tax treaty has a limit, you may also receive a W-2.
  3. If you have a reportable stipend or other taxable income and do have tax treaty benefits you will receive a 1042-S.
  4. If you did not have a job, but receive a stipend or other taxable income, you will receive a 1042-S.
  5. If you have a job and also receive a reportable stipend or other taxable income, and don't have a tax treaty benefit you will receive both a W-2 and 1042-S.

Need your W-2?
The W-2 is mailed no later than Jan. 31 of each year.  Be sure your address is correct in the payroll system before the end of the year so that your W-2 is sent to the correct address. W-2 forms are available electronically in your Oracle account.

Need your 1042-S?
The 1042-S is made available electronically or mailed no later than March 15 of each year.  When you enroll in GLACIER you can request electronic delivery of the 1042-S and it will be available 24 hours/day in your GLACIER account.  We recommend that you request electronic delivery when you set up your GLACIER account.  

What do I do if my taxes are wrong on my paycheck?
If you believe your taxes are wrong, please send an email to explaining why you believe your taxes have been calculated incorrectly. We will review the information and the IRS tax regulations and provide you with an explanation. If a correction is needed, we will explain how the correction will be made. If necessary, an appointment will be scheduled.

How do I get help in preparing my annual tax return?
Vanderbilt’s International Tax Office  cannot provide personal tax assistance with annual tax filings.  We can provide you with information regarding community resources that provide taxpayer assistance.  Vanderbilt uses web-based tax preparation software, GLACIER TAX PREP, to assist nonresident aliens with their tax return preparation.  This information is provided by e-mail in March of each year.  Please keep in mind that nonresident aliens cannot file their taxes using the IRS Free File option.  As a nonresident you are not permitted to file your tax return electronically.