Common Scenarios

The following situational requirements will walk you through what is required in each situation.

Jump to:

  • Tax scenario #1: I am an international student/scholar, and I had no earned income in 2016, nor did I receive a W-2.
  • Tax scenario #2: I worked for Northwestern (or for another employer) in 2016, and I have a W-2. -OR- I worked for Northwestern (or for another employer) in 2016, and I have a W-2 and 1042-S.
  • Tax scenario #3: I am a nonresident student who received scholarship/fellowship income and did not receive a W-2. (I have a 1042-S) -OR- I have scholarship/fellowship income that is exempt from taxes under a tax treaty and do not have a W-2. (1042-S)

Tax scenario #1

I am an international student/scholar, and I had no earned income in 2016, nor did I receive a W-2.

What am I required to file?

All F-1 and J-1 students (and their F-2/J-2 dependents), are required to file the IRS Form 8843 regardless of whether they have income in the U.S. or not for the first 5 calendar years they are in the U.S. All J-1 non-students and their J-2 dependents, are required to file the IRS Form 8843 regardless of whether they have income in the U.S. or not for the first 2 calendar years they are in the U.S. in a 7-year period. Use GLACIER Tax Prep to complete and mail your Form 8843.

Anyone who received a W-2 should proceed to tax scenario #2.

Deadline

Form 8843 is due June 15, 2017.

Tax scenario #2

  1. I worked for Northwestern (or for another employer) in 2016, and I have a W-2.
  2. I worked for Northwestern (or for another employer) in 2016, and I have a W-2 and 1042-S.

What am I required to to file?

An individual who received a W-2 and who was employed in the U.S. in 2016 is required to file a Federal Tax Return and a State Tax Return. State Tax Returns may be required for each state in which you were employed. We will cover information specific to Illinois.

The correct tax forms to be filed depend on an individuals residency status for tax purposes. GLACIER Tax Prep will determine your residency for tax purposes and only files for non-residents. If GLACIER Tax Prep determines you are a resident for tax purposes, you will not be able to use GLACIER Tax Prep, and will need to file using publicly available resources. For more information, visit www.irs.gov/filing.

Federal Tax Return: All nonresident aliens for tax purposes who earned income in the U.S. in 2016 must complete and file the Form 1040NR or if eligible Form 1040NR-EZ. GLACIER Tax Prep will prepare these forms and provide instructions to you for submitting your return to the IRS. All nonresident aliens are also required to complete and submit Form 8843 as well.

State Tax Return: All nonresident aliens for tax purposes who earned income in the state of Illinois in 2016 must complete and file Illinois Form 1040. If you worked in another state in 2016, then you will need to file a return for that state. A few reminders when filing Illinois Form 1040:

  • If you do not have an Illinois Drivers License, you may not e-file the IL-1040, and will need to fill out and submit a paper form.
  • If you do not have a U.S. SSN or ITIN, you should leave that BLANK in Step 1, Part A of the IL-1040 form.
  • State of Illinois Schedule NR is used for individuals who earned income in a state other than Illinois in 2016 (this form does not indicate someone who lived outside of the U.S.)
  • When completeing IL-1040, Step 2, Line 1 asks for Adjusted Gross Income from your Federal 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ:
    • Adjusted Gross Income can be found on Federal Form 1040NR on line 36
    • Adjusted Gross Income can be found on Federal Form 1040NR-EZ on line 10
  • Illinois Income Tax is automatically withheld from wage (W-2) income only. Income report on Form 1042-S will not have Illinois Income Tax withheld and these taxes are the individuals responsibility, as applicable.
  • IL-1040 refers to "nonresidents" as a term for someone who has lived in a U.S. state other than Illinois. This is confusing because it is different than the federal definition.
  • Step 10 of IL-1040 will indicate if you are owed a refund or owe taxes -- please ensure you have calculated your overpayment or underpayment in one of those boxes.

Deadline

Both Federal and State Tax Returns must be filed by April 18, 2017.

Tax scenario #3

  1. I am a nonresident student who received scholarship/fellowship income and did not receive a W-2. (I have a 1042-S)
  2. I have scholarship/fellowship income that is exempt from taxes under a tax treaty and do not have a W-2. (1042-S)

What am I required to file?

Payments for scholarship/fellowships as well as wages paid under a tax treaty are reported on Form 1042-S, which are prepared and mailed from the university in late-February. For questions regarding the 1042-S, contact the Office of Payroll. An individual who received a 1042-S for 2016 is required to file a Federal Tax Return and a State Tax Return.

The correct tax forms to be filed depend on an individuals residency status for tax purposes. GLACIER Tax Prep will determine your residency for tax purposes and only files for non-residents. If GLACIER Tax Prep determines you are a resident for tax purposes, you will not be able to use GLACIER Tax Prep, and will need to file using publicly available resources. For more information, visit www.irs.gov/filing.

Federal Tax Return: All nonresident aliens for tax purposes who earned income in the U.S. in 2016 must complete and file the Form 1040NR or if eligible Form 1040NR-EZ. GLACIER Tax Prep will prepare these forms and provide instructions to you for submitting your return to the IRS. All nonresident aliens are also required to complete and submit Form 8843 as well.

State Tax Return: All nonresident aliens for tax purposes who earned income in the state of Illinois in 2016 must complete and file Illinois Form 1040. If you worked in another state in 2016, then you will need to file a return for that state. A few reminders when filing Illinois Form 1040:

  • If you do not have an Illinois Drivers License, you may not e-file the IL-1040, and will need to fill out and submit a paper form.
  • If you do not have a U.S. SSN or ITIN, you should leave that BLANK in Step 1, Part A of the IL-1040 form.
  • State of Illinois Schedule NR is used for individuals who earned income in a state other than Illinois in 2016 (this form does not indicate someone who lived outside of the U.S.)
  • When completeing IL-1040, Step 2, Line 1 asks for Adjusted Gross Income from your Federal 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ:
    • Adjusted Gross Income can be found on Federal Form 1040NR on line 36
    • Adjusted Gross Income can be found on Federal Form 1040NR-EZ on line 10
  • Illinois Income Tax is automatically withheld from wage (W-2) income only. Income report on Form 1042-S will not have Illinois Income Tax withheld and these taxes are the individuals responsibility, as applicable.
  • IL-1040 refers to "nonresidents" as a term for someone who has lived in a U.S. state other than Illinois. This is confusing because it is different than the federal definition.
  • Step 10 of IL-1040 will indicate if you are owed a refund or owe taxes -- please ensure you have calculated your overpayment or underpayment in one of those boxes.

Deadline

If a nonresident alien only has a 1042-S, they have until June 15, 2017 to file their federal tax return. Illinois, however, requires all state taxes to be remitted no later than April 18, 2017.