Tax Requirements

All international students and employees with the F-1, J-1, and H-1B visa categories, and their dependents, must file certain tax forms with the federal government.

  • If you were present in the U.S. during any part of the year, you must file tax forms. (e.g. if you were in the U.S. in 2020, then you will file a tax form in 2021)
  • You must file forms even if you received no taxable income during the year, or if your income is tax exempt under a tax treaty.

Getting started

The OISS will send all students/scholars an email with a personalized access code for Glacier by March 20. Once available, you will get additional instructions on logging in, creating a profile, and filing. If you do not receive an access code by March 20, email your advisor. Don't know your advisor? See this list!

Gather the following documents and information before logging in to GLACIER Tax Prep:

  • Passport
  • Immigration Docs (I-20 or DS-2019)
  • SSN or ITIN (if you have been assigned one)
  • Address Information (US and Foreign)
  • U.S. Entry and Exit Dates - current and past!
  • Academic Institution Information
  • Forms W-2, 1042-S and/or 1099 (if you received one)
  • A copy of your 2017 federal tax return, if you filed one in 2018

Tax guidance

GLACIER Tax Prep is an easy-to-use online tool that will help you prepare your federal tax returns will soon be available to Northwestern students and scholars. You will receive an email from your international student advisor no later than March 20, containing your personalized Glacier Tax Prep access code. If you did not receive an email and were present in the U.S. in 2020, please email your advisor for a GLACIER Tax Prep access code. List of Advisors

The staff at the OISS are not trained tax professionals and are not able to provide one-on-one advising regarding filing tax returns, questions about forms, etc. We can provide general advice and information, and we can direct you toward tax resources:

Internal Revenue Services (IRS)

Resources from the IRS for international taxpayers, specifically international students and scholars can be found on the IRS website.

IRS International Taxpayers

Tax forms you might need and where to get them

W-2 Statement of Wages

  • These forms are for all students and scholars that received employment wages, excluding any wages exempt from taxes under a tax treaty. By Jan 31, you should have received a W-2 from each employer who paid you in the prior year.
  • If you had this type of income from Northwestern and did not receive this form, please visit the payroll website for details on obtaining a reprint. If you had this type of income from an employer other than Northwestern, please contact them directly.


1098-T Tuition Payments Statement

  • Contact Student Accounts at 847-491-5224 with any questions. You may also obtain this by logging into CAESAR.


1098-E Student Loan Interest Statement

  • Contact Student Loans at 847-491-3125 with any questions.


1040NR Nonresident Alien Income Tax Form for Federal Tax Returns (GLACIER Tax Prep will help you complete this form)

1042-S Foreign Persons U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding

  • About this form: Form 1042-S is created for anyone considered a nonresident alien for US tax purposes who received payments from the university for fellowship/scholarship, independent contracted services, prizes/awards, or royalties as well as anyone with a benefit under a tax treaty with their resident country. By late-February, you will receive your 1042-S Form for the prior tax year.
  • Contact Payroll at 847-491-7362 or view HR's webpage about this form.


8843 Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition (GLACIER Tax Prep will help you complete this form)

This form is mandatory for any F or J student for the first 5 calendar years they are in the U.S., even if you do not earn any U.S. income. J non-students are required to complete this form for the first 2 of any 7-year period, even if you do not earn any U.S. income.


1095-B & 1095-C

Starting with tax year 2015, New Affordable Care Act (ACA) laws require all benefits eligible employees and students will receive Form 1095.  Benefits eligible employees receive 1095-C from the University and 1095-B are sent from AETNA. Those individuals that are categorized as non-residents for tax purposes are not subject to ACA laws. Anyone who is a tax resident is subject and will need this form to file their taxes.

State tax forms

You are required to complete a State Tax Return for each state in which you worked in 2020. If the state you worked in is not on our list, try googling the state name and "State Tax Return."