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Annual Tax Filing

Tax Requirement

Non-immigrants in F or J status must file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), even if there is no U.S. source of income. It is very important to remain in strict compliance with U.S. tax regulations. Individuals in F-1 or J-1 status who receive a U.S. source of income that is subject to withholding, must file annually by April 15; others must file by June 15. Records should be kept for five years. International students and scholars (with the exception of permanent residents, resident aliens for tax purposes, or those married to U.S. citizens) must file a 1040-NR Form for Non-Residents. Non-resident aliens should not file forms 1040, 1040-A, or 1040-EZ.

ISSS does not provide tax assistance. The International Tax Office sponsors a workshop on taxes for international students and scholars each spring semester. Watch for announcements in the email listserv. Tax laws are subject to change. Therefore, you should check each year to know the current legal requirements.

Tax Terms

Federal Income Tax Brochure published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Nonresident Alien – If you are not a U.S. Citizen, you are considered a nonresident alien unless you meet the Green Card Test or Substantial Presence Test. IF you meet one of these two tests, you may be considered a resident alien for tax purposes only. For more information on these tests please see the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, IRS Publication 519. For more information see the VU Human Resources International Tax FAQs 2017.

Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, is used  to report wages paid to employees and the taxes withheld from them. The form is also used to report FICA taxes to the Social Security Administration. Relevant amounts on Form W-2 are reported by the Social Security Administration to the Internal Revenue Service.

Employers must complete a Form W-2 for each employee to whom they pay a salary, wage, or other compensation. The Form W-2 reports income on a calendar year (January 1 through December 31) basis, regardless of the fiscal year used by Vanderbilt for other Federal tax purposes. However, this refers to the time period in which an employee has been compensated, not necessarily the actual dates of employment. After the final payroll in December, employment is normally compensated and subject to tax in the following year.

You should receive your W-2 form from Vanderbilt in the mail by the end of January.

W-7 – Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). For use by individuals who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

ITIN – IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is for federal tax purposes only. IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

1042-S – Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income

1040NR – The forms 1040NR and its “easy” version 1040NR-EZ are to be used by nonresident aliens filing a tax return. Nonresident aliens (eg F-1, J-1, etc. holders) who have been in the US for less than 5 years should use the 1040NR form.

1098-T – Form 1098T is a form used to report certain tuition payments to the individual and the IRS. It can be used by U.S. tax residents (citizens, permanent residents, and residents under the substantial presence test) to claim certain tax credits.  Persons who are ‘nonresident aliens’ are not issued the form as you can not take any of those credits.

1099-INT – 1099 forms report various types of income other than wages, salaries, and tips. The 1099-INT form is used to report Interest Income from a Savings or Money Market bank account. You will receive this form by mail from your bank by February.

Form 8843: Special Filing for F-1, F-2, J-1 and J-2 Persons:
Persons in F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status must file Form 8843 even if they received NO income in 2011. If you are required to file an income tax return, you should also include Form 8843 with your income tax filing. Form 8843 is not an income tax return; it is merely an informational statement required by the US government and sent to the IRS.

Form 8843 must be filed if an individual is:

  • present in the U.S. during 2011
  • a nonresident alien
  • present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status

If an individual meets all three qualifications above, the individual must file Form 8843, regardless of the individual’s age and even if the individual is not required to file a U.S. income tax return as a non-resident alien for tax purposes (i.e. Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ).

In general, you do not need to have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taypayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to file Form 8843. However, if you have an ITIN or SSN you should put that number on the 8843.

An exception to this rule is for individuals who are eligible to be claimed as dependents on a U.S. income tax return. Such individuals must have an SSN/ITIN. Only nonresident aliens from a very limited number of countries may claim an exemption for their dependents on their U.S. income tax return (Form 1040NR). In such a case, any dependent who is claimed must have a SSN/ITIN. An exemption for spouse and/or dependents is only applicable if the country of tax residence is:

  • American Samoa
  • Canada
  • Korea
  • Mexico
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • India (applicable only to F-1 and J-1 students)

You can request an ITIN along with your tax filing for you dependents who can be claimed on your US tax return. Just include a completed W-7 with the 1040-NR or 1040NR-EZ.

GLACIER Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR)

All Vanderbilt employees, students, scholars with a nonimmigrant visa (i.e. not a US citizen or permanent resident) who have earned income from U.S. sources during last calendar year (January – December) are required by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to file a federal income tax return.

Federal income tax returns must be filed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by April 15!

You will receive an email with the link and password to this tax software when it becomes available.

You MUST PRINT and MAIL your tax return, GLACIER FNTR will NOT file your tax return electronically. Nonresident aliens are not eligible to file electronically. After you complete GLACIER FNTR, you must print, sign, and mail the tax return.

You should keep a copy of the tax return. GLACIER FNTR will delete all tax records on June 16, (or earlier if so requested) so you MUST keep a copy of the tax return for at least three calendar years following the date filed (four calendar years in total).


Need a new 1098-T Form?

You may request a replacement 1098-T from the Student Accounts Website.


Where’s my W-2 Form?

You can download and print your W-2 from C2HR.  Log onto C2HR and Click the Taxes link on the bottom right menu.


Getting Your 1042-S

Your 1042-S was mailed to the address you provided in GLACIER so please ensure your address information is correct.  If you have not received a 1042-S by March 20th, please contact International Tax Office immediately.

Please contact us by e-mail at



As in previous years, International Tax Office has purchased the tax preparation software called Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR).  The software is available free of charge to all Vanderbilt Nonresident Alien (employees, students and scholars) to assist you in preparing your tax return for U.S. Tax purposes. You can access the software at the following address:

FNTR is a web-based program and is used to file one of these tax forms:

• 1040NR
• 1040NR-EZ
• 8843

FNTR is easy to use.  All you need is your 1042-S and/or W-2 form and your immigration
information.  After you answer a few simple questions FNTR will generate the appropriate tax document.  You will print and mail the completed forms to the IRS along with the IRS copy of your W-2 and/or 1042-S.  In addition, FNTR provides online assistance as you go through the program.

Please note that Tennessee does not have State income tax requirements.  However, most other States do, so if you earned income in another State other than Tennessee during 2012,
you should contact your former employer or State tax office for information on that State’s tax filing requirements.

Finally, please bear in mind that the FNTR program is available only to Vanderbilt Nonresident Alien for U.S. Tax Purposes employees, students and scholar who need to file one of the three forms mentioned above.  It cannot be used by friends and family members who are not spouses or dependent children.


FNTR Intstructions

1. The FNTR Access Code for Vanderbilt University is provided by the International Tax Office,

2. Go to and click on the New User REGISTRATION link.

3. Complete the registration process by entering your full name, e-mail address and creating a user name and password.

4. Gather all of the requested documents listed on the instructions and use the information to complete the tax preparation questionnaire.

5. Once the tax forms are completed, review, print, sign and then mail the tax filing forms to the IRS at the address provided in FNTR Remember to include all required supporting documents (e.g. 1042-S, W-2).


Employees Considered “Resident Aliens” for Tax Purposes

FNTR is for international employees who are considered a “Nonresident Alien for Tax Purposes.”  It cannot be used by employees who are considered a “Resident Alien for Tax
Purposes.”  FNTR will determine whether you are a non-resident or resident for tax purposes as you answer the questionnaire.

If you are unable to use the FNTR program because you are considered a “Resident Alien for Tax Purposes,” and need assistance with completing tax forms, we recommend that you seek the advice of one of the numerous tax preparation services in Nashville or visit the IRS website at

In addition, as in previous years, Vanderbilt has coordinated with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, to provide free on-campus, tax preparation assistance to Vanderbilt employees, students and scholars who earned less than $57,000 in 2012.  Information on VITA’s on-campus availability and location can be found at  Trained VITA volunteers will prepare your taxes and e-file them but please note that VITA staff may not be experts on international tax issues.

Another VITA resource is through the United Way VITA Program. Call the United Way Helpline at 211 or visit the United Way website.

IMPORTANT:  Neither ISSS nor International Tax Office provides tax-related personal advice; cannot answer specific, personal tax related questions; and cannot prepare your tax return.

IRS Resources

International Taxpayers Information

Foreign Students and Scholars Information

U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens

Filing Your Taxes

Free File: Do Your Federal Taxes for Free

Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)