Filing Taxes

All international students and scholars present in the U.S. must file a Form 8843 each year, regardless of whether you were employed in the U.S. or not. You can refer to this Form 8843 Online Wizard for additional assistance with filing form 8843. If you worked or received a stipend, grant, or allowance in the UC you may also need to file a Form 1040NR.

Note: ISSS advisors are not tax experts and are legally prohibited from giving you tax advice. It is your responsibility to determine how to file your taxes and/or find a tax preparation service.

To help you navigate this task, we have prepared the following list of information, sites, and resources:

Tax Filing Deadline

  • April 18, 2022

Tax Filing Assistance

UC Santa Cruz has arranged access to Glacier Tax Prep to assist international students and scholars who are Nonresidents for tax purposes, and who have an account with Glacier Tax Compliance System, with preparing U.S. federal tax returns.

If you have questions about how to navigate GLACIER, please contact Lana Ballow in Financial Affairs at Please limit questions to Glacier only, as UCSC is unable to offer tax advice.  
Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) is an online tax preparation software that is supported by Glacier, specifically designed for Nonresidents and supported by experienced tax experts in tax filing for Nonresidents for tax purposes. UCSC has a license with Glacier, and there is no cost to students and scholars to use GTP. If you have questions about how to navigate GTP or if you have any tax-specific questions, please contact the GTP support team of experienced tax experts at Do not contact the UCSC payroll department with tax questions, as they are legally prohibited from giving tax advice.
The IRS does not currently allow Forms 1040NR-EZ to be filed electronically. Individuals must print, sign, and mail the tax returns/forms generated by GTP.
Therefore, they must have access to a printer, preferably at the time the data is entered.

You must file both a U.S. and California state tax return if you received the following income in 2021: 

  • Compensation/Wages (payment for services performed)
  • Non-service Scholarships and Fellowships
  • Stipend, grant, or allowance
  • Capital gains (buying/selling stock)
  • Dividends
  • Bank interest (checking or savings)
  • Self-employment income (Uber, etc)
  • Gambling
  • Prizes/Awards
  • Other income


Global Programming is working in collaboration with UCSC Financial Affairs, and the California State Tax Franchise Board, to bring online tax workshops. Topics covered will include who must file a U.S. tax return, residency for tax purposes, FICA, and more. Dates and times for different federal and state tax workshops are available below.

  • Monday, April 11, 2022, 12:00 - 14:00 PST – California State Tax Workshop for International Students & Scholars

Federal Taxes for International Students & Scholars


Graduate Student Association (GSA) Tax Workshop

The Graduate Student Association is sponsoring special tax workshops through the Graduate Student Commons. You can find information about this year's tax workshops below:
  • Tuesday, March 1: 2:30 pm - 4:30 p.m. (for International Non-Resident students)
  • Monday, March 14: 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. (for Domestic students, and residents for tax purposes)
  • Wednesday, April 6: 5 - 7 p.m. (last-chance session for all students) 
The zoom links to all three sessions are in this google form to register

This seminar will feature a 30-40 minute presentation by a tax professional followed by a tax workshop in which tax professionals will go over your tax forms with you and give you personalized advice. Bring your tax forms (1098-T, W-2, 1042-S, 1099-Misc, if you have them), and don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Information about the GSA Tax workshops can be found here. Be sure to keep checking the site for updates for this year.

Tax Resources

Additional information

Helpful Tax Sites & Resources

Beware of Tax Scams

Tax Preparation Software

  • Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) is an online tax preparation software that assists international students and scholars with federal tax filing. UCSC has a license with GLACIER. If you have questions about how to navigate GTP or if you have any tax-specific questions, please contact GTP support team of experienced tax experts at Do not contact the UCSC payroll department with tax questions, as they are legally prohibited from giving tax advice.
  • Sprintax is a company that assists international students and scholars with both federal and state tax filing. We have arranged for a $3 discount to use their software for your state tax filing. You can get this discount by going through our referral link and using the code "21UCSC500S3".

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

California State Franchise Tax Board

UC Santa Cruz

Other Resources

Basic Tax Vocabulary

Adapted from the IRS Understanding Taxes Glossary

  • IRS: Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. federal agency responsible for tax collection
  • Alien: Any person who is not a U.S. citizen
  • Non-Resident Alien for Tax Purposes: Generally, aliens that do not meet the "substantial presence test"
  • Resident Alien for Tax Purposes: Generally, aliens who meet one of the two criteria in the "substantial presence test"
  • Substantial Presence Test: Defined in detail here by the IRS.
  • Compensation/Earnings: Wages, salaries, tips, etc.
  • Income: Wages, salaries, tips, commissions, interest, dividends, some scholarship/fellowship grants
  • Exemptions: Amount taxpayers can claim for themselves, their spouses, and eligible dependents. There are two types of exemptions-personal and dependency. Each exemption reduces the income subject to tax.
  • Refund: Money owed to taxpayers when their total tax payments are greater than the total tax. Refunds are received from the government.
  • Income Tax Return: Statement filed (submitted) by an individual taxpayer to IRS
  • U.S. Federal Income Tax: Income tax imposed by the U.S. federal government
  • California Income Tax: Income tax imposed by California state government
  • Social Security & Medicare Taxes: Social Security (FICA) and Medicare are U.S. government programs that provide benefits to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, generally for retirement. The programs are financed through paychecks of working individuals. Students that are classified as Non-Resident for tax purposes are not required to pay into Social Security or Medicare. Those in J-2 status may be required to pay into Social Security, as are students who have become classified as Resident for tax purposes.