Social Security & Taxes

Social Security & Taxes

The International Office at UT Austin is an IRS VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) site that offers free tax assistance to nonresident aliens who need help to prepare their own tax return.

Our tax advising is focused on providing assistance in understanding filing instructions, how to navigate GLACIER Tax Prep, and general questions regarding nonresident taxes. Any specific tax situations that cannot be addressed by our volunteers will need to be discussed with a licensed professional tax advisor.

All volunteers have completed training through the IRS VITA program and as such are protected from liability under the Volunteer Protection Act. The taxpayer is ultimately responsible for the information on their tax returns.

Filing Taxes in the U.S.

As an international student or scholar, much of your U.S.-sourced income is subject to taxation. It is a federal obligation to file a tax return if you earned U.S.-sourced income as nonresident alien. A tax return is a compilation of various tax forms that compares what an international student or scholar paid in taxes against what the U.S. government calculates the student/scholar should have paid in taxes during the prior calendar year.

There are two different tax statuses for an international student or scholar: resident alien for tax purposes and nonresident alien for tax purposes. These tax statuses are significant because they determine what U.S. tax laws you will follow. The tax laws for the nonresident aliens for tax purposes are much different from the tax laws for resident aliens for tax purposes. Filing under the incorrect tax designation may result in taxes owed back to the government, so it is important to know your status to file correctly. These tax statuses are not the same as your current immigration status or your Texas residency.

Tax Assistance

International Student & Scholar Services is able to provide assistance for filing nonresident U.S. tax returns. This web site will help you:

  • Understand the filing instructions
  • Prepare and print your own federal tax returns through GLACIER Tax Prep
  • Answer general questions regarding nonresident taxes

Other helpful links