GLACIER Frequently Asked Questions

GLACIER is a nonresident alien tax compliance system designed to allow institutions to efficiently and effectively collect information, make tax residency and treaty determinations, manage paperwork, maintain data, and file reporting statements with the IRS. Texas A&M University will be using this web-based tool to ensure tax compliance on payments made to foreign nationals.


  • Departments making payments to TAMU (M-PIN) Employees should follow the GLACIER Password request procedures.
  • Departments making payments to Guest Speakers/Independent Contractors who are not TAMU employees should follow the GLACIER Password request procedures provided by Accounts Payable.
  • Only individuals receiving payment for services need to access GLACIER. Payments for Travel expenses with receipts do not require this information.

The U.S. maintains income tax treaties with approximately 63 countries. Certain taxable payments made to you (or portions of those payments) may be exempt from U.S. tax based on an income tax treaty entered into between the U.S. and your country of tax residence. The existence of a tax treaty does not automatically ensure an exemption from tax withholding; rather, you must satisfy the requirements for the exemption set forth in the tax treaty and provide all applicable forms and documents to the Institution Administrator as identified in GLACIER. If you qualify for a tax treaty exemption, you must complete and submit Form W-8BEN (for all scholarship, fellowship, or royalty payments) or Form 8233 (for all compensation payments).

Your Residency Status Change Date is the day on which your U.S. Residency Status for Tax Purposes will change, generally from Nonresident Alien for Tax Purposes to Resident Alien for Tax Purposes. The U.S. tax system is based on a calendar year period (January 1 – December 31). In most cases, when your U.S. Residency Status for Tax Purposes changes, you will become a Resident Alien for Tax Purposes retroactive to the first day of the calendar year during which your status changed; this day is called the Residency Status Start Date. Most students on F or J visas will be a nonresident for tax purposes for the first five years in the U.S. as an F or J student. If you are not a full-time student, the substantial presence test will determine your tax residency status. 

If you do not complete the information in GLACIER and/or submit the required forms and documents in a timely fashion, the maximum amount of tax will be withheld from all payments made to you.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. government tax authority, has issued strict regulations regarding the taxation and reporting of payments made to individuals who are not citizens or U.S. permanent residents. Because US tax regulations governing such individuals are different from those governing U.S. citizens or permanent residents, it is important to be sure payments made to you are appropriately taxed, and that benefits such as tax treaties are correctly applied if you are eligible for them. The GLACIER Online Tax Compliance System is an efficient and effective way to manage tax liability and is much easier for you to use than the previously-used paper forms.

In order to comply with U.S. tax laws, your U.S. Tax Residency Status must be determined. The Substantial Presence Test is used to determine whether an individual is a Nonresident Alien or Resident Alien for purposes of U.S. tax withholding. GLACIER Online Tax Compliance System will calculate your U.S. Residency Status for Tax Purposes based on the information provided by you. For many people, the test is simple, but for others it can become complex. Because of the complexity of the many exceptions to the rules for this test, it is much easier for the software program to help determine your tax residency than for you to try to do this by reading the tax regulations. However, if you want to read the regulations yourself, you may do so in IRS Publication 519, the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

You may send your completed TAMU, HSC, TDEM, and TAMUS forms one of three ways listed below.

1) Interoffice to MS 6003 or Mail 6003 TAMU College Station, TX 77843

2) Drop them off in our drop box in GSC Suite 3101

3) Submit the forms by secure upload to: