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Taxes: Tax Treaty Renewal

Learn about renewing tax treaty exemptions for 2020 payments from UCSD

This page provides general information about the tax treaty renewal process and answers frequently asked questions.

Some tax treaty forms expire at the end of the calendar year. In order to claim the treaty exemption for payments dated in 2020, you may need to renew your tax treaty through the Glacier Online Nonresident Alien Tax Compliance System (Glacier) and send new tax treaty forms to the UCSD Glacier & Taxation Team in the UCSD Payroll Division.

UCSD uses Glacier to determine residency status and eligibility for tax treaty exemption, and to generate the forms necessary to claim treaties at the time of payment. 

  • Form 8233 is for nonresidents for tax purposes (NRAs) claiming a treaty exemption on wage/salary income. Every Form 8233 expires on December 31. A new 8233 is required for each calendar year.
  • Form W-9 is for residents for tax purposes (RAs) claiming a salary/wage treaty.
  •  Form W-8BEN is for nonresidents claiming a fellowship treaty.

November 30 is the deadline for submitting tax treaty forms that will affect your first payment in the new year. Materials received after that date will be processed in the order in which they were received but perhaps not in time to affect your first 2020 payment.

US. tax law reference:

UC San Diego Blink pages

Salary/ wage payments dated in 2020 will be subject to federal tax withholding even if you qualify for treaty exemption unless you renew your tax treaty. 

Fellowship payments: Fellowship payments to nonresident aliens for tax purposes are subject to 14% federal tax withholding unless you're eligible for and claim a tax treaty exemption. Glacier will evaluate your eligibility, and generate Form W-8BEN if necessary. Form W-8BEN is valid for three calendar years. If you submitted one in 2018 or 2019 and your personal and immigration information hasn't changed, don't be worried if Glacier shows you're eligible for exemption but doesn't generate a W-8BEN. No withholding is required on fellowship payments to resident aliens, so Glacier may show that you're treaty eligible without generating Form W-8BEN.

Frequently asked questions:

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1. How do I renew my tax treaty at UCSD for 2020?

Follow the instructions in the November email from Glacier (support@online-tax.net) with the subject line "Income Tax Treaty Exemption Renewal (University of California, San Diego)," which are copied below. If you didn't get that email, follow the steps below.


  1. Access Glacier (instructions below) and go through every screen in your Glacier record, updating as necessary. Do NOT change the date of entry to the U.S. If you qualify for a tax treaty exemption at the time of payment, Glacier will offer it to you. Either way, continue to the end of the record.
  2. Print, sign, and date the forms Glacier generates. Glacier will generate only the forms applicable to you, so you may not get all of the forms mentioned in this email. Don't worry if the amount in 11b of Form 8233 is wrong. It doesn't matter. Be sure to sign on the "sign here" line on Form W-8BEN and page 2 of Form 8233, and on the "Signature of U.S. person" line on Form W-9.

  3. Prepare your Glacier materials: print and sign all of the reports and forms Glacier generates. Create a pdf of the signed forms and any document copies Glacier requests. Use a scanner to create the pdf, not a camera. The background of each page must be white, not gray.
  4. Submit your Glacier materials to the UCSD Payroll Division. Emails between two UCSD email addresses are secure, so we prefer that you email the pdf from your UCSD.edu email address to the UCSD Glacier & Taxation Team (part of Payroll). Don't want to email? See B-9 on our FAQ page, linked above.

2. How do I access my Glacier record?

To access GLACIER:

Click on the following web link: http://www.online-tax.net.

  1. Click on the Glacier logo to enter the website.
  1. At the login screen, enter the UserID and Password you selected at the time you first accessed your UCSD Glacier record. If you can’t remember them, click on "Forgot Login" and enter the email address associated with your Glacier record.

If you still can't log on, email the UCSD Glacier & Taxation Team with your full name and ucsd email address. Use the subject "send Glacier access." There's no need to add text to the email.

3. I did not get a tax treaty renewal email. What should I do?

That's o.k. Just follow the instructions in step 1. You don't need the renewal email.

There are several reasons that clients eligible for a treaty might not get the tax treaty renewal.

  • Glacier record incomplete
  • You have not entered a social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).
  • The immigration status expiration date you entered in Glacier has past.
  • The date you planned to leave the U.S. has passed

4. How do I submit the Glacier forms and, if applicable, required document copies?

See step 4 in item 1, above.


5. Glacier did not generate all of the tax treaty forms listed above. Why?

Glacier generates only the forms that apply to you. Residency status and income type affect which forms Glacier will generate. Some countries have salary/wage and fellowship treaties, some countries have only one of those, and some countries have no treaties at all.

  • Glacier generates Form 8233 for nonresident aliens eligible to claim a tax treaty exemption on income classified as wages. It is valid for one calendar year only; all Forms 8233 expire on December 31. If you will be a nonresident for all or part of the coming year and a resident for the other part, Glacier will generate form 8233.
  • Glacier generates Form W-9 for those who will be "residents for tax purposes" for all or part of the next calendar year. Form W-9 does not expire. It requires the signature of a U.S. person. Per page 2 of Form W-9, "you are considered a U.S. person if you are an individual who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien."
  • Glacier generates Form W-8BEN for nonresident aliens who are eligible to claim a tax treaty exemption on income classified as fellowship.There is no need for Form W-8BEN for resident aliens and U.S. citizens, as no tax withholding is required.
  • More information about residency for tax purposes is in IRS Publication 519 "U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens" and UCSD's page Taxes: Residency for Tax Purposes, both linked at the top of this page.

6. Form W-9 requires the signature of a U.S. person, but I'm not a U.S. citizen.

Glacier generates only page 1 of Form W-9. Page two states, "For federal tax purposes, you are considered a U.S. person if you are an individual who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien." You will be a U.S. resident alien for tax purposes in at least part of the following calendar year, so sign the form if you want to claim the treaty.

More information about residency for tax purposes is in IRS Publication 519 "U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens" and the UCSD page Residency for Tax Purposes, both of which are linked at the top of this page.

7. What if I do not want to claim a tax treaty?

Choose “no…” on the Glacier screen that offers the treaty. Continue to the end, print the forms Glacier generates, sign them, and then create a pdf of the signed forms and the required document copies listed in the bottom right section of the Glacier Tax Summary Report. Email the pdf from your ucsd.edu email address to the UCSD Glacier & Taxation team

8. I will not get payment or benefits from UCSD next year. Do I need to do anything?

Some payments for December are made in January of the following year. Federal tax will be withheld from those payments unless you submit your tax treaty renewal documents by November 30.

  • Monthly wages earned in December 2019 will be paid January 2, 2020.
  • Biweekly wages earned after December 14 will be paid in January 2020.

If you will not receive 2020 payments or benefits from UCSD, email the Glacier & Taxation team.

9. Glacier didn't offer me a treaty. Why?

You may be treaty-eligible, but if there is any doubt about whether you qualify for a treaty or not, UCSD will not facilitate it at the time of payment. You can claim it on your U.S. federal tax return. If the IRS grants the treaty, they will refund the tax covered by the treaty.

There are several reasons that Glacier may not offer a treaty to which you are entitled. One way to figure out why is to check the upper right corner of your Glacier Tax Summary Report for the word "Hold" followed by a number:

Hold 1 = you may be eligible for a treaty exemption, but you haven't entered your SSN or ITIN in your Glacier record.

Hold 2 = you may be eligible for a tax treaty exemption, but your countries of citizenship, tax residence, and permanent residence are not the same. UCSD Glacier administrators do not know the residency laws of foreign countries, nor should they. You can claim the treaty on your tax return.

Hold 3 = your immigration status has changed since you entered the U.S. or you have a prior visit which may limit the treaty exemption.

Hold 4 = your immigration status is not sponsored by UCSD.

Other reasons that Glacier may not offer a treaty:

  • The treaty time limit has passed
  • There is no treaty with your country for the type of income you're getting.
  • Some treaties include a clause limiting the length of stay in the U.S. For example, the treaties for wage payments to teachers and researchers from India or the UK are limited to those who will stay two years or less. If the individual stays in the U.S. even one day more than the limit, the tax exemption is lost for the entire visit. Therefore, if a teacher/researcher from India indicates in Glacier that he plans to stay for three years, Glacier will not offer the treaty.
  • Some treaties contain a back-to-back clause, so if you've indicated that you previously claimed the treaty for one type of income, you can't claim it for another type the next year.
  • Some treaties are only available to those whose income in the calendar year will be less than a certain amount. If you indicate in your Glacier record that you expect to receive income greater than the income limit, the system will not offer a treaty exemption.

10. What if my forms are late (after November 30)?

Tax treaty renewals received after November 30 will be processed in the order in which they were received; though the treaty may not be entered into the payroll system in time for the first January payments. UCSD is not able to refund tax withheld due to late submission of tax treaty forms.

There are two ways to claim a treaty: through UCSD at the time of payment, or on your U.S. federal tax return. If federal tax exempted by the treaty is withheld, you can claim the treaty on your U.S. federal tax return, which is due April 15 of the following year. If the IRS grants the treaty, they will refund to you any tax exempted by the treaty a few months after you file your return. For more information about tax returns, see section F of Tax Withholding FAQ for International Visitors.

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