I am an F1 student (NRA) and Married. Based on the new 1040NR(-EZ) instruction a married NRA cannot claim more than $5,000 deduction (1040NR Instruction).

Glacier Tax Prep is a software provided to F1 students by most universities to fill the federal tax forms out. However, Glacier puts more than $5,000 deduction in my form (Line 11 1040NR-EZ). I contacted them twice but they just sent me a template answer that I could claim for $10,000. It is like the software has a bug and does not consider if the NRA is married or not.

Who is right here? me or Glacier?

If they are wrong, there are many F1 students filing their tax returns incorrectly.

  • Instructions sure make it sound like you are correct, does anything change if you toggle your filing status?
    – Hart CO
    Mar 11, 2019 at 16:01
  • 1
    No, It does not change anything no matter if you select Married or Single. Mar 11, 2019 at 16:12
  • To clarify, you are talking about itemized deductions, right? (State and local tax deduction is limited to $10000 starting in 2018; it's $5000 for Married Filing Separately; nonresidents can only file separately.) Is it possible that you have some other itemized deduction besides state income tax, e.g. donations to charity? (See 1040NR Schedule A, which is on page 3 of 1040NR) What country are you from? Students from India can use the standard deduction.
    – user102008
    Mar 11, 2019 at 21:37
  • Thank you for your response. Yes, Itemized deductions as NRA cannot claim the standard deduction. First, I am not from India. Second, the same limits are on Schedule A. I tried with and without additional deductions than state income tax (1040NR-EZ and 1040NR with Schedule A) and Glacier considers more than $5,000 for deduction in both cases. BTW, since my state income tax is more than $5,000 adding my donations should not change anything as I have already met the cap. Mar 11, 2019 at 21:53
  • Are you sure you're nonresident? (what year did you come on F1?) Is your spouse a resident with whom you're filing jointly?
    – user102008
    Mar 12, 2019 at 3:05

1 Answer 1


I have a similar background as yours. I am an F-1 PhD student and my wife is also in F-1 status. The Glacier is using the standard deduction for you ($12000 for 2018 FY). According to IRS info webpage, non-resident aliens cannot file with standard deductions except students and business owners. For most students, filing with standard deductions is more beneficial than itemized deductions. Also, as both of you as non-resident aliens, you cannot file taxes using the married filing jointly category.

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