Glacier FAQs


What is Glacier?

Glacier is a cloud based system that UMBC uses to determine the tax status for employees that indicate that they are neither a U.S. citizen nor permanent resident alien.  The employee will either be an Non-Resident Alien (NRA) or Resident Alien (RA) for tax purposes.  UMBC (The State of Maryland) must withhold and report tax per federal tax regulations as part of institutional compliance for employees that are NRA/RA for tax purposes. Any payments may also be subject to Maryland taxes and other payroll taxes, such as FICA. See Glacier Process for information

Do I need to use Glacier to determine my tax status?

Employee’s with a VISA F1, J1, H1, etc. VISA will use the Glacier system to determine non-resident/resident alien for tax purposes as well as the tax treaty documentation, if applicable. Employees with a DA (Deferred Action), AS (Asylee), RF (Refugee), TP (Temporarily Protected), and PR (Permanent Resident) use the Docusign process.  The department payroll preparer will initiate this process.

Who is my department payroll preparer?

Your department payroll preparer is the person that sends you your onboarding documents.

What do I need to do if my work authorization is expiring and I have a Glacier profile?

You will notify your department payroll preparer AND enter your updated information in Glacier.

What do I need to do if my VISA has changed?

You will notify your department payroll preparer AND enter your updated information in Glacier or complete the Docusign process depending on your new VISA classification.

What do I enter in Glacier on the “Time Spent in the U.S.”  screen, Date permission to stay in the U.S. expires and Estimated or Actual Date of Final Departure from the U.S.?

You will use the expiring date from your documentation based on your VISA category.  These dates are typical the same for both fields.

How do I provide the document copies to UMBC as required on the Glacier Tax Summary report screen?

You will upload your supporting documentation for the Glacier process into Box folder.  The Glacier email you receive includes the link and instructions for uploading the required supporting documents.

Can I use the federal W-4 and Maryland State MW507 tax forms that Glacier provides?

No, these are not the approved State of Maryland federal and state tax forms.  You will use them to determine how to complete the approved forms AND codes from your department payroll preparer BEFORE you send them to Central Payroll Bureau.  See Step 3 for details.


Does my new employee need to use Glacier?

If your new employee is a foreign national then they probably do need to use Glacier. There are some protected statuses that will not go through Glacier though and these are: DA (Deferred Action), AS (Asylee), RF (Refugee), TP (Temporarily Protected), and PR (Permanent Resident).

How do I get my new employee entered into the Glacier system?

Once the onboarding packet is initiated with the NRA selection, Payroll is notified.  Payroll will initiate the profile set-up in Glacier and the employee will receive an email to complete their profile.

How long will it take for my new employee to be entered into Glacier?

It may take as much as 24-48 hours depending on volume of requests at that time. If you need a faster turnaround on your request, please contact Brittney Liles directly so that your needs can be addressed if possible.

What do I do if my new employee is a Permanent Resident or is here under one of the protected statuses?

You will continue to use the DocuSign CSF for PR residents or protected statuses.

Does my new employee have to be present in the US to complete their Glacier profile?

No. Glacier can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection so a profile can be completed before someone arrives in the United States. It’s not necessary that they complete it before they arrive though, they may wait until they are here to finish it. Once the employee receives the initial email from Glacier to complete their profile they will need to enter their information into the system within two days to ensure that there will not be a delay in the processing of their hire paperwork.

What do I do if my new employee does not have a permanent US social security number?

These employees should still complete their Glacier profile. When asked for a social security number they should indicate that they don’t have one and are either going to apply for one or have applied already and just haven’t received it yet. Temporary identification numbers should not be entered into Glacier.  The employee will complete the rest of the profile.  Once they receive their SSN they will have the ability to update their profile with the permanent SSN.

What if my new employee doesn’t want to indicate that they are going to apply for a social security number? Is there a way around this step?

No. A selection must be indicated to proceed through the rest of their profile.

What do I do once I have received my employee’s completed Glacier packet?

  • The employee will receive a Tax Summary Report which indicates what documents should be submitted.
  • First, you should check to make sure that all of the required documents are submitted  by comparing what you are given to what the Tax Summary Report indicates should have been submitted. Verify that the correct version of the W4/MW507 is being submitted. The Glacier tax forms are not accepted by Central Payroll Bureau and will delay accurate tax processing.
  • Second, you should make sure that all documents have been signed by the employee.
  • Thirdly, make sure that a copy of all required documents are also attached to the Glacier packet.
  • Finally, once these steps have been completed, you can send the Tax Summary Report and supporting documentation to Brittney Liles using the unique and secure Box link that was provided.

I received an email indicating that corrections need to be made, what do I do?

The email will indicate specifically what is missing or what needs to be corrected in the Glacier packet. If this happens, you should contact the employee to figure out the best way to get this corrected. In most cases, the employee will need to log back in to Glacier to make changes to information they have entered and then reprint their corrected forms for you to resubmit.

Glacier has indicated that my employee is not eligible to claim a tax treaty benefit but the employee is insisting that they are eligible. What do I do?

Glacier’s determinations on tax treaty benefits are based on each individual’s specific information and situation. They are also based on the most up to date versions of tax treaties. Because of this, all determinations made by Glacier regarding tax treaties are final. If an employee believes that they are entitled to a tax treaty benefit, they are encouraged to consult with a tax professional when they file their taxes so that they can find out what their options are for claiming the tax treaty at that time.