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The federal government regards all payments received by graduate students from assistantships or fellowships as income.


Assistantship stipends are taxed at the time of disbursement.


The method of fellowship payment determines whether taxes are withheld at the time of allocation.

Fellowships through the Graduate School are distributed through financial aid in monthly stipends in the fall and spring semesters and do not include withholding of taxes.

Students must check with external fellowship sources to learn whether taxes will be withheld from the stipend.

Arranging for Tax Withholding

If a student has an assistantship or is employed by the University, they can withhold additional taxes from their assistantship stipend or paycheck to avoid taxation at the end of the calendar year.

To request additional withholding from an assistantship stipend or paycheck, complete a new W-4 form with the host or employing unit.

Changes in W-4 forms are handled directly by the Payroll Office, 15 Jesse Hall.

If Taxes Have Not Been Withheld

If taxes have not been withheld at the time of filing income taxes, the fellowship is reported as unearned income.

No W-2 or Form 1099 will be issued by the University. It is the student’s responsibility to report the fellowship amount. This requires completing the IRS 1040 long form.

Volunteer Taxpayer Assistance

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provides free tax assistance to low-income and homebound taxpayers and taxpayers with disabilities, as well as international students and scholars who speak English as a second language.

When visiting a tax assistance site, contact them in advance to inquire about any documentation you need to bring to the meeting.