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Tax Information for Graduate Students

Note: The following is general information about taxes for graduate students. It is not meant to represent advice or assumed to be error free. For specific questions about your tax responsibilities, please contact the Internal Revenue Service, an accountant, or an income tax service.

All fellowship and assistantship stipends are considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and by the state of Rhode Island. 

For U.S. citizens and resident aliens, fellowship stipends do not generally have tax taken out at the time of payment and fellowship earnings will not be included in a W2 form. As such, if you received fellowship income for the entire calendar year you will not receive a W2 form from Brown University. However, all students are expected to report these earnings as taxable income and it is the responsibility of the student to keep the necessary records. IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education,” explains how these amounts should be reported on your tax return. Graduate students may exclude from fellowship income monies spent for tuition and fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses. Tax treatment of specific items may change from year to year, so it’s important to visit the IRS website for the most recent regulations.

For nonresident aliens, Brown is required to withhold 14% in federal taxes and 3.75% in state taxes from fellowship stipends, unless the student is eligible for exemption under a tax treaty. 

For graduate student assistantship stipends (those appointed to RA, TA, TAII, TF and Proctor positions), taxes are withheld at the time of payment and the stipend amount is reported to the IRS by Brown. Stipend earnings from assistantships will be included on your W2, which can be reviewed and downloaded annually in your Workdayday account.

Each student is responsible for determining how the tax law applies to his or her own situation. Please consult with a tax expert well in advance of the tax due date, which is generally on or around April 15, should you have any questions. Please review the resources below for links to more information.

Resources

The Bursar’s Office Education Tax Information page provides information about the 1098-T Form.

International Students
All international students and scholars are required to submit an income tax filing each year by mid-April for the time that they are in the U.S. during the previous calendar year.

Brown University provides its students and scholars with tax assessment programs (FNIS) for those working or earning income at Brown and tax preparation software for non-resident aliens filing Federal and State income tax returns (GLACIER for Federal returns and Sprintax for State returns).

For more information about international student taxes on: 

The Controller’s Office General Information/FAQ page has some additional information about payments and taxes.

Watch the video recording of ‘Understanding How Your Stipend is Taxed’ from International Orientation, Fall 2022. This session is focused on PhD and MFA students and provides information on how various appointments are taxed, taking consideration of citizenship and appointment type.

Personal Assistance with Filing Tax Return
(VITA) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, 1-800-906-9887

Filing Tax Returns for Other States