The Institute is obliged to withhold federal and Massachusetts income taxes from the stipends of teaching and research assistants. For tax purposes, research assistant and teaching assistant stipends are considered as “earned income” as a result of the services rendered. Therefore, assistants must go to the Atlas About Me page to update their Tax Withholding elections. Please contact the HR Payroll Service Center at 617-253-4255 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Fellowship stipends are also legally taxable income. However, the tax withholding regulations do not allow for withholding federal and Massachusetts income taxes from the fellowship payments. Thus, students should anticipate the tax obligation and consider making quarterly estimated payments.
The tuition scholarship portion of research assistant, teaching assistant, and fellowship awards is not considered income to the student.
For more information, please refer to “Payroll Information for Graduate Students.”
The US government requires all graduate students hired for research and teaching to sign, under penalty of perjury, an Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9 form). New student workers complete the I-9 form online and then print it out, sign the form and visit the Welcome Center in W20-021H with the signed form and documentation to complete the I-9 filing process.
To help in the preparation of federal taxes, students may wish to consult IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education. This useful publication addresses a variety of issues related to graduate students and their tax obligations. Chapter 2 of Publication 505, which describes who must pay estimated tax, may also be helpful.
The Office of the Vice President for Finance (VPF), the Office of Graduate Education (OGE), the International Students Office (ISO), the International Scholars Office (ISchO) and Student Financial Services (SFS) in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), sponsors Tax Workshops for MIT students and international scholars each year. This year’s sessions are on March 4, 2020 and March 30, 2020 (more details here). The purpose of these workshops is to provide general guidance to students and international scholars on the process of filing 2019 US and MA tax returns. The workshops are not intended to provide individual tax advice.
International students at MIT can benefit from GLACIER Tax Prep Software System, an on-line tax preparation system for international students holding F-1 or J-1 visas. GLACIER is only of assistance in the preparation of federal (US) taxes. Please contact the International Students Office for more information.
Tax Workshops for Students
The MIT International Students Office and MIT VPF host a series of tax information workshops for both U.S. and International students. More information can be found on the Workshops page.
The schedule for Spring 2020 is as follows:
Nonresident International Students Tax Workshops
Session A: Wed, Mar 4th, 5:00pm to 6:30pm in 10-250
Session B: Mon, Mar 30th, 5:00pm to 6:30pm in 10-250 (cancelled)
*Nonresidents include international students in the U.S. less than 5 years
U.S. Citizen & Resident Students & Scholars Tax Workshops
Session A: Wed, Mar 4th, 7:00pm to 8:30pm in 10-250
Session B: Mon, Mar 30th, 7:00pm to 8:30pm in 10-250 (cancelled)
*Residents include international students in the U.S. more than 5 years, international scholars in the U.S. more than 2 years, and U.S. legal permanent residents
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the remaining workshops spring tax workshops have been cancelled. The presentation slides for international students and for US resident students from recent tax workshops are available here.
In addition, the MIT Office of the Vice President for Finance is providing further online resources for students, including: