The Institute is obliged to withhold federal and Massachusetts income taxes from the salaries of teaching and research assistants.
For tax purposes, research assistant and teaching assistant salaries 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 email@example.com 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.”
Visit the taxes section of MIT’s iGrad portal to see articles and videos about filing and preparing taxes, for students and the academic community in general.
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 external vendors, sponsors tax workshops for MIT students and international scholars each year. The purpose of these workshops is to provide general guidance to students and international scholars on the process of filing their 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 presentation slides for international students and for US resident students from 2020 tax workshops are available online.
In addition, the MIT Office of the Vice President for Finance is providing further online resources for students, including:
- Guidance on how to get tax help
- Frequently asked questions on tax filing (including with updates related to COVID-19)