Taxes

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 payroll@mit.edu 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.

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). You must produce specified documents, which verify your identity and authorization to work, and present them with your signed I-9 form to Student Financial Services.

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.

Presentations on general guidelines on filing tax returns by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC):

  • For US Residents (4/1/2015) US Resident Students and International Students with more than 4 years in the US
  • For non-US Residents (4/1/2015) International Students with less than 5 years in the US

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.