The workshops are largely asynchronous; they are pre-recorded modules with opportunities to ask questions. They can be purchased by individuals or sponsored by universities/institutes.
Tax Return Preparation
For tax season 2022, I am offering three versions of How to Complete Your PhD Trainee Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!) for distinct populations:
- Graduate students who are US citizens, permanent residents, and residents for tax purposes
- Postdoctoral fellows who are US citizens, permanent residents, and residents for tax purposes
- Graduate students and postdocs who are non-residents
The goal of the workshop is to help you create an accurate tax return with the least stress possible. It will serve you well whether you ultimately prepare your tax return manually, with tax software, or through a tax preparer.
If you are interested in recommending one of these workshops to a sponsor, please send them to the appropriate page below:
- How to Complete Your Grad Student Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!) [sponsor information]
- How to Complete Your Postdoc Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!) [sponsor information]
- How to Complete Your Nonresident PhD Trainee Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!) [sponsor information]
If you are interested in purchasing one of these workshops as an individual, please register through the appropriate page below to be notified when the workshop is ready (expected January 2023).
For How to Complete Your Grad Student Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!) [individual purchase]:
For How to Complete Your Postdoc Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!) [individual purchase]:
For How to Complete Your Nonresident PhD Trainee Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!) [individual purchase]:
Estimated Tax Calculation
Fellowship recipients, if you aren’t having income tax automatically withheld from your stipend/salary, you may be responsible for paying quarterly estimated tax. You should use the Estimated Tax Worksheet in Form 1040-ES to calculate whether you have to pay estimated tax and in what amount.
Quarterly Estimated Tax for Fellowship Recipients helps you fill out your Estimated Tax Worksheet, taking into consideration the unique scenarios encountered in academia.
Check out this page to learn more about and purchase Quarterly Estimated Tax for Fellowship Recipients as an individual.
Send this page to a potential sponsor of Quarterly Estimated Tax for Fellowship Recipients at your university/institute.
Free Resources Updated for Tax Year 2022
The Complete Guide to Quarterly Estimated Tax for Fellowship Recipients: A long-form article explaining everything from what estimated tax is and who has to pay it to how to calculate your payment to how to make your payment.
Five Ways the Tax Code Disadvantages Fellowship Income: A podcast episode (including transcript) that details five ways the federal income tax code disadvantages fellowship income, two ways fellowship income has a tax advantage, and one difference that has both pros and cons.
How Fellowship Recipients Can Prevent Large, Unexpected Tax Bills: A podcast episode outlining the three steps fellowship recipients need to take, starting with their first paychecks, to avoid or at least expect a large tax bill in the next spring.
Free Resources Last Updated for 2018-2021 (But Still Largely Accurate)
How to Prepare Your Grad Student Tax Return (Tax Year 2021): A full, detailed, and step-by-step explanation of how grad students should prepare their tax returns, covering the various income types a grad student receives and the education benefits available.
What to Do at the Start of the Academic Year to Make Next Tax Season Easier: A podcast episode (with transcript) on tracking qualified education expenses, quarterly estimated tax, the Kiddie Tax, and state residency.
Fellowship and Training Grant Tax Forms: A crowd-sourced list of how numerous fellowships and training grants are reported or not reported at tax time.
Why Is My Fellowship Tax Bill So High?!: A video (with transcript) explaining why graduate students and postdocs often face large, unexpected tax bills.
What to Do When Facing a Huge Fellowship Tax Bill: A video (with transcript) explaining what to do when facing a large tax bill due to your fellowship—especially if you can’t pay it immediately.
What Is a Courtesy Letter?: A quick explanation of the informal letter that many fellows receive.
Weird Tax Situations for Fellowship Recipients: An article for fellowship recipients (grad students and non-students) on the unusual effects fellowship income has on your taxes.
Is Fellowship Income Eligible to Be Contributed to an IRA?: The IRS hasn’t globally updated its language to reflect the eligibility of fellowship income to be contributed to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA). Is this income type considered “taxable compensation” or not?
Where to Report Your PhD Trainee Income on Your Tax Return: A detailed list of which lines on your tax return you should report W-2 (employee) and non-W-2 (awarded) PhD-related income.
Receive Your Tax "Cheat Sheet"
Subscribe to the Personal Finance for PhDs mailing list for essential information to help funded US graduate students (citizens/residents) with their federal tax returns
Where to Find Completely Free Help on Your Tax Return: An annotated list of 100% free sources of information and assistance in preparing your tax return. The IRS offers multiple forms of help, and there are also other online and community resources available.
What Your University Isn’t Telling You About Your Income Tax: A podcast episode (with transcript) that fills in the gaps in communication and counters the misinformation that PhD trainees often encounter at universities.
Weird Tax Situations for Fully Funded Grad Students: An article for funded graduate students on the unexpected effects a ‘student’ status has on your taxes.
Fellowship Income Can Trigger the Kiddie Tax: Young graduate students (under age 24) who receive fellowship income may be subject to the Kiddie Tax. The Kiddie Tax rate is calculated from your parents’ marginal tax rate instead of your graduated tax rates. If your parents are in an equal or higher tax bracket than you, you may end up paying much more in federal income tax if you receive a fellowship rather than W-2 income. This article explains who the Kiddie Tax applies to and how to calculate it.
The First Step to Complete Your Grad Student Tax Return (2018): A video detailing what tax forms you can expect to receive (or not receive) during tax time and how to process your income numbers before you enter them into your tax return, plug them into tax software, or pass them to your tax preparer.
Do I Owe Income Tax on My Fellowship?: A short podcast episode explaining how fellows, both graduate students and non-students, know whether their fellowship income is taxable.
Form 1098-T: Still Causing Trouble for Funded Graduate Students: Form 1098-T was revamped between 2017 and 2018, which will be a great improvement in 2019 and following. For many funded graduate students, 2018 is a troublesome year with respect to their 1098-T numbers.
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