Fellowship Tax Information for International Students & Scholars

NOTE: The information provided below is not a substitute for professional/government tax counseling or for reading Internal Revenue Service and California Tax Board publications. Please consult with a qualified individual for more detailed information concerning applicable tax policies and regulations. The university is unable to provide specific tax advice to individuals.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) consider graduate fellowships taxable income. A portion of fellowship may be excludable from your gross income. Your fellowship payments may include fee, nonresident-tuition, or stipend awards. Any such payments which are given to you through the Graduate Student Support Office and which are not wage payments for your services are considered “true scholarship.” Within this broad category of fellowship support, your income can be divided into two distinct groups: “qualified scholarship” and nonexcludable stipend. Your fee awards, nonresident-tuition awards, and teaching-assistant/research-assistant fee remissions are considered “qualified scholarship” and are not subject to tax. In addition, you may also be able to exclude from stipend payments the amount you spend in the calendar year on required course expenses (expenses required by the course and/or the university for all students in order to enroll). Required expenses may include books and other course-related expenses. Please view the publications listed below in order to receive complete instructions and regulations on the calculation of taxable scholarship income. NOTE: Salary you receive for your services, such as teaching-assistant/research-assistant paychecks, are not included in the category “true scholarship.”

If you are a nonresident of the United States and you will be receiving stipend payments, you are required to access the online Glacier tax compliance system in order to determine your tax status. Please contact your department to assist with access. All foreign persons receiving fellowship payments are required to submit the GLACIER Tax Summary Report and supplemental information to Payroll Services for processing. The information provided is used to ensure compliance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules and regulations.

Internal Revenue Service

The documents below are linked from the Internal Revenue Service site.

California Franchise Tax Board

The documents below are updated yearly, please select “current year forms” on the California Franchise Tax Board site to view the latest versions.

  • FTB Form 540-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals
  • FTB Instructions 540-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals
  • FTB Form 5805, Underpayment of Estimated Tax for Individuals
  • FTB Instructions 5805, Underpayment of Estimated Tax for Individuals
  • FTB Publication 1031, Guidelines for Determining Resident Status