GA Tax Implications: Summer 2021


Attention GAs: Tax implications on graduate assistantships

The Office of Graduate Studies and the Office of Financial Aid is now sending a listing of the tuition benefits paid each semester on your behalf to the Payroll/Business Office. For some assistantships the amount will be added to the taxable income on your July 30th paycheck and will increase your tax liability and possibly your federal income tax deduction. This amount does not increase your net pay.
If you want to change your W-4 to prevent or lessen the withholding amount, the form is here. This form must be returned to the Payroll Office by 4:30 p.m., Friday, July 16th, to process on the July 30th paycheck.
If you have questions regarding the W-4 process, contact the Payroll Office by e-mailing

Here is an explanation of how the IRS treats assistantships:
Tuition benefits offered to graduate assistants are generally excluded from taxable income under section 117(d) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). However, section 117(d) only excludes from taxable income tuition benefits for graduate students who are engaged in teaching activities or research activities at the University. Graduate assistants not engaged in such teaching or research activities at the University cannot be excluded from taxable income under section 117(d).