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Tax Information for Ph.D. Students

Taxes constitute a complex subject. Below some general information is provided, but it should not be taken as official advice. Detailed information may be found at

Matriculated (Degree-Seeking) Students:


Tuition Support

  • Tax exempt


  • Taxable and subject to withholding (but not FICA, Medicare or VDI)
  • Reported by Stanford on a W-2
  • International students May qualify for federal "tax treaty exemption" if one exists between the US and their country (Form 8233, Payroll office). The exempt amount is reported on Form 1042S. Should file federal Form 1040NR (available at the International Center at tax time and online) each year, and probably CA Form 540 (also available online).


U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and resident aliens for tax purposes:

  • The stipend is taxable; however, it is not subject to withholding or reporting by Stanford.
  • Students are responsible for making any necessary estimated tax payments.
  • Federal Form 1040-ES is available in the Bursar's office. California Form 540-ES is enclosed with the CA tax return (or call 1-800-338-0505).

International students:

  • The stipend is subject to 14 percent withholding; however, students may be eligible for a tax exemption if their country has a tax treaty with the US (Form W-8Ben, Payroll office).
  • Stipend and tax withholding are reported by Stanford on Form 1042-S (not W-2) and mailed to the student Should file federal tax Form 1040NR and probably CA Form 540 at tax time each year.
  • All fellowship recipients can reduce their taxable income by amounts spent on fees, books, supplies, and equipment (usually not computers) specifically required for courses; students should keep all receipts for these items.