It is important for fellowship/scholarship recipients to be aware of the tax implications of money received. In addition, a foreign national student may have a tax treaty agreement between his/her home/citizenship country and the U.S. that supersedes U.S. tax laws (see Payments Allowed by Visa Type).
Fellowships/scholarships are generally tax-free under the following circumstances:
To determine the amount of a fellowship/scholarship that is tax-free, all other education benefits must be factored in. Money received for services (past, present, or future) may be taxable. Each student is responsible for filing the necessary returns (federal and/or state) and paying any income tax owed in a timely manner. Filing may be required whether or not a W-2 form is received. The filing deadline is April 15 of each year.
As a responsible recipient, each student must verify what money is deemed taxable and what money is considered tax-free. For further clarification, see IRS Publication 501,. Note that this link may not contain information about the newest Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December 2017.
Note: Cornell does not give out personal tax advice. It is the responsibility of each individual to know how specific tax laws apply to his/her situation.
If you have questions, please contact us.