This page is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered tax, financial. or legal advice.  Please consult your own tax or financial advisor with questions.

Tax Residency Category

Your tax residency category will determine to which level or if you are required to pay taxes on a quarterly basis. Your tax residency category is partly determined by your citizenship (either US Citizen, Non-resident Alien or Resident Alien for Tax Purposes). International students receiving a stipend are asked to refer to tax information on the ISO website and if necessary consult with ISO about tax filing reporting responsibilities.

US Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes

If you are receiving a fellowship/stipend (job code 6000) or assistantship (job code 6002) from the University, no taxes are withheld from these appointments and you may have to file quarterly estimated tax payments with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance ( Forms and instructions for estimated tax payments may be obtained from the IRS and NYS Tax websites. For more information, please review the tax workshops and resources provided by the University Graduate Education Office.

Fellowships and assistantships (job titles such as “Grad Fellowship/Stipend” or “Grad Assistantship”) are not considered compensation for services (i.e., wages). These amounts are for your educational benefit (whether that fulfills research or teaching requirements for your degree).

According to the IRS, amounts received as fellowships are not required to be reported as wages on a W-2 or as income on a Form 1099-MISC. However, these amounts are taxable income if used for nonqualified expenditures.

Qualified expenditures include:

  • University tuition and fees
  • Books
  • Supplies and equipment required for courses

Nonqualified expenditures include:

  • Room and board
  • Travel
  • Equipment
  • Living expenses not required as part of education

Because these fellowships are not considered wages, they are not subject to income tax withholding when paid.

For further guidance on the process of filing your income tax returns, please refer to the workshops and resources provided by the University Graduate Education Office.

Nonresident Aliens for Tax Purposes

For students who are non-resident aliens for tax purposes, withholding for fellowships/assistantships depends on whether your country of residence has a tax treaty with the United States for scholarships/fellowships and your completion and submission of the necessary paperwork to the University’s Payroll Office.

For information about tax treaties, please refer to the International Services Office (ISO) webpage on tax treaties.


The University of Rochester has several resources for international students and scholars to help in navigating their US taxes. At Rochester, we rely on a tax compliance tool called Sprintax Calculus to make sure foreign nationals are paid and taxed appropriately, according to their tax residency category.

The International Services Office (ISO) has a detailed tax page, and typically offers tax webinars in December through April. You can also request assistance with your tax forms by contacting the support team at Sprintax.

Tax Workshops

The University Graduate Education Office offers a tax workshop every year. Visit the Graduate Student Appointments webpage, and scroll to the bottom for tax workshop recordings and resources.