SPIF and Taxes

Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study wages are taxable and subject to federal, state, and local tax withholding. FWS recipients will receive a W-2 from the University for their wages and may qualify for an exemption from federal and state tax withholding if they are not claimed as dependent on their parents' tax returns, and they will earn less than the filing requirement amount during the tax year. If you expect to be exempt from withholding, you can elect to have no income tax withheld on IRS Form W-4 when you start your summer job. Try this handy calculator to estimate your correct tax withholding for 2015.

All FWS recipients are subject to FICA (Social Security and Medicare) deductions (currently 10.4%) from each paycheck, regardless of whether or not they are exempt from federal and state tax withholding. The standard FWS earnings ceiling for the summer will be set to take these required deductions into account, so that the net FWS earnings will be comparable to the standard Summer Stipend award.

The Office of the Controller will distribute 2014 W-2s to students who received Federal Work Study this past summer in late January 2015. In preparation you may want to be sure your address is updated in the Registrar's system (MyHLS) and PeopleSoft. Please note the address you list in the Registrar's system will override PeopleSoft.

Summer Stipend

Summer Stipend funding is considered fellowship income by the IRS. It is therefore not subject to tax withholding and is paid in full to recipients at the beginning of the summer. Harvard does not issue a form 1099-MISC for the tax year to report your Summer Stipend as income, you should consider your summer stipend award notification email as your official documentation of the receipt of this funding.

Your stipend must be reported on your federal and state tax forms if you are required to file taxes. If you have questions, please consult a tax advisor about the taxability of Summer Stipend funding and refer to IRS Topic 421 regarding scholarships and fellowship stipends.

International Students

Because international students are not eligible for FWS funds, all international students receive summer stipends. However, due to tax law Harvard may be required to withhold 30% federal withholding tax (14 % for F, J, M, or Q Visa holders) from the summer stipend disbursement. International students who are working abroad are not subject to withholding tax.

If you are an international student from a country with a tax treaty and have a Tax Identification Number, you should complete the Harvard University Foreign National Information Form and IRS Form W-8BEN. Depending on the treaties in place, you may not have withholding tax charged.

International students from countries without tax treaties should plan to have taxes held out of their summer stipend and budget accordingly. International students should refer to IRS Publication 519, IRS Topic 852, or contact University Tax Services or the Harvard International Office for information on tax filing.

Last modified: December 01, 2014

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