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Tax Information for Graduate Assistants and Fellows

The federal government regards all payments received by graduate students from assistantships or fellowships as income.


Assistantships are paid as earnings and are taxed at the time of payment.


The method of fellowship payment determines whether taxes are withheld at the time of payment. Fellowships through the Office of Graduate Studies are paid in monthly stipends in the fall and spring semesters and do not include withholding of taxes. Students must check with external fellowship sources to learn whether taxes will be withheld from the stipend.

Arranging for tax withholding

A student can withhold taxes from a fellowship payment. If you have an assistantship in a department, complete a new W-4 form requesting additional withholding from the monthly assistantship payment. Changes in W-4 forms are handled directly by the Payroll Office, 15 Jesse Hall.

If taxes have not been withheld

At the time of filing income taxes, if taxes haven't been withheld, the fellowship is reported as unearned income. No W-2 or Form 1099 will be issued by the university. It is the student's responsibility to report the fellowship amount. This requires completing the IRS 1040 long form.

Volunteer taxpayer assistance

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provides free tax assistance to low-income, disabled and homebound taxpayers as well as international students and scholars who speak English as a second language. When visiting a tax assistance site, bring the following information and documents with you:

  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and each of your children (any dependent claimed on the income tax return)
  • Current year's tax forms and preparation booklet
  • Copy of last year's federal and state income tax return, if available
  • Forms W-2 for every job you or your spouse worked during the year
  • A voided personal check or deposit slip for direct deposit of the refund
  • Unemployment compensation statements (Form 1099G)
  • SSA-1099 if you received Social Security benefits
  • All Forms 1099 showing interest and/or dividends
  • Total you paid for childcare expenses and the name, address, and Tax ID/Social Security Number of the childcare provider
  • Total of the student loan interest you paid
  • Form 1098 for you, your spouse, and/or dependent children if you paid tuition

Tax help locations and hours

Taxes prepared FREE for students and families with incomes less than $54,000

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Sites will be open starting in late January.

Walk-ins only, please. Service provided firstcome, first-served until the site reaches maximum capacity. 

Note: All sites closed March 25 - April 3 for spring break

US Residents (Persons without treaty benefits)

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Sites will be open January 26 - April 16, 2016.

Walk-ins only, please.

Service provided firstcome, first-served until the site reaches maximum capacity. 

Note: All sites closed March 25 - April 3 for spring break

MU Office for Financial Success 162 Stanley Hall Tues. & Wed. 3:30-7:00 p.m. Sat. 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

MU School of Law Hulston Hall Mon. 3:30-7:00 p.m.

Family Impact Center 105 East Ash Wed. 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Non-Residents and Residents with tax treaty benefits

  • February 22-26*, 2016
  • March 21-25*, 2016
  • April 11-15*, 2016
*Residents with treaty have help available ONLY on Thursdays and Fridays of these weeks.
Location: Rm C-240 Pershing Bldg
What you need to bring with you handout.


Sponsored by: Personal Financial Planning Department, MU School of Law  and University of MIssouri Extension.

Questions? Contact the HES Extension 573-882-7828, or the Department of Personal Financial Planning 573-884-1690,