Student Payroll

Any student employee must meet several requirements before receiving a paycheck. You must be registered in any quarter in which you are paid (including summer), make suitable academic progress, and maintain good standing in the University. If this is your first employment by Stanford, you will also have to fill out several forms:

  • An "I-9 Verification" for the University and INS. To complete:
    • Permanent Residents an unexpired resident alien card
    • F1/J1 visa holders unexpired passport and a current I-20 or DS-2019 form
    • U.S. Citizens a U.S. Passport; or a Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization; or two documents: a state-issued driver's license or I.D. card with photograph (to establish identity) AND an original Social Security card or U.S. birth certificate or unexpired INS Employment Authorization (to establish employment eligibility).
      • We will have to see and photocopy these documents; and sign the I-9 form.
  • A Tax Data form (to instruct the University how much tax to withhold from your salary)
  • If you do not have a social security number, a copy of your application (and then a copy of the actual social security card, when you receive one).
  • W4/DE4

Each of these forms only needs to be filled out at the start of employment, but if there is a gap in your employment by Stanford you should check to be sure they are still on file. International students may also qualify for "tax treaty" status: some countries have agreements with the U.S. which exempt their students from some or all taxes. To claim an exemption, the appropriate forms must be filed annually. Check with the Bursar's office.

Note: If any of these forms is missing or outdated, your paychecks will be withheld, most likely until the next pay period!

How and When You Are Paid

Assistantship or grader salaries are processed through Stanford's regular Payroll system. Assistants and graders are University employees.

Deductions Federal, state, and social security taxes are withheld from salary checks. This withholding is reported like any other salary. Tuition amounts are not taxable or reported.

Schedule Tuition is automatically paid at the beginning of the quarter.

Payroll checks come twice a month, to the department, or you may arrange for direct deposit to your bank. Work performed from the 1st to 15th of a month is paid on the 22nd; the second half of the month is paid on the 7th. Student appointments, which are established in terms of the academic year, always follow a quarterly schedule:

 

  Appointment span first check last check
Fall Oct 1 - Dec 31 Oct 22 Jan 7
Winter Jan 1 - Mar 31 Jan 22 Apr 7
Spring Apr 1 - Jun 30 Apr 22 July 7
Summer July 1 - Sept 30 July 22 Oct 7

If a Check Does Not Arrive on Time

First, examine your own status. Are you registered? Is there a Hold on your registration? If this is your first check, have you filed all the appropriate paperwork? If you changed jobs, the check might be either at EE or at your old department - look in both places. Then, come to the EE office to report either that you have found and fixed one of the problems above and need a replacement check, or else to find out what is wrong. For an RA, the faculty member may have forgotten to initiate or renew your appointment for the quarter. In any event, we will try to find the problem and help you fix it.

Tax Information for Graduate 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 http://www.stanford.edu/group/fms/fingate/students/taxinfo/index.html.

Matriculated (Degree-Seeking) Students:

Tuition Support

  • Tax exempt

Salary (Assistantships)

  • 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).

Stipend (Fellowships)
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.

Nonmatriculated (Not Degree-Seeking) Students, for example, postdoctoral students:

All support (tuition, stipend. and salary) is taxable

  • Exception: International students may claim a tax treaty exemption - if one exists between the US and their country - on whatever support the treaty covers.
  • Exception: the tuition of "student employees" paid 10% or more by Stanford payroll may be tax exempt (See the "Working Condition Fringe" statement cited in the memo on Taxation of Postdoctoral Fellow Tuition Payments in Tax Year 1994 J. McGuire, 10/27/94).

Salary (Postdoctoral Research Affiliates and Clinical Specialists)

  • Subject to all withholding
  • 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).

Stipend

  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and resident aliens for tax purposes
    Though taxable, the stipend is not subject to withholding. The stipend will be reported to CA and the IRS (Form 1099). Students are responsible for making any necessary estimated tax payments
    Federal Form 1040-ES is available at the Payroll 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% 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) snf mailed to the student.
    Students should file federal tax Form 1040NR and probably CA Form 540 at tax time each year.

Note: The brief discussion of tax items in this memo is not to be considered tax advice. Please refer to the IRS publications listed below. Where needed, students should seek competent tax counsel.

IRS Publications: #4 Student's Guide to Federal Income Tax; #501-Exemptions, Standard Deductions and Filing; #505-Tax withholding and Estimated Tax; #508-Educationa1 Expenses; #515-Withholding Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Corporations; #519-US Tax Guide for Aliens; #520-Scholarships and Fellowships; #525-Taxable and Nontaxable income; #901-US Tax Treaties. To order. call 1-800-829-3676.