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Foreign Tax Issues for Stipend Payments

NOTE that independent research and research assistantship programs (such as Sophomore Science Scholars, Junior Research Scholars, Presidential Scholars, etc.) are NOT considered employment. Stipends are issued and taxed differently than employment wages.

Tax information related to grant/research stipends for non-resident foreign students:

(This is NOT applicable to students with dual citizenship (U.S. and another country) or to students who are permanent U.S. residents)

International students (non-U.S. resident foreign citizens) who have a SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER and have been awarded a grant or research stipend may have the option of filing for an exemption from the 14% foreign tax withholding on their stipend payments, depending on whether or not your country of citizenship has an appropriate tax treaty with the U.S.

It is up to you to determine if your country holds a tax treaty with the U.S.


If there IS an appropriate tax treaty, you may file a W8-BEN form to request the exemption from withholding.  (Instructions for the W8-BEN)

Our grant/research stipends are processed separately from payroll checks and financial aid scholarships, and if you have filed a W8-BEN with another department on campus (such as financial aid), Accounts Payable may not necessarily have that information.

Here is the process by which you should submit your W8-BEN for it to apply to payments made through the Undergraduate Research Office:

  • Download and complete the W8-BEN.  KEEP COPIES OF THE W8-BEN for your records.  Undergraduate Research will NOT keep copies for you in your file.
  • After submitting your online confirmation form (Presidential Scholars, Sophomore Science Scholars, Junior Research Scholars) or grant acceptance form (Research Grants) please ALSO submit the W8-BEN to Undergraduate Research (HB 6201, 101 Parker House). 
  • You must submit the form each time you are expecting a grant or research stipend from Undergraduate Research.  We do not keep copies of this form in our files.

The Accounts Payable Office (646-3878, blitz "Accounts Payable") or the Office of Visa and Immigration Services (646-3474, blitz "Visa and Immigration Services") can help you determine if your country has a tax treaty.  If there is no tax treaty, or if you do not have a Social Security Number, your stipend will be taxed 14%.  The Office of Undergraduate Research cannot provide tax advice or assistance beyond including your W8-BEN with each payment request, provided you submit the form to us.

If you have questions about this process, please let us know.

Last Updated: 9/17/13