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Stanford University cannot give tax advice. We can only direct you to tax resources.

Stanford Payroll Office can answer questions about pay you have received.

You are advised to seek a professional tax advisor with specific tax questions.   Stanford Postdocs can access the Postdoc Assistance Program which has Certified Public Accountants and Certified Financial Planners who can assist with tax questions. 

Questions about tax forms from Stanford, e.g., your W2 form? Please contact the Stanford Payroll Office.

All scholars paid on salary (semi-monthly payments through the payroll system) must have on file in the Stanford Payroll Office a US Social Security Number (SSN) and either submit your withholding allowances in AXESS or go to Stanford's Student Financial Services Tax Information website. Funds received by scholars, regardless of the source, are subject to US Federal and California State income tax law.

The current specifications for taxation of non-matriculated graduate funding are as follows:

  • All support is subject to taxation. The amount of tax varies according to total income, dependency status, treaty status for international students, and individual circumstances.
  • Salary payments will be subject to tax withholdings.
  • Fellowship and traineeship stipends paid to US citizens and permanent residents are not subject to withholding but are considered taxable income and must be reported. Scholars are responsible for making quarterly estimated tax payments during the year via IRS Form 1040ES and California form 540ES.
  • International scholars are subject to US federal tax laws and California State tax laws. Qualifying residents of countries which have tax treaties with the US may be exempt from tax withholding or receive other benefits. There are differences based on whether you receive salary or fellowship payments. Qualifying scholars must file forms with the IRS prior to receiving their first salary or stipend payment. Refer to the IRS for complete information on treaty countries.

Please visit the following web sites for IRS taxation on:

Foreign nationals should also review Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

Questions? Please contact Stanford Payroll Office or contact Bechtel International Center.

  • Reimbursement for travel and conference expenses while at Stanford may be a taxable benefit. Scholars should check with their department administrators and faculty mentors before making any travel plans or paying any membership or conference fees. Many departments hold corporate charge cards which facilitate the payment of these types of expenses. Regardless of how payments are handled, scholars need to retain and submit original receipts of their travel expenses and conferences fees to their department administrator. These are required by the University to process reimbursements either to the department or to the scholar. Travel reimbursements are not made until after the travel is completed, with the exception of conference registration.
  • Tuition and insurance payments made on the scholar's behalf by the University or any other source may be considered a taxable benefit by the I.R.S. for scholars paid by stipend (monthly) or from sources outside of Stanford. Salaried scholars are exempt from this tax.
  • Salaried scholars receive W2 forms in January, mailed to the address in their AXESS student file. US citizens and residents receiving stipends will receive a letter in late January stating what has been paid to them by Stanford. Non-resident aliens will receive a 1042-S by mid to late March, in addition to a letter. These documents are sent to the mailing or home address found in your AXESS student file. Please keep it current. Stanford Payroll Office mails 1042s to non-US citizens by March 15th. If you do not receive your taxable income statement(s) by the dates above, please contact the Stanford Payroll Office.

Resources for Tax Forms and Questions:

Stanford Postdocs:

Stanford International Postdocs: Bechtel International Center

U.S. Federal Income Tax:  Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - 800.829.3676

California State Income Tax: Franchise Tax Board (FTB) - 800. 338.0505