1.9.1 Processing Fellowship Payments


The purpose of this section is to establish the procedures used to process fellowship payments.

General Guidelines

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 520 covers the rules for the taxation of student scholarships and fellowships. The publication states that the part of any grant, scholarship, or fellowship that represents payments for teaching, research, or any other service is taxable to the student. Colleges and universities are obligated to withhold taxes on any award that represents compensation for services. Nonresident alien students may have taxes withheld on awards that do not represent compensation for services. Their tax obligations are governed by their visa status, United States (US) tax laws, and/or the tax treaty between the US and their country of residence.

The Institute is required by Federal law to withhold taxes on fellowships that require the student to perform services (past, present or future) to receive the award. Failure to withhold the taxes when required may create unexpected tax liabilities for Georgia Tech students and cause the Institute to incur serious financial penalties.

The department is responsible for determining if a student’s fellowship award is taxable. The student, however, is responsible for providing sufficient information to the department to enable a determination of status. For more information related to the responsibility of the student in determining his/her own tax liability, please visit the Office of Student Financial Planning Services (OSFPS) “Tax Implications” website: http://www.finaid.gatech.edu/taxes/

This procedure is not related to payments for graduate student assistants (GSA’s), graduate research assistants (GRA’s), and graduate teaching assistants (GTA’s).


To ensure that the Institute is complying with all Federal tax laws, the department is responsible for determining if there is a service requirement for the fellowship award. If it is determined that the award recipient is not required to perform services, the request should be forwarded to the Accounting Services Department and must include the following information:

    a. The awardee’s name and GT ID number
    b. The source of funding (i.e. GIT project number)
    c. A description of the expenditure to be charged to the fellowship project
    d. The amount and date(s) of payment distribution to the awardee
    e. A department contact and phone number

After the request for payment is approved, the information will be forwarded to OSFPS for processing. The award disbursement will be applied to the student’s account to offset any outstanding balance on the student’s account. A refund, if any, will be issued to the student by check or direct deposit.

No taxes are withheld from the fellowship payments processed through OSFPS except in situations where the recipient has been classified as a “non-resident alien” and his/her home country has no current tax treaty with the United States. Therefore, neither a W-2 nor 1099 form will be issued for these fellowship payments. Each recipient is responsible for determining his/her own tax liability. For more information related to the responsibility of the student in determining his/her own tax liability, please visit the Office of Student Financial Planning and Services (OSFPS) “Tax Implications” website: http://www.finaid.gatech.edu/taxes/

If it is determined that the student is required to perform services as a condition for receiving the fellowship award, the payment will be processed through the Payroll Department. Appropriate appointment documents must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources on all payments processed through the Payroll system.

Rev. 7/31/2005