The Graduate Student Assembly sponsored a “Tax Facts” information session on Tuesday to help graduate students navigate tax season and answer specific tax inquiries pertinent to graduate student life.

The assembly began the presentation by canvassing students’ questions and concerns, mostly pertaining to filing taxes in states other than Connecticut. Students were able to take notes from a PowerPoint that explained the different kinds of taxable incomes as well as how fellowships and scholarships were taxed. “Tax Facts” also addressed how armed service benefits and tax exemptions may affect students’ tax profiles.

“Filing taxes as a graduate student can be confusing and is affected by how the University classifies your stipend, if you are a domestic or international student, if you are supporting a family and other factors,” GSA President Stephen Gaughran GRD ’21 said.

The majority of graduate students receive income through stipends that cover research, living and travel expenses — the IRS stipulates that living stipends must be reported as taxable income.

Attendee Dylan Shah GRD ’23 said he was concerned about filing taxes correctly with each income stream, which he says is especially complicated for a graduate student who has to rely on the internet for information.

“Grad students are generally clueless on how to fill out their taxes,” Shah told the News. “Most people I know go to accountants or just guess what they’re supposed to do while inputting their information to an online system, hoping that they don’t get audited.”

Shah said that the “Tax Facts” workshop was “very helpful,” as the presenter was “pretty knowledgeable about the latest tax rules.”

Michael Lo Piano GRD ’21 noted that he was not particularly concerned about this year’s taxes as “a number of emails” go out each year with information about the University’s tax withholding practices once teaching begins.

The IRS’ deadline for filing 2018 taxes is Monday, April 15.

John Besche |