TUC Sponsored Programs

Stipends

Definitions

Stipend

A stipend is generally paid to a CSUN student or a non-student attendee of a class for participation and to provide general support.

No 'Quid Pro Quo':
Stipends cannot be paid for a service rendered. Any amount paid for a service rendered is a "wage" under the IRS regulations and must therefore be processed and taxed as a salary or wage.

The term stipend is commonly used by sponsoring agencies, and therefore also by The University Corporation and CSUN. Federal and State tax regulations do not define the term 'stipend' but use such terms as 'scholarship' and 'fellowship' .

Scholarship

A scholarship generally is an amount paid for the benefit of a student at an educational institution to aid in the pursuit of studies. The student may be in either a graduate or an undergraduate program.

Fellowship

A fellowship grant generally is an amount paid for the benefit of an individual to aid in the pursuit of study or research.

Taxation of Stipends

Responsibility to Determine Taxability

It is the recipient's responsibility to determine whether a stipend in whole or in part must be included as gross income under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code section 117. The University Corporation will, but is legally not responsible to report any scholarship, fellowship, grant or stipend on Form 1099-MISC.

Taxability

A scholarship, fellowship, or stipend, in all or part may be taxable, even if the recipient did not receive a W-2 or 1099-MISC form.

Generally the entire amount is taxable if the recipient is not a candidate for a degree.

Qualified Educational Expenses
If the recipient is a candidate for a degree, he/she generally can exclude from income that part of the grant used for :
  • tuition
  • fees required for enrollment
  • books, supplies and equipment required for courses
  • other expenses required for enrollment or attendance
Non-Qualified Expenses
The recipient cannot exclude from income any part of the grant not required by the institution and used for other purposes, such as:
  • housing
  • meals
  • living allowances
  • non-required supplies (computers, etc)
  • travel
  • clerical assistance

Services

Exemptions from income does not apply to any amount which represents payment for teaching, research or other services rendered as a condition for receiving the scholarship or tuition reduction. Any payment for services are considered compensation and are not excludable from gross income under Section 117.

This rule applies even if the services are a condition of receiving the grant or are required of all candidates for the degree.

In some instances the stipend recipient may be required to attend certain classes or perform certain activities, as a condition of receiving the stipend. These are not considered services, as long as the (educational) benefit of the activities lays clearly with the recipient and the paying institution does not derive any benefit from the activities.

Reporting to IRS

The University Corporation will report any non-exempt stipends to you as taxable wage on Form W-2 (if you are an employee of the Corporation) or on form 1099-MISC (if you are not an employee of the Corporation)

Taxation of Non-Resident Aliens

The above requirements and exclusion pertain equally to U.S. citizens, resident aliens and non-resident aliens. However, the tax reporting requirements for non-resident aliens may be different. The unqualified portion is subject to withholding and reporting for nonresident aliens (unless a tax treaty benefit is available). Any direct payments for stipends to non-resident aliens are subject to withholding and reporting.

Stipends to Non-CSUN Students

Stipends to non-CSUN students will be reported on IRS form 1099-MISC

Stipends to Minors

Stipends to minors will be reported on IRS form 1099-MISC

Questions / Tax Advice

If you have any questions regarding the taxable portion you will need to consult a tax professional, as The University Corporation cannot extend tax advice.

Further Tax Information

For additional information please refer to IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, section 1.

Procedure

Request Form

Payments of stipends are requested by filling out the Check Request Form (excel), attaching the required supporting documentation and sending them to The University Corporation.

Supporting Documentation

Stipends to CSUN Students
Stipends to CSUN Students require the following supporting documentation to be submitted with the Check Request:
Copy of the student's CSUN I.D. card
+
Proof of Enrollment at CSUN via one of the following:
  • CSUN Sims query advisement report
  • Class schedule from the CSUN web service portal
  • Class schedule from the self-service study list
+
Citizenship/Residency statement (word)
Stipends to Non-CSUN Students
Stipends to Non-CSUN Students require the following supporting documentation to be submitted with the Check Request:
W-9 form (pdf)
+
Citizenship/Residency statement (word)
+
Statement of Participation (word)
Stipends to Students at the Tseng College of Extended Learning
Students of the Tseng College of Extended Learning are considered regular CSUN students. Depending on the program they are enrolled in, only few the student's financial aid may be affected by the reporting of stipends. As a consequence, The University Corporation will report all stipends of Extended Learning students to the CSUN Financial Aid Office.
Stipends to Minors
Stipends to Minors require the following supporting documentation to be submitted with the Check Request:
Parental Informed Consent, Waiver & Release
+
W-9 form (pdf)
+
Citizenship/Residency statement (word)
+
Statement of Participation (word)

Distribution of Stipend Checks

In order to prevent fraud, stipend checks are distributed directly to the recipients, only. The recipients must come to The University Corporation identify themselves with a government issued ID and sign for the receipt of the check. If explicitly requested by the Principal Investigator stipend checks can be mailed to the recipients.

In a few exceptional circumstances, Principal Investigators or their designees may pick up the checks at The University Corporation and deliver them to the recipients directly. In these cases the Principal Investigator must provide a written statement to The University Corporation stating why stipend checks cannot or will not be picked up by the recipients directly. The University Corporation will then provide the Principal Investigator with the checks and a sign-off sheet. Before handing the check to the recipient, it is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to verify the identity of the recipient via a government issued ID and have the recipient sign the sign-off sheet. The completed sign-off sheet must be returned to The University Corporation. The Principal Investigator assumes full responsibility that the checks are delivered to the recipients of the stipends.