Tax Deadlines and Financial Advising

It’s tax time again – this time in July. Because of the COVID pandemic, both the IRS and State of Illinois extended the 2019 annual tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020.

If you have not already filed, review our 2019 tax workshops for an overview of next steps. In addition, the IRS extended the deadlines for 2020 quarterly estimated tax payments until July 15, 2020. (Illinois did not change the estimated tax deadline.) Confused? Graduate students can find more information about quarterly estimated tax payments here. Or, if you have general questions, please email gradhelp@uchicago.edu.

Students have been asking for financial advising and we are delighted to announce that UChicagoGRAD has partnered with TIAA to provide free one-on-one financial wellness consultations for graduate students and postdocs. These consultations are intended to answer questions related to investing, saving, and budgeting. You may sign up for an appointment here or by calling 800-732-8353. And, keep an eye out for workshops on these topics coming in the Autumn Quarter.

Extended Tax Deadline

The IRS and State of Illinois have extended the deadline to file your 2019 tax return and make any payments through July 15, 2020.

This means 91 extra days to assemble your documents, review your income, prepare and submit your tax documents. It’s also more time to binge watch the workshops we hosted earlier in the year for help filing your return as a F1/J1 student or a US Citizen/Permanent Resident or check out the workshop slides. When questions come up, be in touch to gradhelp@uchicago.edu for general guidance and help connecting with the right resources.

Tax Day is April 15th

We are 40 days and counting until April 15, 2020, also known as tax day. If you received any income in the United States last year, you very likely have a filing requirement. If you’re an international student who spent any time in the US in 2019 on a J1 or F1 visa, you likely have a filing requirement. If you’re not sure what you’re required to do, don’t panic – we can help you get started.

Photo credit: USAtoday.com

  1. Review Your Income

If you received any stipend, scholarship, or fellowship, from the University of Chicago or an external organization, all or part of your funding may be taxable, even if you did not receive a tax form.

If you are a candidate for a degree, you can generally exclude any funding used for tuition and required fees, as well as any books, supplies, or equipment required for your courses from your income. Any funding used for living expenses (e.g. room and board) must be included in your income total.

To review the amount of funding you received from the University of Chicago, login to your my.uchicago.edu portal, select Finances at the top, and navigate to My Financial Aid or My Account.

  1. Watch Your Dates

Please keep in mind the tax year differs from the academic year. The 2019 tax year includes any funds distributed to you between 1/1/2019 and 12/31/2019. Depending on the disbursement date of your funds, your income may include Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Autumn 2019 and Winter 2020.

  1. Get Some Help

Slides from this year’s tax workshops are available online and session recordings will be posted next week on the Health Promotion and Wellness YouTube channel.

Not sure if you need to hire an accountant? Check out a great primer from Moneygeek on thinking this through. If you do need to hire someone, we included some tips on hiring the right professional in the workshop slides.

And, when questions come up, let us know at gradhelp@uchicago.edu. We’re not able to provide individual tax advice, but we can provide general informational guidance to help you manage your tax reporting responsibilities.

Tax Support

Tackle your taxes with confidence. While we’re not able to provide individual tax advice, the University has resources to help you navigate your tax filing process.

Photo credit: USA Today

No need to panic – here are three tips on getting started:

  1. Sign up for a workshop. UChicagoGRAD will offer tax workshops online and in-person to review the basic requirements for domestic and international graduate student filers, including an overview of common student filing situations and how to find the right professional help if you need it.
  2. Review your funding. Different types of fundings have different tax implications – including different forms and reporting requirements. Take the time to look over your records (e.g. bank statements, award letters, my.uchicago.edu portal) to review what types of income you’ve received and what you’ll need to report.
  3. Set a schedule. Annual tax returns are due to the IRS and the State of Illinois on April 15, 2020. Aiming to prevent tax panic? Schedule some time to get started and start early. Don’t wait until the last minute to get started. (April 14 is National Dolphin Day and you deserve to celebrate with videos of dolphins playing with cats.)

When you have questions, check in with gradhelp@uchicago.edu.

Do you have questions about how to report and file your taxes?

Join our upcoming tax workshop sessions for basic tax advice – specific sessions will be held for graduate students who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents, for graduate students who are F-1 and J-1 Visa holders, and for Postdoctoral Scholars and Fellows. 

Photo credit: irs.gov

Please join an upcoming tax workshop to learn more about taxes as they pertain to stipends and financial aid for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and fellows. While individual tax advice is not available, these workshops will give you the basics of how taxes apply to graduate student and postdoctoral funding. Register for an in-person or online workshop via GRAD Gargoyle. Webinars will feature the same content as the in-person workshops and participants will be able to use the chat function to ask the presenter questions during and after the session.

For Graduate Students who are U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents:

  • Monday, February 11: Graduate Student Tax Workshop from 4:00 – 5:00 PM @ UChicagoGRAD
  • Tuesday, February 12: Graduate Student Tax Webinar from 12:30 – 1:30 PM (online)
  • Tuesday, February 19: Graduate Student Tax Workshop from 12:30 – 1:30 @ UChicagoGRAD

For Graduate Students who hold F-1 or J-1 Visas:

  • Thursday, February 14: F1 and J1 Graduate Student Tax Webinar from 4:00 – 5:00 PM (online)
  • Friday, February 15: F1 and J1 Graduate Student Tax Workshop from 12:30 – 1:30 PM @ Social Sciences Research Center, Room 122
  • Monday, February 18: F1 and J1 Graduate Student Tax Workshop from 4:00 – 5:00 PM @ Kersten Physics Teaching Center, Room 120

For all Postdoctoral Scholars and Fellows (any citizenship status):

  • Wednesday, February 20: Postdoctoral Scholar and Fellow Tax Workshop from 12:30 – 1:30 PM @ Kersten Physics Teaching Center (KPTC), room 106

Participants can RSVP for all workshops (online and in-person) via GRAD Gargoyle: https://grad-uchicago-csm.symplicity.com/

Payment and Tax Information

Learn about your Graduate student-dedicated Shared Services Team

Who we are: In close collaboration with UChicagoGRAD, deans of students, ITS and Enrollment and Student Services, Shared Services has identified a point person to serve as a liaison at UChicago regarding student research, teaching, and employment positions. The student liaison leads a collaborative team of HR and administrators who work to surface concerns and address them in order to improve the student experience as it relates to funding and payment issues as well as develop clearer administrative processes and policies governing student funding and employment payments. We know there is room for improvement in these critical areas to the graduate student experience especially, and we invite you to reach out should you have any issues that we can work with you to help rectify.

What we do: This team has spent the last 18 months working with divisional administrators and students on improving administrative practices, standardizing procedures and learning how to better communicate with students. Based on feedback from students, we have been able to improve in the following aspects:

  • Taxes: In working closely with the Bursar’s Office, we have created a tax website that provides students with a comprehensive guide to tax information at UChicago. This, in addition to quarterly tax deposit reminders and increased tax workshops, students are better informed about how to take responsibility for their personal tax obligations.
  • Pedagogical and Research Training: We have worked with each division to standardize payment schedules related to Teaching and Research Assistants to provide equal payments throughout a quarter. We are also working to communicate the payment schedule to students in these positions at the beginning of each quarter.
  • Biweekly Employment: Beginning July 1, 2018, Workday IT transitioned time keeping from our legacy system to Workday. We have worked closely with the Workday IT to communicate and train students on the changes to clocking time for non-exempt positions.
  • Record Clean Up: We have created a central process to monitor and end expired positions in Workday. This allows for accurate hours to be recorded for a student and present an accurate training and employment record in Workday.

Types of Problems we Handle (Students should reach out to us for…)

  • Scholarship/Fellowship payments
  • Late payments of any kind (did not receive payment when expected)
  • Payment discrepancies
  • Workday issues (logging in, onboarding, direct deposit set up, reviewing record)
  • Tax withholding inquiries (Federal, State, OASDI, Medicare)
  • Tax reporting questions (Tax Return process, Estimated Tax Payments)
  • Foreign Training and Employment paperwork

How to reach us: