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Is my Grant or Fellowship taxable?

Information on US Tax Issues

I. Non-US Persons

Wenner-Gren grants and fellowships are not subject to US taxes if you are: 1) not normally subject to US taxes by nature of your citizenship or tax residency status and 2) 100% of the research or conference/workshop activities funded by Wenner-Gren is conducted outside the US. However, there may be tax implications in your country of citizenship or tax residence, and you should seek advice from an appropriate tax advisor.

II. US Persons and Nonresident Aliens who are present in the US

US Persons are defined as US citizens, Permanent Resident Aliens (green card holders) and Resident Aliens. Nonresident Aliens described in this section are Non-US citizens who are 1) present in the US and 2) have not met the substantial presence test to be classified as a Resident Alien. To determine whether you are a Resident Alien or Nonresident Alien for US tax purposes, please refer to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 519, “US Tax Guide for Aliens”. Publication 519 describes the substantial presence test noted above. This publication can be obtained from the IRS website at www.irs.gov

The information below is being provided as general guidance on US tax issues. The Foundation cannot provide advice on tax matters and encourages its grant and fellowship recipients to consult with an appropriate tax advisor.

US Persons – US Citizens, Permanent Resident Aliens and Resident Aliens

The Wenner-Gren Foundation is not required to report fellowship, research or conference/workshop grant payments made to US Citizens, Permanent Resident Aliens and Resident Aliens to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or to the recipient. You will not receive a Form 1099 or any other tax form from the Wenner-Gren Foundation. This does not mean that your grant or fellowship is not subject to US income tax. You may be required to report all or a portion of the grant or fellowship payment as income on your annual tax return. It is the responsibility of the individual receiving a Wenner-Gren grant or fellowship to determine whether it is taxable and whether he or she must report it on a relevant income tax return.

The following IRS publications provide information on the tax treatment of grants and fellowships and may be obtained from the IRS website at www.irs.gov:

  • Publication 970 “Tax Benefits for Education”
  • Publication 54 “Tax Guide for US Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad”
  • US Citizens, Permanent Resident Aliens and Resident Aliens may also have US tax withholding and reporting obligations if any payments are made to or on behalf of Nonresident Aliens present in the US as part of their research or conference/workshop grant. (Nonresident Aliens are generally Non-US citizens who do not hold a green card.) If your budget includes payments of expenses to or on behalf of a Nonresident Alien present in the US, we suggest you consult with your academic institution on possible tax implications. Under these circumstances we strongly advise that your grant or fellowship be paid to and administered by your academic institution. For more information, please see IRS Publication 515, “Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities”. This publication can be obtained from the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

    Nonresident Aliens who are present in the US

    Grant and fellowship payments covering expenses for Nonresident Aliens while present in the US are reported both to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to the Nonresident Alien on Form 1042-S. Nonresident Aliens are required to file a US income tax return on Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ. Generally grant and fellowship payments are also subject to tax withholdings. (If a US academic institution is administering the grant or fellowship the academic institution is responsible for issuing the tax forms and withholding taxes.) 

    Non-US persons should enter the US under an F (Student) or J (Exchange Visitor) visa for US tax purposes. In most situations, the Foundation must withhold US taxes at a rate of 14% on payments made to F and J visa holders on the portion of their grant or fellowship that cover activities located in the US. Special rules apply to F and J visa holders, however, where it may be possible to reduce the tax withholding below 14% or in some cases completely eliminate the tax withholding obligation. If this situation applies the Foundation will be in touch with further information.

    If a Non-US person enters the US under a different visa, for example a B (Business or Pleasure Visitor) visa, taxes are withheld at 30% on the portion of the grant of fellowship that applies to the US visit. There are no special procedures to reduce the tax withholding obligation.

    IRS Publication 519 “Tax Guide for Aliens” provides additional information on US tax issues for Nonresident Aliens and can be obtained from the IRS website at www.irs.gov.