Why are my paychecks less in the summer than during the academic year?

Graduate student employees who are U.S. citizens, permanents residents, or resident aliens are subject to FICA deductions of 8.95% (7.5% for DCP and 1.45% for Medicare) from their salaried paychecks during the months of July and August when they are not registered students. However, graduate student employees are exempt from FICA deductions during the academic year if they are registered at least half-time.

You can find more FICA and DCP information on the Graduate Division Student Financial Support website: http://grad.ucsd.edu/financial/employment/benefits/student-fica.html 

Additionally, you may obtain information and access to your Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) account at http://www.netbenefits.fidelity.com/ or call 1-866-682-7787.

How can I obtain my verification of my employment at UCSD?

You can obtain employment verification through the At Your Service (AYSO) website. Instructions on how to do this can be found at http://blink.ucsd.edu/HR/benefits/AYSO/verify.html.

How do I establish California Residency?

In order to be sure you'll meet the eligibility criteria, you should begin the process of becoming a California resident at least one year before the quarter you are seeking a reclassification. Instructions on how to change your nonresident status to resident can be found at http://students.ucsd.edu/finances/fees/residence/status-change.html. If you have any questions about the process, please contact our residency deputy at residencedeputy@ucsd.edu.

Are my stipend/salary and tuition/fee payments taxable?

All stipend payments (fellowship, traineeship, scholarship) are considered taxable income except any amount used on course related expenses. However, income tax is not withheld from these payments. A Graduate Appointment Letter is issued by the Graduate Division as proof of stipend payments for tax withholding purposes. You will also receive a 1098-T form that reflects your total stipend amount received. Though you will not receive a W-2 for your stipend income, you are responsible for paying taxes on this amount. You should be aware of this and plan accordingly.

The entire amount of your salary is considered taxable if you are a graduate student on an academic title (GSR, TA, Reader, etc.).  The amount of federal and state income tax withheld from each paycheck depends on the allowances you claimed on your “UC W-4” form. You will receive a W-2 Wage and Tax Statement that reflects your total taxable salary income received and the total amount of taxes withheld.

Tuition and fee payments made on your behalf are not taxable and are not reported by you on your tax return.


Below are several other resources to which you may refer regarding tax questions:

How do I adjust my withholdings to cover tax liability for stipend payments?

If you receive two paychecks (stipend and salary), you always have the option to increase the amount withheld from your salary paycheck to cover any tax liability. These changes can be made on your UC W-4 form via At Your Service Online (AYSO) .

If you do choose this option, you should remember to adjust your withholdings when you stop receiving stipend payments to prevent being over-taxed.

How can I obtain my W-2?

You can obtain your W-2 through the At Your Service (AYSO) website. Instructions on how to do this can be found at https://blink.ucsd.edu/finance/payroll/w2/duplicate.html.

How do I sign up for Direct Deposit?

Stipend payments issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or resident aliens are processed through the Student Business Services (SBS) system.  They are automatically issued as paper checks and mailed to your home department unless you sign up for direct deposit. You may sign up for direct deposit through SBS online at https://www-act.ucsd.edu/studentEBill/StudentBilling.

Salary payments are administered through the UCSD Payroll System. They are automatically issued as paper checks and mailed to your home department unless you sign up for direct deposit through At Your Service Online (AYSO). Direct Deposit instructions can be found at http://blink.ucsd.edu/finance/payroll/processes/enroll.html. Note that it may take up to 60 days before direct deposit is activated.

How do I access my Financial Support letters?

You may access your Graduate Division Graduate Appointment Letter, GSR Tuition/Fee Payment Letter and TA Fee Payment Letter online in the student portal: https://gradforms.ucsd.edu/portal/student/ under "Financial". For salary verification, please visit http://blink.ucsd.edu/finance/payroll/processes/employment-verification.html. If you need additional information for your employment verification that is not available in AYSO, please email Amy Tran (aht021@ucsd.edu). 

These letters indicate stipend, tuition and/or fee payments issued through Graduate Division on your behalf. The system will prompt you for your UCSD student sign-on information. 

If you have any problems accessing the website, please contact Grad Help Desk at grad-help@ucsd.edu