U.S. Citizens & Permanent Residents Receiving Swarthmore Scholarship

Taxable Scholarship and Filing Your Taxes

Very Important Notice

This guide will help you determine if you have taxable scholarships and if you need to schedule an appointment with the Financial Aid Office Tax Desk. It also provides helpful information
about preparing your federal tax return. However, we cannot be tax advisors for you. While this guide will be adequate for most students, it is not a substitute for advice
obtained from the Internal Revenue Service or a qualified tax professional.

The information found on these pages applies only to Swarthmore College students who are:

  • single with no dependents
  • under the age of 24
  • not blind
  • claimed (or can be claimed) as a dependent on another taxpayer's return

If you do not fit into all of these classifications, do not use this guide. Also, this guide assumes your income is limited to wages, tips, taxable scholarship, Alaska Permanent Fund, dividends, and taxable interest not over $1,500; and your total taxable income is less than $100,000. If you have other income sources (business income, dividends, capital gains, taxable social security, etc.) or other unusual circumstances, do not rely on this guide.

Step 1: Determine if you have Taxable Scholarship

Use this Excel worksheet to determine the amount of your taxable scholarship income (if any) for the 2014 tax year.You will need:

  • W-2 Income Statement(s) and or 1099 Interest Statements: Your employer(s) must send you a statement of 2014 wages earned and taxes withheld (Form W-2 or Form 1099). Contact your employer if you do not receive your 2014 W-2 by early February. If you lose your W-2, ask your employer for a new one.
  • 1099-INT: You will receive a 1099-INT from your bank if you earned sufficient reportable interest on an interest bearing checking or savings account.
  • Swarthmore Financial Aid Award Letters, outside scholarship award notices, and any 2014 service, enrichment, or summer stipend grant amounts for academic year 13-14 and 14-15: The tax year straddles two academic years. You must know the scholarship amount received spring '14 (13-14 academic year) & fall '14 (14-15 academic year).
  • Lang, Evans, Mellon or Swarthmore Foundation grant letters: If awarded a 2014 service, enrichment, or summer stipend grant not reflected on a W-2 Statement, record the amount you received (spring '14 term, summer of 2014 & fall '14 term).

If subtotal 3 is a positive number: You may have taxable scholarship. Swarthmore will pay for any federal tax burden caused by your need-based, not-for-service scholarship (subtotal 3). 

  • You will need to make an appointment with the tax desk in order to obtain this tax payment.Make an appointment here:Make a tax desk appointment An appointment is only required if you have taxable scholarship.
  • Please save your Excel Taxable Scholarship Worksheet and bring it to your tax appointment.
  • Skip to Step 2 below to complete a 2014 federal tax return and bring this to your tax appointment.

If subtotal 3 is not a positive number you do not have taxable scholarship and will want to file your 1040-EZ form using the information from your W-2s and other income sources.  Detailed instructions can be found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040ez.pdf .

Step 2: Complete 2 separate tax returns prior to your Tax Desk Appointment

After you have determined that you do have taxable scholarship and prior to your tax desk appointment you will need to complete 2 separate tax return forms.  Visit the IRS Website to open PDF versions of the tax return. From our Step by Step instructions below, you will see that 2 different calculations are needed. First, use the amounts determined on your Taxable Scholarship Worksheet to complete a tax return. Then, complete a second federal "dummy" tax return omitting your taxable scholarship and instead using only the amounts found in Box 2 of your W2(s). Use the 2014 Tax Table to determine the amount of tax owed.

Use our Step by Step Instructions [pdf] and our example 2014 Federal Income Tax Return [pdf].