Skip to main content


It's never too early to start thinking about filing your taxes! While Personal Finance @ Duke does not offer individual appointments to assist with filing taxes, please explore our page and the various resources highlighted as you prepare to navigate the tax filing process.

Remember, as you look through sites outside of the Internal Revenue Service, be wary of scams and potential threats for identity theft. Don't be fooled by someone pretending to be with the IRS. If the IRS needs to contact you, they will do so in very specific ways

TAX UPDATE FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS- In December 2019, the government passed the SECURE act which broadened opportunities to pursue several federal tax savings...

Most notably, graduate student fellowship income can now be invested in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA). IRA contributions can be made with pre-tax dollars. 529 plans, a type of savings account designed specifically for qualified education expenses with federal, and in some cases state tax-breaks, can now  be used to pay up to $10,000 of student loan debt. To read more about the SECURE act and changes that may impact your federal tax savings, check out these articles:  

Congressional Bill

Investopedia Article

Forbes Article 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The information provided to you on this page is limited in scope, does not imply endorsement, and should not be your only resource for completing your tax returns. We recommend you seek advice from a licensed tax professional.



Usually you must file a tax return if your income is greater than your standard deduction or you are due a tax refund. If your annual income is less than $66,000 you can e-file for free! But if you've never filed taxes before, the process can be very overwhelming. This section provides resources to help you get started. 


PhD students receive funding from different sources – stipends, fellowships, grants, scholarships, and wages. Depending on what expenses are paid with the money, will determine whether the funding is taxable. 


More tax information for international students can be found on the International House webpage.


Paying for your education can be expensive.  Did you know there are tax credits and deductions that can help offset those costs?