The Student Employment Office can provide you with the general information necessary to satisfy your filing obligations. Ultimate responsibility for the reporting and payment of taxes, however, lies with you. Harvard staff members are not permitted to give individual tax advice, and we would suggest that you seek professional advice from a qualified accountant or attorney if they encounter complicated tax situations.

Before starting your first student job at Harvard or an off-campus FWSP job you must designate how much the University should withhold from your paycheck for taxes. You can complete this process online through Peoplesoft after you have been hired by your employing department.

Entering Tax Withholding Information in PeopleSoft

Need a Copy of Your W-2 Form for Tax Filing?

You can access it online:

  • Go to, log in and click on the Peoplesoft link in the top right corner.
  • Navigate: Self-Service -> Payroll and Compensation -> View W-2/W-2c Forms
  • If you don't have access to PeopleSoft anymore you can order a W-2 copy.
For Students: M-4 (Massachusetts Withholding)45 KB
For Students: W-4 (Federal Tax Withholding)113 KB

Frequently Asked Questions about Taxes

What tax forms do I need to file when I start my first student job at Harvard?

You must file a federal W-4 and a state of Massachusetts M-4. These forms can be submitted online through Harvard's Peoplesoft system once the on-campus department has entered your information and made the hire. Go to and log in. Click the Peoplesoft link in the top right corner. The W-4 form is located under 'Benefits and Payroll'.

Read moreWhat tax forms do I need to file when I start my first student job at Harvard?

Is my scholarship or stipend taxable for Federal purposes?

U.S. tax laws divide scholarships (including fellowships, stipends, and grants) to degree candidates into two parts. The amount received as a scholarship or fellowship which is used, under the terms of the grant, to pay for tuition and fees required for enrollment, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for your courses, is not taxable. Any additional amount of the scholarship, such as a stipend for room and board or for travel expenses, will be taxable income.

Read moreIs my scholarship or stipend taxable for Federal purposes?

Do I need to file a Massachusetts income tax return?

Massachusetts taxes residents on income from all sources and nonresidents only on income derived from Massachusetts. If you are a resident of Massachusetts, whether single or married, you will have to file a Massachusetts return if your gross income from all sources exceeds $8,000. If you are not a Massachusetts resident, filing will generally be required only if your “Massachusetts source income” exceeds the percentage of your total income that is Massachusetts-sourced multiplied by your Massachusetts personal exemption.

What is Massachusetts source income?

“Massachusetts source income” includes income derived from (i) a trade, business or employment carried on in Massachusetts, (ii) lottery or wagering transactions in Massachusetts, and (iii) the ownership of an interest in real or tangible personal property in Massachusetts. For most nonresident students, their Massachusetts source income will be limited to compensation from employment in Massachusetts.

Read moreWhat is Massachusetts source income?

How do I determine if I am a Massachusetts resident?

Massachusetts defines a resident as (1) a natural person “domiciled” in Massachusetts or (2) a natural erson who maintains a “permanent place of abode” in Massachusetts and spends more than 183 days in Massachusetts during the tax year. “Domicile” in Massachusetts requires both a physical residence in Massachusetts and an intention to make Massachusetts one’s home permanently or for an indefinite period of time, with no intent to return to a prior home.

Read moreHow do I determine if I am a Massachusetts resident?