Scholarships are typically not regarded as income, so you would normally not need to pay taxes on any award you receive, on any degree, even if you study abroad, provided you meet the requirements of using the funds towards your tuition expenses.
Scholarships are like the crème de la crème of financial aids, as you do not have to repay them. They will save you the hassle and dread that come with taking a student loan, and you may not necessarily need a side job at the time, leaving you enough room to focus on your studies.
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Is Scholarship Money Taxable Income?
There is a popular saying that nothing is truly free, not even in Freetown (capital of Sierra Leone). So, are scholarships truly free? Or, is scholarship income taxable?
Well, it depends.
Your Scholarship Money Isn’t Taxable If:
- You are using the funds to pursue a degree at an eligible academic institution.
- It is used for qualified educational expenses, including tuition and fee, books, school supplies, etc.
- It is not used for other purposes like research, teaching, etc.
- It doesn’t exceed your qualified educational expenses.
When Scholarships Could Be Taxed
Your scholarship could be taxable if it doesn’t meet the requirements earlier mentioned.
In that case, you could be paying taxes from your scholarship money if:
- Your school isn’t an eligible institution or you aren’t pursuing a degree
- It exceeds your qualified expenses
- And, if you use it for other charges such as room, travel, etc.
What Makes an Eligible Educational Institution?
To confirm whether your educational institution is regarded as “eligible,” it should meet the following conditions:
- It has a standard curriculum
- There is a regular facility
- A body of students regularly enrolled and attending the facility where instructions are passed.
Is Scholarship Income Taxable in Canada
In Canada, how is scholarship money evaluated in terms of taxes? Are you an international student in Canada worried about taxes?
Well, Canada’s tax rules for scholarships are similar to the U.S.
Is Scholarship Income Taxable in California
California is in the United States of America, and the same scholarship tax rules apply here. Provided that your education institution is eligible, you use the money towards tuition and related expenses, you do not receive excesses than your qualified expenses, then your scholarship money is not a taxable income.
Is Scholarship Income Taxable in Pennsylvania
Yes, and No. With the instructions provided on this page, you should know where you stand on the spectrum.
Pennsylvania is in the U.S, so the same requirements and what-nots apply to academic institutions in the state.
Is Scholarship Income Taxable in Australia
Scholarship tax in Australia could be different from the U.S. and Canada. The Australia taxation office saw it best to develop a tool to help determine whether your scholarship is tax-imposed or not. This tool is pretty straightforward and provides results within 5-10 minutes.
Here, there is no guessing or confusion. Simply access the tool.
An instance of Taxable vs. Tax-Free Scholarship
Let’s break down how the taxation of your scholarship will be. Assuming you are receiving $10,000 from the Lumberjack scholarship and you allocate $9,000 towards your tuition and fees and $1,000 for accommodation, the $1,000 is the only amount out of the scholarship money that will be taxed.
The same would apply to any scholarship.
Your school will provide you with a form (1098-T) with details of the financial aid you benefited from, including grants and scholarships. Use this form as a guide to know exactly how much you owe the IRS when filing your taxes.
With this knowledge, you will be confident and know what to do when managing and allocating your scholarship money.
Now, is your scholarship money taxable? Probably not.