First off, I recognize that I am not paying any of you to act as a licensed tax professional for me, so I will take your tax advice as just that, advice.

The university I attend has financial-need-based assistance it provides specifically for students with children. I received some of this assistance last year. My question is, does this money count as earned income for the purposes of the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Possibly relevant information:

  • Social security, medicare, and state withholdings were all taken from this assistance money.
  • This money is appearing as box 1 (and 3 and 5) income on my W-2.
  • To qualify for the assistance money, I have to be a graduate student and making below a certain amount (there is a graduated phase out) and have to have children below the age of 6.
  • Once qualified for assistance money, the money is then paid out on a reimbursement basis, reimbursing for child-related housing, medical insurance, and child care expenses up to a certain maximum each month (determined as total assistance amount divided by 12).
  • 1
    Do you work for the income? Like, do you do work as a teacher or research assistant? – stannius Jan 25 '19 at 20:54
  • @stannius, I am paid from a fellowship for my main stipend. – NeutronStar Jan 26 '19 at 15:38
  • This seems relevant, even though it doesn't answer your headline question: pfforphds.com/… Note that it states that if the income shows up on a W-2, it probably does count. – stannius Jan 27 '19 at 19:39

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