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Grad student tax

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by tiy123, Nov 29, 2017.

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  1. tiy123

    tiy123 2+ Year Member

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    Opinion | The House Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students

    What do you guys think about this (for those who don't know, this bill would tax grad students on the tuition waivers they've received, counting them as income)? People who are working in universities—is there any talk about loopholes (e.g. setting tuition at $1 and then waiving that amount) being put into place? I'm applying to PhD programs now and am a little nervous about the uncertainty here.
     
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  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Well, blame your millennial cohort for their third party votes. No real talk yet that I have heard of. I can't imagine that they'll be setting tuition at $1 as that will seriously f up their finances in terns of things that they can write off and such. Maybe there's a loophole, but we won't know until the final tax plan and all policies are finalized, if they get accepted at all.
     
  4. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Find better candidates with more supportable platforms and 3rd party voting would decrease. /not a millennial
     
  5. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Better candidates would definitely have been preferable. But, there are consequences to "protest" votes. As a white, male, 30's, with a high family salary and no debt, the consequences are pretty minimal for me, but I can see how they're pretty disastrous for other groups.
     
  6. jdawg2017

    jdawg2017

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    I’m a 1st year clinical student in a reputable program at a large private university and we specifically we were told by the provost that the way the university handles tuition remission (as a scholarship covering the exact amount of tuition and fees) means that the waiver could not be taxed. The stipend, as is the case with any income, is taxable per the usual.

    I’ve heard some people freaking out at other universities where they basically “give” larger stipends, but immediately deduct out the tuition and fees. Personally, that seems kind of stupid, but there are so many moving parts in higher ed administration that I can’t adequately comment.

    My recommendation: if you get interviews/acceptances, specifically ask the DCT or whomever is in charge about what is going on at the institutions. Academia slants left, so naturally I would not be surprised if universities make moves to find loopholes to skirt past this. Demand for grad school will go WAY down if the cheap labor universities get go from living in “genteel” poverty to LITERAL poverty.
     
  7. CatsFan

    CatsFan 5+ Year Member

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    Sadly this would affect some students much more than others; i.e., those at private universities with high tuition. I don't think my university's tuition is enough to even bump me up into the next tax bracket. Unfortunately, I don't think lower tuition will be an option either.
     
  8. CatsFan

    CatsFan 5+ Year Member

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    Interesting; I believe this is how my university does it too, and I think ours would be taxed. I'm not 100% sure though.
     
  9. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    That's not how tax brackets work and this doesn't really have much to do with tax brackets. "Bumping up" into a higher tax bracket is a common misconception. The higher tax rate only applies to income above that tax threshold, not income earned below that threshold, which is taxed at the lower rates.

    The real problem with this tax plan for students is that counting tuition remission as income means that we will be taxed on money we don't ever see. Since we don't receive any additional money, but will be responsible for the taxes on it, we will effectively lose money. Another student in my program did the math and we would essentially be paying $4,000 more per year in taxes. WE have pretty good stipends, but $4,000 is a very significant chunk.

    I've seen some idiots try defending this part of the tax plan as a way of encouraging universities to not do "accounting tricks" with tuition remission and that it will force tuition rates down. These are all BS rationalizations for a tax plan which relies on taxing those who can't afford it to compensate for deficit increases incurred for handouts to the wealthy and corporations.
     
  10. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist Psychologist Faculty 2+ Year Member

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    This is an idiotic plan. But to be fair to this moronic plan, grad students generally get over-looked when it comes to reform on both sides (e.g., ACA).

    Call you representatives. Call them every day. Make sure your friends and family call them. This will be a total suck for psych training and will drastically increase the average debt load because gross income will drop drastically for most students. Then you can add in all the other stupid stuff in this bill that won't long-term help that income bracket of individuals (or ECP psychologists in general given the swath of settings with low earning potential such as counseling centers).
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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  11. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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  12. SLB-CO

    SLB-CO 2+ Year Member

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    Yes, CALL! Write! Publish media! There are so many bad things in these bills. While the Senate doesn't propose the tuition waiver tax that the House bill does or other higher ed-specific tax changes, there's no guarantee that it won't reappear when the House and Senate go to conference to resolve differences after the Senate bill passes. And, the Senate bill has a bunch of other garbage in it that could negatively impact grad students (like ACA, as pointed out above). They're having a hard time getting the votes - the vote that was expected tomorrow is now not likely happening until Friday. Keep up the noise! I'll be meeting with both of my (GOP) Senators this week. You should too!
     
  13. CatsFan

    CatsFan 5+ Year Member

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    Yes I know, and I agree that the tax plan is idiotic. I was just saying that I feel much worse for students who are going to look like they have $80,000 in taxable income, rather than my paltry $25,000 ish.
     
    FreudianSlipper likes this.
  14. FreudianSlipper

    FreudianSlipper 5+ Year Member

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    The last administration is the one that got rid of subsidized loans for grad students, so politicians from both parties screwing over grad students is not new. This is a much more severe proposal, and yes, OP this should be a consideration if it passes. Because of the alchemical tuition calculations and money moving that universities do, this could have no impact, cost $2000/year (my program), or up to around $8000/year at privates. University administrators and department heads actually are paying attention to this and freaking out, and trying to come up with plans if this should be implemented.

    The best thing you can do write now is raise awareness, contact your senators and do whatever you can to keep this and some of the other awful provisions from winding up in the final version.
     
  15. siamesekitten

    siamesekitten 5+ Year Member

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    Third party voting is NOT the only reason that moron is in office. Opposing candidate running a visionless campaign. DNC collusion. People simply didn't get out and vote. Russia. Etc. Etc.

    (also not a millennial)
     
  16. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    You can twist the narrative any way you want, but letting a pathological narcissist into the most powerful position in the world, because you couldn't hold your nose long enough to vote for the only candidate who could reasonably oppose him is the reason we're in this situation.

    And people did get out and vote, Hillary won the popular vote by millions. It's just that our archaic electoral college system allows antiquated elitism to trump democracy.
     
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  17. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman 10+ Year Member

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    Trump didn’t create this tax plan.

    I doubt he’s even read it. He doesn’t care what’s in it.

    He just wants to sign something that he can call a tax cut.

    Place the blame where it belongs.

    To be honest, Hillary winning might have made the situation worse.

    The problem is with Congress more than the Presidency, and Republicans would be looking at veto proof majorities if Hillary were president now rather than potentially losing the House and possibly even the Senate.
     
  18. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    But Hillary lost....ohhhh....I see. You mean the OTHER pathological narcissist.

    She was literally one of the worst candidates ever offered up in regard to trustworthiness, approval rating, etc.

    A halfway decent candidate from either party could have beaten the battle of two of the worst candidates in the history of American presidential elections.

    In regard to cutting subsidies....absolutely the prior administration, the latest proposal is just the latest middle finger to the lower and middle class....the ppl needing/taking student loans.
     
  19. DokterMom

    DokterMom 2+ Year Member

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    Academics lean left.
    Trump hates lefties.

    Where's the surprise?
     
  20. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Look, I'm not defending Hillary at all. I don't really like her and would have preferred many other candidates over her, but let's not engage in false equivalencies as if she's as bad as Trump. I can think of numerous issues she is demonstrably and emphatically different from Trump on, from net neutrality to the CFPB.

    Furthermore, the presidency is about a lot more than vetoing and signing bills. The people presidents appoint to office have ramifications that reverberate for decades after they're out of office, especially SCOTUS.

    Regardless, I'm not looking into getting into any arguments here. You're all really awesome. I'm probably just agitated that this stupid bill could really harm me and other grad students.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  21. Meregold

    Meregold

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    I wouldn't blame millennials. They definitely didn't go out in as large numbers as they could have, but Trump didn't win because people liked Bernie. Trump won because people--especially rural folks, white folks, and men folks--liked his message. And those people came out in key states. Not to mention the unapologetic voter suppression that takes place in states like mine that prevents traditionally left-leaning groups from being realistically able to vote. Russia and the younguns played a role, sure, but placing the blame squarely on them overlooks the real problems of nationalism and racism the country is facing.
     
  22. siamesekitten

    siamesekitten 5+ Year Member

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    Whoa. I never said that I did not vote for Hillary. I voted for Bernie in the primaries, and Hillary in the general election, even though I am definitely not her biggest fan. However, it sounds like we are mostly in agreement. I too get angry at those who refused to vote for Hillary "because of her emails" when the other option on the ballot (the only one that had a reasonable chance of winning) was the nightmare that is Trump. And I'm right there with you - the electoral college system is obsolete and needs to go.

    My main point was that there is not one reason why Trump is in office (i.e., third party voting). There are so many factors. Hillary was a very unpopular candidate to begin with, and that only increased when it became pretty apparent that the DNC was colluding against Bernie Sanders. Unfortunately, many Bernie supporters didn't vote at all, wrote him in anyway, tossed a vote to Stein or Johnson, or even voted for Trump (gross). Hillary screwed up by not visiting Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan while campaigning. There was Russian interference. Voters in rural America were more pissed off than people realized (except Michael Moore). So many reasons.

    The whole thing just sucks. But as somebody mentioned above – call your representatives, we can still try. Luckily, I'm done with grad school. But I can't imagine having to pay taxes on a waiver. That is absolutely absurd to me, and I get angry for all current students just thinking about it.
     
  23. Pragma

    Pragma Neuropsychologist Psychologist 5+ Year Member

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    This thread and all the blaming...SMH. Just a microcosm of how oversimplified people think the world is.

    Blame and call congress. They’re good at voting against stuff.
     
  24. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Well, that escalated quickly. We're nearly in SPF territory here.
     
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  25. In my lifetime I have yet to see any plan from Congress that has truly benefitted me or my family. This was the same when I was making 10 bucks an hour or later as a starving student and even now as a six figure professional.
    On the other hand, I just can’t wait to see my tax cut if this bill passes. I’m going to use all that extra money to buy a bridge in Brooklyn.
    :p
    If you really want to know why congress would want to raise taxes on grad students, it might be that they want to keep the debt bubble expanding so that their financial overlords can continue to control it all. I think I’m going to start wearing a tinfoil hat.
     
    ellabelle46 likes this.
  26. Burning_magnesium

    Burning_magnesium

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    Blaming is not going to help us. I didn't like my voting options because I felt their both of their values were unassessable and equivocable. I didn't like their actions but they are broken and fallible like me. I didn't like racism rearing and inspiring fear, but racism is neither a Trump nor a Clinton (stop calling her Hilliary, even if you dislike her it's demeaning when no other politician is colloquially addressed by their first name, I'm guilty of doing this too but I am working on it) issue, it is a human issue. The problems in congress, in government, and in society are not just because politicians are corrupt. We are all corruptable. The problems we face exist because we have so normalized dehumanizing (e.g. Clinton is scum, trump is a pig, all racists are heartless imbeciles, all leftists are bleeding hearts/snowflakes, conservatives are prejudicial numbskulls, etc.) that the origination of the bicameral system and the functionality it was intended have been lost.

    It is by remembering the humanity of the other that we will once again find our way. I'm only 26, but it's not so far removed from me that I can't remember the years where dems and reps reached across the Isle in a respectful and dignified manner. I feel some of the radicalized politics we have observed would not feel necessary to the individuals who espouse those beliefs had their voices not been repetitively silenced. Free speech, except for libel and slander, exists to prevent what we are all, yes all, horrified at in our current climate. When a speaker feels their audience has understood (not impatiently listened and waited to give rebuttal) they will then be open to hearing the feedback and opinions of others. Not a second sooner.

    The electoral college was meant to accomplish exactly what it did this year. To give individuals in low population area equal power to the larger metropolitan populus. Isn't this exactly the reason people say it needs reformed? It does need to be updated to reflect the modern populus. Scrapping it will only ensure minoritits of every kind are under represented.

    The point I am driving is that both sides should quit providing commentary and start asking questions. While I have severe skepticism about the current tax bill, could it be possible that there is some aspect of it that actually could benefit the middle and lower class? Based on the sliver of information provided via media, no. But has anyone here actually questioned what the actual tax bill says word for word and cover to cover? What if part of our problem is we don't understand economy well enough to understand possible benefits? WHill I have serious doubts that the proposed tax plan does any such thing, I don't know it as a fact. I know very little as objective fact. Neither do any of us.

    No revolution occurs without a voice being ignored and silenced. No revolution occurs without a voice being heard by a select few. You want a revolution, start listening and inquiring. No one wants to hear your opinion if their own has been chronically neglected or villanized. We are all guilty of this and we all have the power to start a revolution. Stop blaming, start listening, and offer solutions we can actually begin working towards together.

    I make no apologies and ascribe no political affiliation to this message. I am speaking to humans and not abstract groups or systems.

    #stoptheblamestartthechange
     
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  27. cara susanna

    cara susanna 7+ Year Member

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    The purpose of the electoral college was to stop the "tyranny of the majority," so in the event that an unqualified demagogue was elected by the general public, the electoral college members could put a stop to it. I would argue that it failed to do that job in 2016 and that is why it should be reformed.
     
  28. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist Psychologist Faculty 2+ Year Member

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    There are all sorts of reasons that we are in the mess we are in financially as a field. These reasons tend to transcend political party and represent broader cultural issues at play in our democracy. There is a sense of social isolation and out group threat (e.g., racism, sexism, etc.) which has become more outspoken.There is also a pattern of disconnection between political parties and Main Street value, including political favoritism. Gerrymandering and other tricks distort the democratic debate potential as well. Oh, and this Is pretty consistent with the value trend we have been seeing economically for several decades in response to globalization.

    Regard was the reason right now the issue is how this affects the field and training potential for students. The only answer is call senators Congressman. Call them every day. And write them letters. The other issues are going to take a lot more time to resolve that this is a limited time opportunity to protect the field and trainees entering into it .
     
  29. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    1. Refuse to have a short memory.
    2. Hold your representatives to their voting record. Know how they supported you or threw you under the bus.
    3. Call often and make your views known. The squeaky wheel matters, particularly if you can get others to do it.
    4. Reps care about staying in power, so everything you do needs to keep this in mind. Being able to take votes away from them is what they care about.
    5. Re-election rates are often 95% because voters vote their party line or worse...they don’t bother to vote.
    6. Change required you do things differently than before or you will get the same results.
     
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  30. SLB-CO

    SLB-CO 2+ Year Member

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    Ya'll probably already know this, but just in case you don't: The Senate bill passed in the wee hours of Saturday morning. It doesn't have most of the changes the House bill had to grad students and higher education more broadly. Both the Senate and House have voted to go to committee to reconcile their differences, and so it absolutely does NOT mean that you're in the clear. In fact, in meeting with my Representative on Friday, he made it abundantly clear how much he looked forward to imposing the House bill changes...and he was nominated to the conference committee. (He's a rather extreme example, but there are many folks who are thinking this way. His biggest difference is that he doesn't respect constituents to their face rather than simply behind their back. I digress...)

    Many of your Representatives/Senators will actually care what you have to say and will listen to you. Most of them need educated! Very few of them have PhDs. Words are particularly powerful when they come from university presidents telling the devastating impact this would have on the whole university. So, call your Representative and Senators (especially if they're on the committee) and tell them your story. Write to the media and keep this in the public's mind. Most folks are no longer paying attention to what this means for higher education, so you need to keep making this a news story. Urge your university presidents to send letters. We're not in the clear and need to keep up pressure. And yes, remember and vote them out of office if they don't represent you.

    There's a table on the bottom of this page that outlines the differences between the two bills: Tax bill with key implications for colleges clears Senate
     
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  31. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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  32. himala

    himala

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