(Yicai Global) Dec. 5 -- The US Congressional bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, recently adopted by the Senate is not good news for Chinese doctoral candidates who rely on scholarships to study in the US. A doctoral candidate’s scholarship may be subject to an extra tax of USD8,000, calculated a Chinese PhD student studying in the US. The new bill may force her to give up her study, she says.
Wang is a Chinese doctoral student in political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She said the new tax reform will have a huge impact on tuitions and scholarships, reported China Press, a Chinese-language newspaper published in the US. Once the tax act goes into effect, scholarships will be subject to further tax cuts, and this will severely affect her study and life in the US, Wang said.
The scholarships Wang receives are first granted to teaching assistants among doctoral candidates and then allocated to doctoral students in the form of stipends. Before the new tax act, scholarships were eligible for tax exemption. But after the new bill is introduced, the tax exemption will be scrapped, which means that doctoral students’ scholarships will be subject to tax cuts at two stages.
At present, Wang earns USD30,000 every year as a teaching assistant. Under the current US tax system, she pays taxes of USD2,000. However, her tax burden will increase to USD8,000 after the new tax act takes effect, she calculates.
Wang is still waiting to hear from the state government and the University of California. However, she doesn’t think the university will shoulder the extra tax burden for doctoral students as the tax burden under the new act is large.