Quarterly Estimated Tax
for Fellowship Recipients
(Tax Year 2024)
Taught by Dr. Emily Roberts
Is your university/institute unable to offer income tax withholding to some of your graduate students, postdocs, and/or postbacs...
 
But you would like to offer them guidance?
 
This educational tax workshop is the solution.
The purpose of the workshop is to help PhD trainees determine whether they are required to pay federal estimated tax in 2024—and if so, in what amount and when.
 
Furthermore, it shows them how to financially prepare to pay their tax bill(s).
Ready to talk to Emily about sponsoring the workshop?
Who Takes This Workshop?
This workshop is for people who:
  • Are graduate students, postdocs, or postbacs in 2024 (part-year included) in the US
  • Are US citizens, permanent residents, or residents for tax purposes
  • Receive a stipend/salary that is not reported on a Form W-2 (it's fine to receive a Form W-2 in addition for part of their total income or for part of the year)
  • Are not having income tax withheld from their stipends/salaries
See the "Introduction" video at the bottom of this page for the full exploration of the characteristics of the intended participants.
If you'd like to read more about how the workshop serves the participants, you can read this sales page for the workshop intended for individuals.
Who Sponsors This Workshop?
This workshop is usually sponsored by any of:
  • Graduate school/offices
  • Postdoc offices
  • Graduate student government/associations
  • Medical schools, engineering schools, etc.
  • Individual departments
Why Do PhD Trainees Need to Learn About Estimated Tax?
The IRS expects to receive tax payments throughout the year from everyone with an income tax liability. Employers send in these payments on behalf of their employees through automatic tax withholding. Everyone else is supposed to send their payments through the estimated tax system (with some exceptions), and there are four payment deadlines each year.
 
PhD trainees who aren't having income tax withheld from their stipends/salaries typically still have an income tax liability. Ideally, they would save for their future tax bill(s) from every paycheck (simulating tax withholding) and pay quarterly estimated tax if required. This workshop shows them how to estimate their income tax liability, set up a savings rate, and determine if they are required to pay estimated tax.
 
Unfortunately, in the absence of proactive communication from their universities/institutes, PhD trainees often assume they are having income tax withheld and/or are unaware of their estimated tax responsibility. In that case, they face large, unexpected tax bills and sometimes penalties when they file their income tax returns after the first year of receiving this type of funding. This is an entirely preventable financial hardship.
 
This video below explains estimated tax for someone who is experiencing this financial hardship.
Ready to talk to Emily about sponsoring the workshop?
What Is Included in the Workshop?
The workshop comprises:
29 videos with transcripts totaling approximately 1.5 hours under 5 sections, titled:
  • Introduction (5 modules)
  • Avoid Penalty (2 modules)
  • Zero Tax Liability in 2023
  • Shortcut
  • Financially Prepare (2 modules)
  • Quick Tax Estimate
  • Self Withholding
  • Line by Line (15 modules, one per line on the Estimated Tax Worksheet)
  • Special Scenarios (5 modules)
  • Switched On or Off of Fellowship Income
  • Married Filing Jointly
  • Under Age 24
  • Quarter 1
  • Quarter 4
1 Excel spreadsheet reflecting the Estimated Tax Worksheet to help with the arithmetic
Invitations to at least one live Q&A call per quarter throughout the year—the recordings are added to workshop as well
Here is a quote from an anonymous previous participant in a sister tax workshop regarding this format:
 
"I appreciated the different segments and that the workshop was tailored to someone in my position with the questions I have. I didn't feel any of the material in the workshop itself was unclear and it was easy to pick up and work through the videos at my own pace. I also really appreciated [Emily's] availability—it was really nice to know that if I had any questions, I could just ask [her] directly!"
What Past Workshop Participants Say
"Thanks a lot for your workshop! You provided very digestible instructions for what is an incredibly confusing process. I appreciate it!"

- Cate (2020)
"[I found] the line by line videos [the most valuable]. As a developmentally disabled grad student, this level of detail and 'hand-holding' is rare but necessary for me to successfully complete my tax forms."

- Anonymous (2021)
"I felt overwhelmed and unsure where to even start with everything. Having a guide really helped with the worry and getting my situation under control. I think [the workshop] is really great!"

- Anonymous (2021)
Who Teaches the Workshop?
I'm Dr. Emily Roberts (she/her), the founder of Personal Finance for PhDs. I am a financial educator specializing in prospective graduate students, graduate students, postdocs, and early-career PhDs. I hold a PhD in biomedical engineering from Duke University.
 
Through Personal Finance for PhDs, I give live seminars for universities, provide pre-recorded workshops to universities and individuals, host a podcast, and run a membership community.
 
Estimated tax is one of my favorite topics to teach, because learning about it early on can save PhD trainees from facing a large, unexpected tax bill plus fines months or years down the road.
 
I paid estimated tax myself at a couple of points during my PhD training, and I was very grateful that the staff who facilitated my postbac fellowship broached the topic with me and my peers so that we weren't caught unawares.
What Is the Cost?

The cost of the workshop is $25 per person for the first 100 participants.

A discount will apply if you have more than 100 participants across all versions of this workshop (see FAQ below).

Ready to talk to Emily about sponsoring the workshop?
Frequently Asked Questions About This Workshop
Can we host a live event instead?

Yes! I offer a one-hour live workshop that covers much of the same material, which is titled How to Prevent a Large, Unexpected Tax Bill on Your Fellowship Income. You can read more about that workshop on this page (second workshop listed).

Can we schedule a private Q&A call with Emily?

Yes! I would be delighted to answer questions over a live Q&A call for an additional $500 charge.

Holding a private call allows me to tailor my answers to questions to what the participants uniquely experience at your university and in your state.

Only people who are already registered in the workshop may attend this Q&A call.

What is the volume discount structure?
  • Registrants 1-100: $25 each
  • Registrants 101-200: $20 each
  • Registrants 201-300: $15 each
  • Registrants 301+: $10 each
How will participants sign up?

I will create a unique registration link for your PhD trainees that leads to a unique version of the workshop. I will bill you for the number of people who were added to your version of the workshop.

Can you send us the registration list?

Yes, I can easily export the registration list at any time and will send it to you upon your request.

Can you send us any data on how the workshop is being used?

Yes, I have a tracking feature set up to tell what fraction of the workshop each participant has completed. (Keep in mind that the workshop was designed so that modules that are irrelevant to an individual are easily skipped!) I am also tracking who attends each Q&A call.

How do participants access it?

I host the workshop files on my website, PFforPhDs.community. After a participant registers, they will receive their auto-generated login information. When they log in through PFforPhDs.community/account/login, they will see a link for the workshop.

Can you automatically limit the number of sign-ups to the number we want to pay for?

Unfortunately, my software does not have this feature. The best I can do is monitor the sign-ups frequently and manually close registration when I see that you are nearing or have reached your desired limit. The registration page can go to a waitlist instead.

Can we limit sign-ups to a short period of time or does it have to go throughout the calendar year?

Yes! While some of my clients make registration available throughout the calendar year, others prefer to limit registration to a certain quarter or month.

I recommend concentrating enrollment over about a month leading up to one or more of the quarterly payment deadlines. The two most popular times of year for enrollment are leading up to the quarter 3 deadline (mid-September) and the quarter 1 deadline (mid-April).

The former is a good time to enroll graduate students who recently switched onto fellowship for the new academic year, and the latter is a good time to enroll people who recently realized that they aren't having income tax withheld on their stipends/salaries.

As postdocs tend to start or switch onto fellowship at any point during the calendar year, I suggest keeping registration open year-round.

Can you send reminder emails about the live Q&A calls or do we need to do that?

I can take that off your hands!

When a participant registers for the workshop, I ask them to opt in to my mailing list so that I can communicate with them regarding the Q&A calls. If they do, they will receive the reminder email that I will send out prior to each quarter's live Q&A call. If they don't opt in or choose to unsubscribe, they won't receive those emails.

I won't email them about matters other than the workshop unless they opt in to my wider mailing list.

How do we pay for it?

I can register as a vendor/supplier with your institution and then invoice you for the number of registered participants to that date to be paid by check or direct deposit. Unless you prefer a different schedule, I will send you one invoice per quarter after the payment deadline has passed.

Alternatively, for smaller purchases (~25 or fewer), if you prefer I can send you an invoice through an online payments platform, through which you can pay by credit card.

Can we subsidize the cost of the workshop for our PhD trainees instead of paying for it in full?

Yes, you can choose what fraction of the $25 per person cost you will subsidize and what fraction will be the participant's contribution. I will still create a unique registration page and workshop copy. The participant will be charged up front the price you choose, and I will bill you later on for your portion based on the number of completed registrations.

When are the estimated tax deadlines?

The 2024 estimated tax deadlines are:

  • April 15, 2024
  • June 17, 2024
  • September 16, 2024
  • January 15, 2025 (or January 31, 2025 if you submit your tax return by that date)
When are the Q&A calls?

I will host at least one Q&A call in the couple of weeks leading up to each quarterly deadline.

  • Friday, April 12, 2024 at 1:00 PM PT
  • Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at 10:00 AM PT
  • Wednesday, September 4, 2024 at 10:00 AM PT
  • Friday, September 13, 2024 at 12:00 PM PT
  • Monday, January 13, 2025 at 11:00 AM PT
For how long will participants retain access to the workshop?

The workshop files will remain available through the entire year until I publish the next year's version of the workshop, which is typically in March, e.g., the 2024 version will remain available until February 2025.

What other universities have sponsored this workshop?

Quarterly Estimated Tax for Fellowship Recipients has been purchased on behalf of PhD trainees at:

  • Columbia University
  • Harvard University
  • Michigan State University
  • Scripps Research Institute
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of North Carolina
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
Since You've Read This Far...
Check out a sample of the course content!

This is the Introduction video.
Ready to talk to Emily about scheduling the workshop?