We seem to be having an issue with RA funding that we could use your help with.
Here at Carleton, non-unionized RA funding is currently accounted for as a research grant which is taxable. In the past, only $3000 of this awarded funding was tax-exempt and students could then deduct expenses from the total “grant”. But with the exemption of scholarships and fellowships from income tax, it seems like this practice is going to cost grads thousands of dollars. This is especially disturbing in cases where the research being conducted by students on these RAs falls into the government’s definition of fellowship funding.
So, we were wondering if you could answer the following questions about the way your institution accounts for RAs.
1) How are your RA accounted for? Are they seen as non-taxable fellowships or taxable research grants?
2) If they are fellowships, have there been any downsides or unintended impacts of this arrangement?
Finally, this might be a topic we could discuss at our next NGC meeting. It seems to me that some policy guidelines and best practices might help other schools who find themselves in a similar situation.
Thanks for your time and look forward to getting your responses.
Local 78, Canadian Federation of Students