Postdoctoral Fellows – Stipendee Taxes

Research fellows paid with a stipend should be aware of the tax implications related to this form of payment. Since stipendee postdoctoral fellows are not employees of the university, income taxes will not be withheld from stipends.  In addition, the university’s contribution to a stipendee posdoc’s benefit plans must be treated as taxable income to the postdoc, i.e., imputed income. The expectation is that postdocs who receive a stipend will make quarterly estimated federal and state tax payments. The University’s Financial Administration in the Office of the Controller provides information on the tax issues related to fellowship (stipend) payments. For further information please review the Fellowship Payment FAQs.

Additional information regarding tax reporting of fellowship income for non-employee research fellows can be found on this Fellowship Reporting Handout and on the University’s Nonresident Alien Tax Compliance web page. Please note that this document is produced for informational purposes only, and should not be considered tax, financial, or legal advice.

Information related to estimated federal tax payments can be found on the website of the Internal Revenue Service.  Quarterly tax payments can be made online through the  Electronic Federal Tax Payment System®.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue‘s website describes the policies and procedures for paying estimated taxes.  Online tax payments can be made through MassTaxConnect.

Taxes will be withheld from stipends paid to international postdocs unless a tax treaty exists between the postdoc’s home country and the United States AND the postdoc has applied for the relevant tax treaty benefits.  Information regarding tax treaties and the forms needed to apply for a tax treaty benefit are available online at https://nratax.oc.finance.harvard.edu/tax-treaties.