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 postdoc’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 and the University’s Policy on Fellowship Payments and Reimbursements for Students and Non-employee Postdocs/Fellows and Harvard Chan School’s Policy Statement for Fellowship Payments & Reimbursements.
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®.
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 on the Tax Treaties and Deadlines web page.
For more information on tax compliance and tax reporting, please visit the University’s Financial Administration in the Office of the Controller web page.