Types of Postdoctoral Appointments

Upon appointment, a postdoctoral scholar is assigned to one of two distinct categories for payroll and taxation purposes:

Status Code 21: A Postdoctoral Employee is an individual who, while pursuing further training, provides services to UAB for compensation. These postdocs receive a salary, usually as part of an NIH-funded grant. Salaries and wages are fully taxable to the individual providing the services. Postdoctoral employees receive benefits as shown under the Benefits section.

Status Code 20: A Postdoctoral Trainee is an individual who is receiving a true fellowship, as defined by the IRS, and receives an amount to aid in the pursuit of research training. This amount cannot represent payment for the performance of any past, present, or future teaching, research, or other services. Postdoctoral trainees are provided health insurance with the opportunity to purchase dental options.

In accordance with IRS regulations, UAB does not withhold federal income taxes on status code 20 postdoc trainees, and the State of Alabama currently excludes fellowships from taxation in their entirety. Therefore, to the extent that a scholarship/fellowship is federally taxable to the individual, that individual will probably have to file federal quarterly estimated income tax returns and pay quarterly taxes in order to comply with individual income tax regulations. (For specific advice on an individual tax situation, a tax professional or the IRS should be contacted. Non-resident aliens should direct their tax questions to the International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS) at (205) 934-3328. Postdoctoral trainees receive benefits as shown under the Benefits section.

In accordance with regulations, federal and state income taxes are not withheld from stipend amount IF YOU ARE A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES. You may be required to file federal quarterly estimated income tax returns and pay quarterly taxes to comply with individual income tax regulations.

It is important to consult an income tax professional or the IRS for advice on this matter.

The IRS booklet, Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, can be viewed on-line at:http://www.irs.gov. In the Search For field type: Publication 970 and in the Search Within field choose: IRS site. The booklet can be printed out or you may call (800) 829-3676 for a copy to be sent by mail. Additional publications at this site that may help you include:

Publication 421, Scholarships and Fellowship Grants 
Publication 355, Estimated Tax 
Publication 306, Penalty for Underpayment of Estimated Tax 
Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax

State of Alabama income tax website - http://www.alabama.gov/ 

Financial Affairs webpage on the UAB web site has a Scholarship & Fellowship section which is very helpful. See "Taxability to Individuals" at http://financialaffairs.uab.edu/content.asp?id=297413

Postdocs in UAB News

  • Increased risk of major adverse cardiac events after the later surgery persists for one year.Carla HolcombA patient who has noncardiac surgery sometime after a stent is put into a coronary artery to open up a blockage has a greater risk for major adverse cardiac events (MACE) following the operation, but the optimal time to delay such elective surgery after stenting was not known. In a study of more than 28,000 patient records, first author Carla Holcomb,...

  • UAB School of Public Health research published in the journal Obesity shows seeing, hearing and smelling others’ eating foods can cause low birthweight in offspring among mice.While studies have shown that what a mother eats during pregnancy can affect her offspring, it could be that what she sees others eating can also affect her offspring. New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health explores the influence it has in a...

UAB Research News

  • UAB researchers find a chemical pathway — a glutamate transporter — that may be causing seizures and shorten survival rates for patients with brain tumors.Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have identified a chemical pathway that may be associated with seizures and shorter patient survival in some patients with malignant glioma, the most common and deadly form of brain tumor. In findings published May 27 in Science Translational Medicine, the researchers suggest that...

  • Pioneering cancer research at UAB will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.A team of physician-scientists and researchers from the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center will present some of the latest advances in cancer research to more than 25,000 oncology professionals during the 51st annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncologyin Chicago May 29-June 2, 2015.  UAB Cancer Center investigators are authors on more than 50 abstracts accepted by ASCO for the...