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

  • Poster sessions and guest lecturers celebrate Darwin’s legacy.To honor the 206th birthday of legendary evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin, the University of Alabama at Birmingham will host Darwin Day on Thursday, Feb. 12, and Friday, Feb. 13. The events will celebrate scientific research in evolutionary biology and other disciplines. “Charles Darwin’s great discovery, the principle of natural selection, is more relevant to science than ever before,” said Steven Austad, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biology. “For...

  • Precious time is lost waiting for laboratory test results for people battling this infection. With the help of medical device startup Kypha Inc., one UAB researcher’s work could change this.Theresa Ramos and Scott BarnumMeningitis research efforts two decades in the making could soon come to fruition through a partnership between investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a medical device startup, with assistance from the UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Laboratory test results...

UAB Research News

  • Research to Prevent Blindness has given UAB’s Department of Ophthalmology a grant to further research of retinal and optic nerve diseasesResearch to Prevent Blindness has awarded a grant of $115,000 to the Department of Ophthalmology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding diseases. “We are very appreciative of the generous support from Research to Prevent Blindness. This grant will enable us to...

  • A new study says that the cost of a medication may play a very important role in a patient’s perception of whether it works.People’s perceptions of the cost of a drug may affect how much they benefit from the drug — even when they are receiving only a placebo. The finding, from a new study of people with Parkinson’s disease led by Alberto J. Espay, M.D., of the University of Cincinnati, and Jerzy P. Szaflarski,...