Appointment Process

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://revenue.alabama.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.revenue.alabama.gov/incometax 

Financial Affairs webpage on the UAB web site has a Scholarship & Fellowship section which is very helpful. See "Taxability to Individuals" at http://main.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=14627

Postdocs in UAB News

  • The new Alabama Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education is part of the American Council on Education’s Women’s Network, a national system of state networks focused on advancing and supporting women in higher education.From left: Lisa Schwiebert, Shilpa Register, Wendy Gunther-Canada and Janelle ChiaseraA group of women at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is paying it forward with the creation of a state network committed to developing and advancing women leaders in higher...

  • Top physician-scientist tapped to succeed Kirby Bland as chair of the UAB Department of Surgery.Written by Kendra CarterHerbert Chen, M.D., an internationally recognized surgeon-scientist and medical educator, has been named chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and surgeon-in-chief of UAB Hospital. Chen comes to UAB from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where he is the Layton F. Rikkers, M.D., Chair in...

UAB Research News

  • The new Alabama Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education is part of the American Council on Education’s Women’s Network, a national system of state networks focused on advancing and supporting women in higher education.From left: Lisa Schwiebert, Shilpa Register, Wendy Gunther-Canada and Janelle ChiaseraA group of women at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is paying it forward with the creation of a state network committed to developing and advancing women leaders in higher...

  • "A lot of people say that when things get stressful and schedules get tight, sleep is the first thing to get sacrificed," study researcher Megan Ruiter, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told the Huffington Post . "It turns out that it's a lot more problematic than we previously realized."