Postdoctoral Associates are taxed as employees and have taxes withheld from their paychecks (federal and state income taxes, as well as Social Security and Medicare, or FICA). They need to submit the necessary withholding forms to MIT online, following HR/Payroll instructions.
Tax regulations for Postdoctoral Fellows are different, including regarding tax withholding. Fellowship stipends disbursed by MIT, except for foreign sourced fellowships, are subject to federal and state income taxes but not to Social Security or Medicare taxes. The stipend income is referred to as “unearned” income by the Internal Revenue Service, and Fellows are required to pay taxes on it.
For United States citizens and permanent residents, MIT does not withhold taxes, even though the stipend is taxable, and such Fellows may need to make estimated payments quarterly to the IRS (federal) and the state.
International postdocs should consult the International Scholars Office website.
Additional tax and benefit Information is available through MIT’s Office of the Vice President for Finance (HR/Payroll) and MIT Employee Benefits. See in particular Fiscal Information for Postdoctoral Fellows and Associates and Impact of switching from a Postdoctoral Associate to a Postdoctoral Fellow appointment (or vice versa). On overview directed at administrators may also be found here: http://vpf.mit.edu/manage-pda-pdf-taxes-and-benefits