Taxes

Disclaimer: Washington University is not able to provide specific assistance with filing taxes and provides the following resources for informational purposes. Consult a tax lawyer or other professional for specific questions regarding your unique situation. 

Anyone who works in the U.S. is required to file an income tax return including U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Foreign Nationals. Non-immigrant visa holders who are considered tax exempt are also required to file a return. In addition, when non-immigrant visa holders complete a project in the U.S. and return home, they are still expected to file a tax return for the calendar year during which they left the U.S..

Generally speaking those with employee status (Postdoctoral Research Associate) will have taxes withheld from their paychecks, while those with non-employee status (Postdoctoral Research Scholar) will not.

The most common taxes withheld from a salary are U.S. Federal Income Tax, Missouri State Income Tax, St. Louis City Earnings Tax, and Social Security (FICA) / Medicare tax. For information on U.S. Federal Taxes, please visit the Internal Revenue Service website. For information on Missouri state taxes, please go to the Department of Revenue website.

Estimated Taxes

If you are a Postdoctoral Research Scholar, taxes may not be withheld from your paychecks. In this case, you will need to file and pay estimated taxes on a quarterly basis by the following schedule:

For the period of: Taxes due:
 January 1 through March 31  April 15
 April 1 through May 31  June 15
 June 1 through August 31  September 15
 September 1 through December 31  January 15th of the following year

For more information on how to file estimated taxes, please access the IRS website and search for “Estimated Taxes.”

Resources

The WU Tax Office: key tax issues for non-employee stipend recipients – Postdoctoral Research Scholars.

OISS has information for international students and scholars on their website.

National Postdoctoral Association (NPA):

Personal Finance for PhDs – Tax Center