If your DLC is planning to change a postdoctoral associate (PDA) to a postdoctoral fellow (PDF) or vice versa, use these resources to understand the impact of the change on your postdoc’s taxes and benefits eligibility.

Review payroll and tax procedures

All MIT postdoctoral associates (PDAs) and postdoctoral fellows (PDFs) are paid monthly on the last business day of the month. PDAs are taxed as employees and are subject to the same taxes—federal and state income, Social Security, and Medicare (FICA). MIT is required to withhold taxes from PDA payments.

PDAs must submit the appropriate withholding forms using the “Tax Withholding” page of the “My Money” section of the Atlas website. Use the Fiscal Information for PostDoctoral Fellows and Associates sheet to advise your PDAs about MIT’s payroll and tax procedures for associate appointments.

PDFs are subject to federal and state income taxes but not Social Security or Medicare (FICA) taxes. Depending on the funding source, MIT may not be allowed to withhold taxes from a fellowship stipend. Use the Fiscal Information for PostDoctoral Fellows and Associates sheet to understand the requirements and restrictions that apply to your PDFs.

Assess the impact of switching PDA/PDF appointments

When you change an appointee from a postdoctoral associate to a post-doctoral fellowship or from a postdoctoral fellowship to a postdoctoral associate, you may change the appointee’s tax liabilities and benefits eligibility. Use the Impact of Switching from PDA to PDF Appointment (or Vice Versa) sheet to assess the impact on your DLC’s appointee(s).

If you are making a late/retroactive appointment change, email VPF’s HR/Payroll team or call 617-253-4255.

The Details

Review payroll and tax procedures

All MIT postdoctoral associates (PDAs) and postdoctoral fellows (PDFs) are paid monthly on the last business day of the month. PDAs are taxed as employees and are subject to the same taxes—federal and state income, Social Security, and Medicare (FICA). MIT is required to withhold taxes from PDA payments.

PDAs must submit the appropriate withholding forms using the “Tax Withholding” page of the “My Money” section of the Atlas website. Use the Fiscal Information for PostDoctoral Fellows and Associates sheet to advise your PDAs about MIT’s payroll and tax procedures for associate appointments.

PDFs are subject to federal and state income taxes but not Social Security or Medicare (FICA) taxes. Depending on the funding source, MIT may not be allowed to withhold taxes from a fellowship stipend. Use the Fiscal Information for PostDoctoral Fellows and Associates sheet to understand the requirements and restrictions that apply to your PDFs.

Assess the impact of switching PDA/PDF appointments

When you change an appointee from a postdoctoral associate to a post-doctoral fellowship or from a postdoctoral fellowship to a postdoctoral associate, you may change the appointee’s tax liabilities and benefits eligibility. Use the Impact of Switching from PDA to PDF Appointment (or Vice Versa) sheet to assess the impact on your DLC’s appointee(s).

If you are making a late/retroactive appointment change, email VPF’s HR/Payroll team or call 617-253-4255.

Did You Know?

You can customize your direct deposit preferences online to add an additional account.
Research and teaching assistant stipends are considered earned income and are subject to income tax withholding requirements.
1 of 2