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UCLA Graduate Division

Postdoctoral Fellowship Tax Information

Fellowships are defined as payments to aid one’s pursuit of advanced training and research and are issued for the primary benefit of the individual receiving the payment. Because of their status as non-degree candidates, fellowship income received by a postdoctoral scholar is considered fully taxable by the federal and state tax boards.

Withholding: One’s residency status determines whether or not the University makes withholdings for federal taxes from this income. No withholdings are made for California State taxes.

U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and resident for tax purposes DO NOT Have federal or state income tax withheld from their fellowship income. If one does not have significant withholdings being taken from another income source, then the individual is expected to file estimated quarterly taxes with the federal (IRS) and state (CA FTB) tax boards. Please obtain the estimated tax publications below in order to assess whether or not you will need to make estimated quarterly tax payments.

Nonresidents of the United States will have federal taxes withheld from their taxable fellowship income. Individuals holding the F or J visa are assigned a federal withholding rate of 14%. All other visa holders are assigned a federal withholding rate of 30%. If one’s home country has an applicable fellowship tax treaty and qualifies for the treaty exemption, the University may be able to reduce or eliminate federal tax withholding from the income.

All nonresident fellowship recipients must register with the Glacier Program to determine their federal tax status before any payment can be issued to them by the University.

Taxability of health care benefits for fellow and paid-direct categories: Given their status as non-employees, the amount of the department contribution towards the PSBP (e.g., the imputed income) is considered taxable by the federal and state tax boards. Non-resident aliens in these two categories will have federal tax withheld each month at a rate of 14% for F/J visa-holders and 30% for all other visa holders. US citizens, permanent residents, and residents for tax purposes will not have withholdings taken or any official reporting by UCLA. However, they are expected to report the imputed income on their annual tax returns. For more information, please contact the Payroll Office at (310) 794-8726.

Internal Revenue Service: 1-800-TAX-FORM

The documents below are linked from the Internal Revenue Service site.

California Franchise Tax Board: 1-800-852-5711

The documents below are updated yearly, please select "current year forms" on the California Franchise Tax Board site to view the latest versions.

  • FTB Form 540-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals
  • FTB Instructions 540-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals

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