I'm confused about whether a post-doc would owe federal taxes.
The post-doc in question is paid through a foundation associated with a university, but not by the university itself. The foundation's staff didn't withdraw any taxes from the payments and seems to think the postdoctoral fellowship should be tax-free, perhaps because it is considered a stipend.
When I look online, most websites seem to flatly state that a [U.S. citizen] post-doc definitely has to pay federal taxes (even including quarterly estimates). However, I understand that some post-docs getting their funds from particular sources (like the NIH) have claimed that they don't have to pay taxes.
I understand that a post-doc would not have to pay taxes if he or she were enrolled in courses and working toward a degree. In this post-doc's case, he is enrolled in a class for administrative purposes and the institution or foundation pays the tuition for him, but he is not as far as he knows considered working toward a degree.
Does anyone have insights on how to determine whether a post-doc owes taxes, and in particular under the circumstances I've described? Thank you in advance!