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Hi,

A friend of mine is an Internal Medicine resident
who is doing his residency at a hospital. He is
earning a little over $30000/year. But out of his
annual salary we noticed that they are taking out
not only federal/state taxes but also social security
also. I think that is wrong, because in my opinion,
he is a student (who has to complete the residency
program to earn the MD degree before he is eligible
to practice).

Has anybody else come across a case like this?
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An Internal Medicine Resident has completed medical school and is taking specialized training. He should already hold the M.D. degree or he should not have been accepted for residency. He is regarded as an employee of the hospital where he is a resident. And yes, he has to pay tax and social security out of that salary, as well as Medicare tax and perhaps state tax.
He may or may not already have a license to practice medicine. If he has passed all his licensing exams, he will be eligible for at least a limited license, and after one year of residency may be eligible for full licensure.
It may seem to you that he is a student, and in a certain sense he is, but the rules require that taxes be taken as they are being. It has been done that way for decades. Sorry.
Best wishes, Chris
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Crosenfield: "An Internal Medicine Resident has completed medical school and is taking specialized training. He should already hold the M.D. degree or he should not have been accepted for residency. He is regarded as an employee of the hospital where he is a resident. And yes, he has to pay tax and social security out of that salary, as well as Medicare tax and perhaps state tax.

He may or may not already have a license to practice medicine. If he has passed all his licensing exams, he will be eligible for at least a limited license, and after one year of residency may be eligible for full licensure.

It may seem to you that he is a student, and in a certain sense he is, but the rules require that taxes be taken as they are being. It has been done that way for decades. Sorry."


No offense to any ofthe docs, but when I was in high school and worked for pay during the summer, I paid social security taxes --- AND there was no question that I was a student (even listed student on income tax return). Earned income (possibly above some de minimis amount, Pixy or Phil?) requires payment of social security, unless the employee falls into some specially exempt class (generally one which is not covered by Social Security -- federal workers [but maybe not any more, Phil?], certain county employees, members of Congress, IIRC, etc.), but I am not aware of any general "student" exemption.

Regards, JAFO



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No offense to any ofthe docs, but when I was in high school and worked for pay during the summer, I paid social security taxes --- AND there was no question that I was a student (even listed student on income tax return). Earned income (possibly above some de minimis amount, Pixy or Phil?) requires payment of social security, unless the employee falls into some specially exempt class (generally one which is not covered by Social Security -- federal workers [but maybe not any more, Phil?], certain county employees, members of Congress, IIRC, etc.), but I am not aware of any general "student" exemption.

Regards, JAFO


I worked during High School and all during college. Taxes were always deducted. Oh that it could be a big refund with reverse penalties...30 years later. Just dreaming,

Bullpug
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No offense to any ofthe docs, but when I was in high school and worked for pay during the summer, I paid social security taxes --- AND there was no question that I was a student (even listed student on income tax return). Earned income (possibly above some de minimis amount, Pixy or Phil?)

The only one I'm aware of is household employees. If they're paid less than $1200(?--that blasted indexing) by an employer in a year those wages are exempt

requires payment of social security, unless the employee falls into some specially exempt class (generally one which is not covered by Social Security -- federal workers [but maybe not any more, Phil?],

Federal employees hired after 1983 are covered by Social Security and pay regular SS tax. Older employees were given a chance to convert from Civil Service Retirement (no SS taxes or benefits) if they wanted to.

certain county employees, members of Congress, IIRC, etc.), but I am not aware of any general "student" exemption.

There is a general SS exemption for students employed by the college they attend. This may be what the original poster was thinking about. This is kind of a weird one. My freshman year in college I worked in the library, which was an institution separate from the university. My wages were subject to SS. After that I worked in a store run by the university, and my wages were exempt. Go figure.

TMF ExRO
Phil Marti
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OK. So he will be subjected to Federal and State
taxes. But what about Social Security and Medicare
withholdings? He is working at an University
Hospital. When I was a student and I was receiving
my teaching assistantship, I paid Federal and State
taxes but not SS and Medicare taxes. That is why
I posted this question :-) Does this apply here?
If so, do you know what form does he need to fill out
to claim that part of the refund?

And thanks to all that answered my previous queries.
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OK. So he will be subjected to Federal and State taxes. But what about Social Security and Medicare withholdings? He is working at an University Hospital.

I think the issue with a medical resident is that he is no longer a student. He's received his MD, and there is no more formal schooling involved. At least that's the way I understand it from Chris' post.

TMF ExRO
Phil Marti
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No offense to any ofthe docs, but when I was in high school and worked for pay during the summer, I paid social security taxes --- AND there was no question that I was a student (even listed student on income tax return). Earned income (possibly above some de minimis amount, Pixy or Phil?) requires payment of social security, unless the employee falls into some specially exempt class (generally one which is not covered by Social Security -- federal workers [but maybe not any more, Phil?], certain county employees, members of Congress, IIRC, etc.), but I am not aware of any general "student" exemption.

I am on a postdoctoral fellowship and my stipend is not subject to FICA. I think this is the sort of thing the previous poster had in mind.

--Boffo
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I think the issue with a medical resident is that he is no longer a student. He's received his MD, and there is no more formal schooling involved. At least that's the way I understand it from Chris' post.

I think it is more complicated than that. I received my Ph.D., but am currently on a postdoctoral training fellowship. My stipend is exempt from FICA.

--Boffo
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"I think the issue with a medical resident is that he is no longer a student. He's received his MD, and there is no more formal schooling involved. At least that's the way I understand it from Chris' post."

"I think it is more complicated than that. I received my Ph.D., but am currently on a postdoctoral training fellowship. My stipend is exempt from FICA."

Medical residents are defined as salaried employees, not post-docs, whether they are paid by an university or a hospital, and they are subject to all pertinent taxes, including FICA (social security). Some residents also have post-doctoral fellowships to which fellowship tax rules apply. But this is in addition to their regular salary, which I believe is what is under consideration here.
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Medical residents are defined as salaried employees, not post-docs, whether they are paid by an university or a hospital, and they are subject to all pertinent taxes, including FICA (social security). Some residents also have post-doctoral fellowships to which fellowship tax rules apply. But this is in addition to their regular salary, which I believe is what is under consideration here.

Ah. I figured there was a distinction in there somewhere. Thanks for the clarification. I was just a little curious as to what was going on.

--Boffo
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When I was an undergraduate, back before the earth's crust cooled, I got a student stipend for working in the chemistry lab, preparing unknowns, that sort of thing. There was no tax withheld and no social security taken. The income wasn't enough to pay tax on, and the student stipend wasn't subject to social security.
When I was a graduate student the same thing applied.
When I was a medical student I taught chemistry. As a faculty member my teaching salary was fully taxed although I was a student in the same institution (different campus). I was employed by the same university but it is quite possible the department that cut checks didn't know I was also a student. I'd been teaching chemistry the year before, before becoming a medical student, so human resources saw me as one of their teachers, er, assistant professors. Maybe I could have gotten the tax refunded?
But as a medical resident, things are different. As already pointed out, a resident is an employee of the hospital sponsoring that residency program. As an employee, all the taxes apply including medicare and social security.
Best wishes, Chris
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