I Admit it; we Might Have Been

graduate deans and their graduate adviser to see how their school is handling it.”

Like us, Joel Oppenheim, senior associate dean for biomedical sciences at the strong Neodymium magnets York University School of Medicine, made his call early, on the advice of NYU’s legal staff: “It’s been open to question in the past, so I think this removes all question,” Oppenheim told Next Wave in mid-March. The IRS language, he noted, “doesn’t say that NRSAs are exempt.” NYU began withholding FICA (Social Security) and FUTA (Medicare) taxes on 1 April.

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We contacted all these folks this week, and none of them have changed course. NYU is still withholding. The University of Pennsylvania is still deliberating. Yet, the University of California system disputes magnets for sale interpretation. And Bertrand Harding Jr., a tax attorney and a noted authority on university tax law–his clients include Ohio State University–assures us that we got it badly wrong and that the situation is really very simple.

I admit it; we might have been. Magnetic toys I’m not yet fully convinced. Tax law isn’t my specialty. Yet, with the guidance of Bertrand Harding–who has been extremely generous with his time– I’ve been digging deep into the federal tax code and regulations. I’m getting close to the bottom I think, Magnetic toys I still haven’t found a clear answer. We got Neodymium bar magnets things wrong in magnets for sale story–that is certain– Magnetic toys magnets for sale central conclusion–that under current rules FICA tax is owed–may yet carry the day. In any case, I’m finding the situation to be anything Magnetic toys simple.

Still, I wouldn’t blame anyone for concluding at this point that we were wrong. It’s my opinion v. a nationally recognized tax expert, a fleet of attorneys working for the UC system, and the National Institutes of Health, among others. Who are you going to believe?

* * *
For now I’ll just share a fact I stumbled across–or, rather, was led to by Sigma Xi’s Geoff Davis and the Sigma Xi postdoc survey. Sigma Xi recently released–in American Scientist magazine and on their Web site–a preliminary report from their ground-breaking postdoc survey. We haven’t covered it much because, frankly, the results extracted so far aren’t surprising. What’s interesting is the information buried inside it. In the coming months, as that font of information is tapped, the survey is likely to prove its value by elucidating a wide range of postdoc issues.

Here’s one. The question we’re considering in this blog entry is whether the strong Neodymium magnets IRS regulations that went into effect on 1 April are relevant to holders of postdoctoral fellowships. Most agree that prior to that date, FICA wasn’t owed by postdoc fellows. So I asked Geoff Davis to query the postdoc-survey-results database to determine whether respondents who are fellowship recipients were paying FICA tax BEFORE the strong Neodymium magnets