A W-4 form tells your employer the amount of Income tax to withhold from your paycheck.
Change to 2020 IRS Form W-4
Due to the federal tax law changes that took place in 2018, the new 2020 IRS Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, has been changed significantly. As such, the IRS is now requiring certain employees to complete this new form. (e.g. new hires or employees making withholding changes starting in 2020).
Also, even if your tax situation has not changed, we are recommending that you perform a “paycheck checkup” to verify your current withholdings. To conduct such a checkup, you can use the new IRS Tax Withholding Estimator tool (www.irs.gov/W4App). If you do choose to use the estimator, it is helpful to have a copy of your most recent pay stub and tax return available. At this time, it looks like the new estimator will be updated to account for the 2020 tax tables in early January. You may want to consider completing a new form W-4 if you want to more accurately account for your annual income. A new form W-4 is encouraged, for example, if you work more than one job, if your spouse also works and you file your taxes jointly, if you claim the child tax credit or other tax credit, or if you have high incomes and more complex tax returns.
Caution: If you choose to not submit a new W-4 form, your federal tax withholding will continue based on your previously submitted form.
For those who are completing the 2020 Form W-4:
Tufts and the IRS take your privacy seriously and suggest that, if you are worried about reporting income from multiple jobs in Step 2 or other income in Step 4(a), please check the box in Step 2(c) or enter an additional withholding amount in Step 4(c). To determine the additional withholding amount, you can use the withholding estimator. Alternatively, another tool to help you determine what your net pay would be, after any tax or benefit changes, is the Paycheck Modeler in eServe. To access this tool, log into eServe and from the Employee Self Service portal, click Payroll and Compensation. On the left-hand menu, click Paycheck Modeler and follow the onscreen instructions.Making Changes
- Please read the instructions that are included with the form;
- Complete Steps 1 and 5; Step 1 is for your personal information and Step 5 is where you electronically sign
- Steps 2, 3, and 4 are optional, but completing them will help ensure that your federal income tax withholding will more accurately match your tax liability. Step 2 is for households with multiple jobs; Step 3 is used to claim tax credits for dependents; Step 4 is for other adjustments (additional income such as interest & dividends, itemized deductions that exceed the standard deduction, and extra tax you want withheld) Consider referencing the IRS published Frequently Asked Questions (www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-on-the-draft-2020-form-w-4.)
There is no limit on the number of times you can update your W-4 in Employee Self Service but changes are limited to once per day. Changes are never retroactive and will be effective immediately and reflected on the next paycheck provided the change is made prior to TSS running that payroll cycle. Submitting a new W4 replaces the previous W4 information.
NOTE that there are two sections: Federal and State. They are separate and not related, but display on the same page, and both must be updated.
Allowances - Allowances are no longer used for the redesigned Form W-4 for 2020
- Allowances are no longer used for the redesigned Form W-4. This change is meant to increase transparency, simplicity, and accuracy of the form. In the past, the value of a withholding allowance was tied to the amount of the personal exemption. Due to changes in law, currently you cannot claim personal exemptions or dependency exemptions.
- Paychecks starting in 2020 will show N/A under allowances since allowances are no longer used.
- Previously, you could think of an allowance as a person. That person could be yourself, your spouse, or your children and/or dependent(s). An employee who claimed “Single” was withheld at a higher rate than an employee who claimed “Married.” An employee who claimed “Single Zero” had the most amount of tax withheld from their paycheck for that pay period. The more allowances you claimed, the less amount of tax was withheld from your paycheck.
To update your W-4 through Employee Self Service, please follow the instructions below.
Open Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.
Go to https://hrss.uit.tufts.edu and select the Employee Self Service Login.
Once on the Employee Self Service Login page, enter your User ID and Password.
Make sure you are on Employee Self Service at the top of the page.
Click on “Paycheck and Compensation”
Click on "W-4, W-2, W-2 Consent"
Click on “W-4 Tax Information”
This pulls up your current tax information. You can change your information here to what you wish to claim, and click "submit" at the bottom of the page. You can only do this once a day.
Claiming Exempt- Note this can be done for Federal and/or State, but each must be entered separately
You can claim an exemption from tax withholding if you had no income tax liability last year and expect the same this year.
If you are a faculty/staff claiming exempt from Income Tax you need to submit a paper form. Students and temps can claim tax exempt online instead of a paper form. Under the State section, they must put an “X” for Marital Status.
A Foreign National will see the option to claim exempt, but this is actually not an option. A Foreign National can only be exempt from Income Tax if the Tax Treaty Analysis provides for it.
The exempt status for the previous year typically expires on February 15th of the following year, but for 2018, the 2017 exemption expired on February 28th because they did not release the new W-4 forms prior to February 15th
Live In versus Work In State for State Taxation
We are required to withhold taxes in the state that you are WORKING in. Since the University is in MA and most employees are working in MA, the State You Work In and Live In defaults to MA. Staff, Faculty, and Temps who want to change either the Work In or Live In State, must contact TSS and report what work you are doing for Tufts in that Other State so that we can approve and adjust. EServe will appear to allow you to change the State, but once you hit Submit and return to the page, it will still display MA even though your changes have been registered.
The Work In State and Live In State for a Student will also default to MA since both are intended to be the address in which work is performed and not the parents' or permanent address.
If you are having technical difficulties, please contact Tufts Technology Services (TTS), they will be able to help. You can contact them at 617-627-3376 or through email at https://access.tufts.edu/get-work-done#It-request between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Please make sure you have logged into eServe through the link at AccessTufts: https://access.tufts.edu/software/eserve rather than a link you may have saved somewhere else. If you do use an old link, you may be prompted for your password, which will then not be accepted! If this happens, please make sure you are using the correct link and you may need to clear your cache/cookies or use a different browser and the correct link!