How do I adjust my Federal Income Tax withholding?
Federal income tax withholding is adjusted by submitting a new Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate (Form W-4) to Payroll on or before the established Employee Due Dates .
The amount of allowances you claim on line #5 of your Form W-4 can be changed to increase or decrease the amount of your withholding for Federal Income Tax (FIT). For example:
- When you increase your number of allowances, the amount of FIT withheld is reduced.
- When you decrease your number of allowances, the amount of FIT withheld is increased.
Additionally, you may elect to have an extra, fixed dollar amount withheld for FIT from each pay. By specifying an "Additional Amount" (see line #6 of Form W-4), be aware that this withholding is over and above the amount based on your allowances.
Can I claim that I am ‘Exempt’ from Federal Income Tax withholding?
Yes, providing you meet both of the following conditions for exemption:
1. Last year you had a right to a refund of all Federal income tax withheld because you had no tax liability
2. This year you expect a refund of all Federal income tax withheld because you expect to have no tax liability
Claiming ‘Exempt’ is valid for only one calendar year at a time. In order to claim ‘Exempt’ for a new calendar year, you must re-file a new Form W-4 by February 15th in order to maintain the exempt status. Otherwise, Payroll is required to withhold FIT as if the employee is filing ‘Single’ with zero allowances.
Some additional restrictions apply. Please read Form W-4 completely before claiming ‘Exempt’.
If I forgot to change my W-4 form, can I fill it out now and have it processed retroactively?
No, Federal law prohibits retroactive processing for taxes.
What changes need to be made when I change my marital status?
If the change in marital status involves a name change, you should apply for a Social Security card with your new name and have your department change the name on the Employee Record and submit it through the proper channels. This must occur in order for the Payroll Department to make the necessary changes to the Payroll master file.
If I reached my social security tax maximum with my former employer, can I exempt myself from social security taxes for the rest of the year with the University?
No, each employer must deduct FICA according to earnings paid through that particular employer. If you have excess tax withheld during a calendar year, you must claim the excess on Form 1040, which must be filed on or before April 15th of the following year.
What is the Social Security (FICA) maximum for 2015?
- Social Security benefits(OASDI) 6.20%,$118,500 cap
- Medicare 1.45% tax, no cap
How does moving affect my Payroll records?
Your permanent home address is used to determine your liability for certain local taxes. If you are a resident of the City of Pittsburgh, you must have tax withheld for the City wage and school taxes. The City of Pittsburgh levies a non-resident wage tax on all non-immigrants and out-of-state residents at the rate of 1%.
Your most current home address must be on file in the Payroll Department to assure receipt of University mailings; e.g. W-2 forms, correspondence, etc. This is extremely important since payroll averages approximately 800 returned W-2's each year for incorrect addresses.
Therefore when you move, please update your address online through PRISM. Instructions on how to update your address online can be found under the Forms link. If you are a terminated employee that needs to update your address, please complete and submit a Residency Certification Form to Payroll as soon as possible.
What are the tax rates in my area?
Click here to find your withholding rate/s by address.
What action should I take if I
authorize a deduction and it was not taken from my earnings?
Contact the Payroll Department immediately if a deduction was not processed. A Payroll staff specialist will investigate the problem and suggest appropriate action.
If I authorize a deduction, in which month will it take effect?
Deductions are usually applicable for goods and services in the current month.
If an employee is paid on a biweekly basis, what deductions are taken from each paycheck?
First biweekly: Retirement Plan (TIAA/CREF), Flexible Spending Amount, Medical, Dental, Vision, Group Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, Union Dues, Vacation Pay, and/or other statutory deductions.
Second biweekly: Retirement Plan (TIAA/CREF), Flexible Spending Amount, Medical, Credit Union, Union Dues, Vacation Pay, Parking, United Way, and/or other non-statutory deductions.
Third biweekly: Retirement Plan (TIAA/CREF) and Union Dues (depending upon contractual agreement).
Is it possible to obtain a salary advance or an early release of my paycheck?
No, SPI #36, VIII, G. states "Requests for payroll advance and/or early release of paychecks prior to the normal payday will not be approved under any circumstances. Should an employee be away during the normal pay date, arrangements should be made with the department administrator to forward or deposit the check."
- The best avenue for any employee would be to have Direct Deposit. That way if you are out of town on payday, your money will be in your account and accessible. This is quicker than forwarding a check.
When is the money credited to an account when an employee authorizes direct deposit?
For monthly payrolls, deposits are made no later than the actual pay date.
For biweekly payroll, deposits are made no later than the actual pay date.
Is it possible to credit part of a paycheck to a savings account and part to a checking account?
No, direct deposits must be made entirely to either a checking account or a savings account.
If I transfer to another Department within the University do I need to complete a new Direct Deposit Form?
No, unless you terminate your employment from the University, your Direct Deposit will remain the same.
What action should I take if I lose my paycheck?
Notify your supervisor and the Payroll Department immediately. The Payroll Department will submit a "Stop Payment" to the bank. Payroll will reissue the check after receiving the confirming stop payment notice from the bank.
If you recover the lost check after notifying the Payroll Department but before receiving a new check, do not try to cash or deposit the check, because the check will be rejected by the bank. Return the check to the Payroll Department, and a replacement will be issued.
Can an individual employee review his/her own payroll/personnel record?
Yes, specific policies and procedures are described in Policy 07-06-05, "Access To Employee Personnel Files." An appointment must be made with the Office of Human Resources to actually review the file.
When is payday at the University?
For most of the University staff and faculty, the pay date is usually the last working day of the month. For certain service operation departments, temporary employees, and student employees, the pay date is typically every other Friday according to the pre-determined schedule.
What does the heading "Taxable Fringe Benefit" mean on my payroll check stub?
1) Based upon IRS regulations, the value of employer-provided group term Life insurance in excess of $50,000 is taxable income to the employee, and the employer is required to withhold FICA and FIT on this benefit.
2) Moving Expense … Eligibility for reimbursements of moving expense is available to new full time faculty and librarians and those full-time administrative and professional staff specifically approved by a Senior Officer.
What taxes are Imputed Group Life and Moving Expenses subject to?
Both are subject to FICA and FIT (as applicable).
Supplemental Salaried Personnel Activity Report (SPAR)