University Payroll Taxes

The Payroll Department cannot give tax advice to any employees. If employees need tax assistance, they should contact the IRS or seek their own tax or legal counsel.

Employees should submit the W-4 (federal) and VA-4 (state) forms using Employee Self-Service.

Employees can use the IRS Withholding Calculator to help determine the correct payroll tax withholding exemptions:

New Hires: New employees must indicate their tax exemptions for both federal and state through Employee Self Service. If no selections are made, per IRS guidelines, the University must withhold taxes at the default rate of single with zero exemptions.

Changing Tax Information: If an employee wants to change the current tax withholding rate, you can also make those changes through Employee Self Service. Changes may be made at any time of year.
W-4 or VA-4 elections remains in effect until the employee changes it through Employee Self Service.

Exemption from Withholding: Employees can claim exempt from income tax withholding, if they meet IRS guidelines, or the State of Virginia guidelines. Information on claiming exemption from withholding can be found on the requisite tax forms. By claiming this exempt status, no federal and/or state taxes will be withheld.

Nonresident Employees: Virginia law imposes individual income tax filing requirements on all non-residents (persons who are not Virginia residents or part-year residents but who receive taxable income from Virginia sources). The University does not withhold and report taxes from other states on the wages of its employees regardless of the employee’s residency. However, employees that reside in a state other than Virginia, and who pay state income taxes in such a state, may claim exemption from Virginia state tax withholding. Employees claiming exemption from Virginia withholding should indicate so each year by February 15th to retain the exempt status.

Mandatory Renewal of Exemption from Withholding: The exempt status expires at the end of the every calendar year. Each calendar year, employees must renew their exemption by February 15th in order to maintain an exempt status for the upcoming calendar year.

If an employee’s exempt status is not renewed by February 15, the University must begin withholding income taxes during the next pay period at the default maximum withholding amount, single with zero exemptions. No refunds will be given by the Payroll Department.

Overwithheld Income Taxes: As an employer, the University is required to withhold income taxes from an employee’s paycheck according to the employee’s W-4 and VA-4 selections. It is the employee’s responsibility to complete these tax forms and to do so correctly. If an employee fails to complete the forms via Employee Self Service, and if income taxes are overwithheld as a result, the Payroll Department will not refund any of the taxes withheld. If eligible, the employee can obtain a refund of any overwithheld income taxes when filing a personal income tax return for that year.

Exempt Status of Full-Time Students: Information regarding the exemption from Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes for students can be found in the policy on Student FICA exemption.

*Any student worker that has an active Faculty or Staff assignment is not eligible for the FICA exemption on any assignment, no exceptions.