Your employer is required to withhold federal and state taxes from your paychecks unless, due to certain circumstances, you are eligible to claim exemption. These taxes include 7.65% of pay for Social Security and Medicare as well as variable amounts for federal and state income taxes. The employer submits withheld monies to the federal or state government on a monthly basis and provides you with a record of withholding on your W-2 issued at the end of the year.
Each employee* must complete a federal (W-4) and state (WT-4A) withholding certificate at the time of hire to enable the employer to withhold the correct amount of income tax from his or her pay. You may submit a new form at any time to adjust the amount of taxes withheld.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 505 provides instructions to help you determine how much tax withholding you should have taken from your paycheck. Factors include your marital status, number of dependents, tax credits, non-wage income and number of wage earners in the family or number of jobs you work.
*Nonresident aliens should read the instructions provided in Form 8233 before completing Form W-4.
Student employees may be exempt from Social Security, however, most UW employees are subject to Social Security tax. International employees working for the university may be required to pay Social Security tax, depending upon their Residency Status and Income Code.
Return to Payroll and Taxes
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This document was last revised on December 26, 2012