All employees are required to complete a Form W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate indicating their filing status and number of allowances for federal tax purposes. If you do not complete a Form W-4, the system will default to single status with zero allowances, thus withholding the maximum amount of federal tax.
According to IRS regulations, an employer is required to report any employee who claims more than 10 withholding allowances on his/her Form W-4. This may or may not result in an audit of the employee's tax returns.
NOTE: The IRS requires employers to remind employees to review their W-4 status annually and to file a new Form W-4 if necessary.
If you wish to claim a different number of withholding allowances for state tax purposes, you must complete a Form M-4 Massachusetts Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate. If you do not complete a Form M-4, the Payroll Office will use the information on your Form W-4 for state tax purposes.
State regulations require employers to report any employee who claims more than 5 withholding allowances on his/her Form M-4. This may or may not result in an audit of the employee's tax returns.
Form W-4 and Form M-4 are available in the Payroll Office.
As a result of COBRA, all state government employees hired on or after April 1, 1986, are required to pay the Medicare portion of the social security tax. This tax is 1.45% of a person's wages/salary. Because state employees do not contribute to social security, they are not entitled to social security benefits upon retirement. However, by paying the Medicare Tax, state employees may now be eligible for Medicare when they retire.
For employees paid through HR/CMS, this deduction will appear on your paycheck as ”MED/EE”. It is not health insurance.
NOTE: Students working at the college they are attending are EXEMPT from Medicare Tax.
If you had no income tax liability for the previous year and expect none this year, you may claim exemption from income tax withholding -- see Form W-4 for more information. However, your wages are still subject to Medicare Tax (unless you are a student working at the college which you are attending).
A Form W-4 claiming exemption is valid for only one calendar year. To continue your exempt status, you must complete a new Form W-4 by February 15 each tax year. If you do not file a new Form W-4, the Payroll Office will change your status to single with zero allowances, thus withholding the maximum amount of tax.
All student employees are liable for wage reporting to the Federal and State governments. This means that each quarter, earnings are reported to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and at the end of the year W-2's are issued. The information contained on the W-2 is reported to the Federal government through the Social Security Administration. This information is also reported to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
No student employees are exempt from wage reporting.
Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, (IRS Publication #15) provides information and guidelines for withholding on wages for non-resident aliens.
The Payroll Office has a copy of the current Circular E or you may view and/or download the information at www.irs.gov or by clicking this link (Circular E, Section 9, Withholding on nonresident aliens).