Tax Information

Payroll Services provides your employer tax statement, Form W-2, and manages the processes for submitting your personal withholding elections in Workday. Payroll Services does not provide tax advising or consultation services. It is recommended that you contact your tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 1-800-829-1040, for specific information and advice.

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General Tax Information

You have access to view and make changes to your current Federal, State, and Local tax withholding elections in the Workday Benefits and Pay Hub app. 

Form W-4: Employee's Withholding Certificate

Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a new federal Form W-4 Employee’s Withholding Certificate for tax year 2020.  The new Form W-4 is significantly different than the previous W-4 forms.   

Before completing the 2020 Form W-4, please read the instructions that are included with the form. You must complete Steps 1 and 5. 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 1 is for your personal information; 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 and dividends, itemized deductions that exceed the standard deduction, and extra tax you want withheld).

The IRS has provided the following guidance:

  • Employees hired before 2020 are not required to submit new forms; withholding will continue based upon your previously submitted valid W-4.
  • Employees hired before 2020 who wish to adjust their withholding after January 1, 2020, must use the new form.  NOTE: Once a new form W-4 is submitted, you will not be able to revert your withholding to be based on allowances.
  • Employees hired on or after January 1, 2020, will be required to use the new forms.
  • Employees hired on or after January 1, 2020, who do not submit a valid W-4 form will be treated as a single filer with no adjustments.


If an employee has not completed a 2020 W-4:

  • Since there was such a major change on the 2020 Form W-4, the marital status is the only field that is carried forward on Employee Self Service.

If an employee has completed the 2020 W-4:

  • Entries from your most recent 2020 W-4 are carried forward and display as selected (Step 3 will display a total amount only).


Even though the IRS does not require all employees to complete the revised form and even if your tax situation has not changed, we recommend you perform a “paycheck checkup” to see if you need to make adjustments to your current withholding.  To conduct the checkup, you can use the IRS’s Tax Withholding Estimator.

The IRS has also published Frequently Asked Questions that you may find helpful as you complete the form.

Please note that Ohio State cannot provide guidance on completion of the new W-4 or any related tax implications.  We recommend that you contact your tax consultant with any questions you may have.

How to Adjust the Amount of Withholding

Your W-4 tax elections impact the amount of federal taxes withheld from each paycheck.  You can review and make changes to your W-4 elections in the Workday Benefits and Pay Hub app. 

Reasons Employees Review W-4 Elections

Employees may choose to review their federal tax elections when they receive a large tax refund or owe taxes for the previous tax year.  Tax elections are also typically reviewed during significant life events like marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, and retirement.

IRS Resources: 

About Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate  
Tax Withholding Estimator  
Child Tax Credit

Claiming Exempt on W-4 - Expiration of Exempt

A Form W-4 claiming exemption from withholding is effective when it is submitted to the employer and only for that calendar year.  To continue to be exempt from withholding, an employee must submit a new Form W-4 via Employee Self Service by February 15.  If the employee fails to submit a new Form W-4 by February 15, we will begin withholding as if the employee had checked the box for Single or Married filing separately in Step 1(c) and made no entries in Step 2, Step 3, or Step 4 of the 2020 Form W-4. 

NOTE:  If the employee provides a new Form W-4 claiming exemption from withholding on February 16 or later, it will be applied to future wages, we will not refund any taxes withheld while the exempt status wasn’t in place.

Work State and Work Local Tax Withholdings

The University is responsible for accurately withholding your state and/or local income tax based on your actual work location(s). It is your responsibility, in partnership with your manager, to ensure your work location(s) on record is accurate and up to date. 

Due to the pandemic, Ohio legislature passed legislation on March 27, 2020, addressing income tax issues for out-of-state employers with employees now working remotely in Ohio. House Bill 197 suspended the impact of municipal taxes based on the location of work, and Ohio State will track and report taxes based on each employee’s approved work locations as required by law. 

Ohio House Bill 110 was passed on June 28, 2021, extending the temporary municipal tax rule through December 31, 2021.  As a result, work locations prior to the pandemic are effective for tax purposes until work location changes submitted via Flex Work Agreement are reflected on paychecks by the first paycheck of 2022.

If you are working fully remote or have a hybrid arrangement, working remote and on campus, report your work location(s) now by completing the electronic Flexible Work Agreement in HR Connection.  

In the event there is a request for flexible work arrangements that involve an out of state location, because employment laws differ in each state, careful consideration must be given before seeking approval for these arrangements, including the loss of income to the state of Ohio.


More information regarding the Flexible Work Agreement form in HR Connection is available on the HR website.

Frequently Asked Questions


State Tax Reciprocity

State tax for the work location is required to be withheld. 

  • Working in Ohio but claiming permanent residency reciprocity for Kentucky, Michigan or West Virginia. Complete the IT-4.  
  • Working in Ohio but claiming permanent residency reciprocity for Indiana or Pennsylvania. Complete the IT-4 and the appropriate state form since your state of residency tax will be withheld. 

For further assistance, go to HR Connection

State Tax Reciprocity

An employer must withhold Ohio income tax from any wages the employee earns while working in Ohio, even if the employee lives in another state.

State Reciprocity: 

Ohio has reciprocity agreements with the five states that border Ohio:  Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia

If you are working in Ohio and claiming a permanent resident reciprocity, you can view and change your Ohio tax elections in Workday.  If you are a permanent resident of a state that withholds state taxes, you can also view and change your resident state tax elections in Workday. 

Refer to the detailed instructions found here, Manage Tax Withholding Elections, on how to update your tax withholdings in Workday

For further assistance, go to HR Connection.

Fellowship Tax Information

IRS site provides detailed estimated tax information regarding Fellowships.  Please utilize this resource for your Fellowship inquiries.

Form W-2 / Year End

Ohio State is required to furnish all employees with a Form W-2 showing their compensation and tax withholding amounts for the calendar year by January 31 of the following year. You will use the W-2 to complete your yearly tax return by April 15. 

Go Paperless

Opt out of receiving a paper Form W-2 and take advantage of the secure, fast, and convenient electronic form that you can download and save to your personal records. To opt out of receiving a paper Form W-2, navigate to the Benefits and Pay Hub app. Detailed instructions can be found on the Administrative Resource Center.

An electronic Form W-2 ensures:

  • Your W-2 is posted securely on 
  • You have the earliest access to your Form W-2
  • You no longer have to deal with headaches and delays due to lost or misdirected mail 
  • You can easily print or download & save a copy to your personal computer or cloud application 


How to Access Your Previously Issued W-2s

Access your electronic W-2s in the Workday Benefits & Pay Hub app.

A W-2 form that is compatible with accessible readers is available for employees.  Employees can select the Accessible Form button on the My Tax Documents task.  This button displays when employees select the Simplified View check box on the Change Preferences task.  Type “Change Preferences” in the search bar within Workday to navigate to this task.  

If you require accessibility assistance, contact the Accessibility Help Line at 614-292-5000.

Explanation of Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement

Forms and instructions are available for download at the following web sites: IRS web site, State of Ohio web site 

The University’s Tax Office does NOT provide tax preparation advice or services.  You may wish to seek expert advice from an accountant or tax attorney in preparing your tax returns. 

W2 Box #



Section where information is located on your last paystub


Wages, Tips, Other


Taxable earnings for federal income tax purposes. This amount is computed as follows:  Earnings for the year (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31)


  • cost of employer provided group term life insurance in excess of $50,000 (Box 12)
  • employee/dependent graduate level fee authorization
  • total of taxable fringe benefits for university-provided vehicles (Vehicle Reporting – Box 14), athletic activities (Athletic Activity Reporting), golf course membership (Golf Course), and/or non-cash awards (Non-Cash Award)
  • taxable moving expenses (Moving Reimbursement)
  • tips (Tips)
  • homeownership loan



  • Employee retirement contribution (PERS, STRS, or alternative retirement plan)
  • IRS Code Section 403(b) tax deferred annuity contributions and/or IRS Code Section 457 deferred compensation contributions, Ohio Deferred Comp contributions (Box 12)
  • IRS Code Section 125 employee cost-shared medical, vision and/or dental premiums
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (HCFSA & FSA) contributions 
  • Retirement service credit contribution (before tax PERS or STRS service credit)
  • Before-tax parking deduction (Parking)
  • Before-tax COTA bus deduction














These items are listed in the Before Tax Deductions section of the  paystub



Federal Income Tax Withheld

Federal income tax withheld.



Social Security Wages

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Social Security Tax Withheld

Not Applicable

Not Applicable



Medicare Wages & Tips

Wages subject to Medicare Hospital Insurance tax: (Faculty and staff appointed on or after April 1, 1986, federal employees in OSU Extension, and students enrolled less than 6 credit hours are subject to this tax.)  This amount is computed as follows: Earnings for the year (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31)


  • cost of employer provided group term life insurance (Group Life) in excess of $50,000 (Box 12)
  • employee/dependent graduate level fee authorization
  • total of taxable fringe benefits for university-provided vehicles  (Vehicle Reporting-Box 14), athletic activities (Athletic Activity Reporting), golf course membership (Golf Course), and/or non-cash awards (Non-Cash Award) 
  • taxable moving expenses (Moving Reimbursement)
  • tips (Tips)
  • homeownership loan



  • IRS Code Section 125 employee cost-shared premiums
  • Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA & FSA) contributions
  • pre-tax parking (Parking)
  • Before-tax COTA bus deduction















These items are listed in the Before Tax Deductions section of the  paystub


Medicare Tax Withheld

1.45% Medicare Hospital Insurance Tax withheld on wages reported in Box 5



Advance EIC Payment

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Dependent Care Benefits

Dependent care contributions withheld and/or day care reimbursements

Before Tax Deductions



Cost of employer provided group term life insurance in excess of $50,000

Employer Paid Benefits



Cost of employer-sponsored health insurance

Not Applicable



IRS Code Section 403(b) tax deferred annuity contributions

Before Tax Deductions



IRS Code Section 457 deferred compensation contributions

Before Tax Deductions



Adoption Benefit (Adoption Reimbursement)

Hours and Earnings


Retirement Plan

Checked if any contributions were made to PERS, STRS, or an alternative retirement plan (ARP)

Not Applicable


Vehicle Reporting

Cost of personal use of university provided car(s)

Hours and Earnings


State & Employer’s State I.D. Number

Appropriate state abbreviation and employer’s state I.D. number

Not Applicable


State Wages, Tips, Etc.

Taxable earnings for state income tax purposes (same as Box #1 if  State of Ohio)

Same as items listed in Box #1


State Income Tax

State income tax withheld



School District Code/Tax

School district code and school district income tax amount withheld



Local Wages, Tips, Etc.

Taxable earnings for each locality withheld for (includes withholding for Work Locality & Resident Locality, if applicable).  May have multiple localities listed.



Local Income Tax

Local income tax withheld for each locality



Locality name

Name of city, town or village for which tax was withheld - Local tax, earnings and name of locality. 


Disclosure Statement

  • Terminated Employees: All terminated employees will receive a paper W-2 mailed to the address on their employee record. Terminated employees can contact HR at (614) 247-myHR(6947) or for instructions on updating personal information.
  • Updating Information for Active Employees: It is the employee’s responsibility to notify Human Resources of any changes to personal information such as social security number or name by submitting a Change of Record form. Address changes must be made via Workday.
  • Hardware and Software Requirements: The hardware and software requirements needed to access, print and retain Form W-2 electronically include an internet connection, web browser, and Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Inaccessible W-2s or Technical Problems: If an employee is unable to access their form online due to a technical problem, incorrect login or password, or incorrect e-mail address, the employee may request a paper copy.

Employee & Dependent Education Assistance Taxation

Ohio State employees who take advantage of tuition benefits provided by the university (either for themselves or dependents) should be aware of the tax consequences.

This page provides a summary of IRS regulations related to tuition benefits so that you can plan ahead.

Employee benefit- Based on IRS regulations, you should expect to be taxed on any graduate tuition benefit that exceeds $5,250 in a calendar year. (This also means that the first $5,250 in tuition assistance that the university provides to eligible faculty and staff each calendar year for graduate-level courses is not subject to taxation.)

We recommend that you prepare ahead of time for the tax consequences of your academic coursework. The university cannot provide tax advice to individual employees, so we would encourage you to discuss your particular circumstances with a tax professional.

Dependent benefit- Please note that tuition assistance for dependents, including spouse, or dependent children, who are taking graduate-level courses, is subject to taxation. Dependent undergraduate tuition assistance is taxable to the employee if the dependent is not eligible to be claimed on the employee’s federal tax return for that calendar year. (See questions on the Application for Dependent Tuition Assistance on the Office of Human Resources website).

Additional tax for the tuition assistance benefit is based on the employee's current W-4 on record at the time of taxation. The W-4 can be accessed through Workday.

Biweekly paid employees are taxed over six pay periods for the Spring, Summer and Autumn semesters.

Monthly paid employees are taxed over three pay periods for the Spring, Summer and Autumn semesters.

The months to be taxed for Spring semester: February, March, April. This timeframe may vary slightly depending upon payroll processing dates. A Workday notification is sent to employees prior to the first pay to be taxed stating the additional taxable income benefit on which they will be taxed.