Tax Information

Understanding Your Taxes

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.

General Tax Information

You have access to view and make changes to your current Federal, State, and Local tax withholding elections in Workday, click on your Pay application, and click on Withholding Elections.  

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 Workday, click on your Pay application, click on Withholding Elections, and Federal Elections.

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. 


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How are work state and work local taxes determined?

    Payroll uses the location on your position(s) in Workday to determine state and local tax withholdings unless you have an active Flexible Work Agreement for telework on file for one or more of your positions.  If you have a telework agreement, Payroll uses the locations and percentage allocations provided within your Flexible Work Agreement to determine tax withholdings.
     

  • Who needs to submit a Flexible Work Agreement request to report work location(s) for tax purposes?

    Employees who (1) work fully remote or (2) have a hybrid arrangement working remote and at an Ohio State location.  Work tax withholdings will only be accurate if the information is submitted in HR Connection using the Flexible Work Agreement form.
     

  • Is the Flexible Work Agreement form the only way to report work location(s) for tax purposes?

    Employees working in a single campus location do not need to complete a Flexible Work Agreement and work taxes are based on the worker’s Location in Workday.
     

  • The work taxes on my paycheck are wrong.  How do I get them fixed?

    Are you working 100% in Ohio State locations?
    Working in a single campus location:  Work with your manager to update your location in Workday.

    Working in multiple campus locations:  Work with your manager to submit a Tax Inquiry in HR Connection to report the effective date, correct Ohio State locations, and percentage of time spent at each location.

    Are you working hybrid?
    Use the Flexible Work Agreement Job Aid to submit a Flexible Work Agreement in HR Connection for your manager’s approval.  You will then receive a notification from HR Connection with the terms of the agreement for your review and final sign off.  To finalize the agreement, you must log back into HR Connection, “approve” the agreement, and save.

    Are you working 100% remotely?
    Use the Flexible Work Agreement Job Aid to submit a Flexible Work Agreement in HR Connection for your manager’s approval.  You will then receive a notification from HR Connection with the terms of the agreement for your review and final sign off.  To finalize the agreement, you must log back into HR Connection, “approve” the agreement, and save.
     

  • I submitted my Flexible Work Agreement in HR Connection, and it was approved by my manager.  When will the tax deduction on my paycheck change?

    If the work address(es) you reported on the Flexible Work Agreement is in a different tax municipality from your previous work location and/or your percentage allocation for multiple work locations changed, the updates will reflect on your paycheck within two pay periods following manager and employee approval.  Questions regarding invalid addresses will be sent back to the employee and manager and may cause a delay in processing.  Employees are responsible for working directly with the local municipality for any tax withholding corrections resulting from late or inaccurate location reporting, including refunds.  Payroll will make the changes effective going forward on all future paychecks.
     

  • How often do I need to review my flexible work arrangement with my manager for tax purposes?

    Work locations must be reviewed quarterly to ensure accurate work address and percentage allocation are reported for tax purposes.
     

  • I had taxes withheld for a locality that I was not working in because of House Bills 197 and 110 or because my Flexible Work Agreement was submitted/fully approved late or was inaccurate.  How do I receive a refund?

    Contact the local municipality directly for more information on how to request a refund.  As a reminder, you may also be required to file with the locality where you were working and/or residing but taxes were not reported or withheld.

    Employees are responsible for working directly with the local municipality for any tax withholding corrections resulting from late or inaccurate location reporting, including refunds.  Payroll will make the changes effective going forward on all future paychecks.

    Payroll will complete the employer certification section on IR-25 and RITA 10A Forms.

    Step 1: Submit a Tax Inquiry in HR Connection.

    Step 2: Attach (1) your fully completed and signed form, (2) documentation from your manager confirming your actual work location during the refund request period, and (3) a copy of your W-2 form for the tax year(s) you are requesting a refund. 

    Allow up to 30 days to review your request and respond.  We will review the attached documentation and respond in the Tax Inquiry in HR Connection.  If you are submitting a request for employer certification within 30 days of the tax filing deadline, you may want to confirm the deadline for the form you are submitting and consider filing for an extension as needed.

    Work with a tax preparer or financial advisor for any questions regarding the form and personal taxes.  Payroll partners are not trained tax advisors and will be unable to answer these questions.

  • I have an active Flexible Work Agreement indicating that I am working part-time or full-time from home, and I am moving.  Do I need to submit a new agreement for tax purposes?

    You need to update your home address in Workday.  You do not need to submit a new Flexible Work Agreement unless the percentage of time you work from home is changing.
     

  • I transferred to a new position and had an active Flexible Work Agreement on my previous position.  What happens to my taxes?

    Flexible Work Agreements are by position.  If you transfer to a different position and do not submit a Flexible Work Agreement for that new position, your taxes will default to the Workday location on your new position.  If you continue to work in a remote/hybrid capacity on the new position, you must submit a new Flexible Work Agreement for your new position to be taxed appropriately.  If you are working full-time at an OSU location different from what is currently on your new position, your manager will need to update your work location in Workday.
     

  • I submitted a new Flexible Work Agreement effective mid-pay period and expected my taxes to change on that effective date.  Why did they change for my whole paycheck?

    For tax purposes, Flexible Work Agreement changes must be effective at the beginning of a biweekly or monthly pay period for biweekly and monthly employees respectively.  If a change is made effective mid-pay period, the tax localities and percentage allocations active at the end of the pay period will apply to the entire pay period.
     

  • I work hybrid, part-time at an Ohio State location and part-time from home.  My department is moving to a different Ohio State building, do I need to submit a new Flexible Work Agreement for tax purposes?

    Yes, you need to submit a new Flexible Work Agreement any time you have a work address change so that you have accurate work location information on record and your taxes can be reevaluated by Payroll for accuracy.
     

  • I have reviewed the information available here on the payroll website and in HR Connection via the link provided below and still have questions about my taxes.  Who do I contact?

    Contact HR Connection by submitting a Tax Inquiry through HR Connection, email hrconnection@osu.edu, or call 614-247-myHR (6947).

 

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

Working Outside Ohio

Work location: 

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

State Reciprocity: 

  • Working in Ohio but claiming permanent residency reciprocity for KentuckyMichigan 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

Nonresident Alien

If you are a nonresident alien, use the Glacier program to help you understand tax questions.

Glacier is a web-based computer program that provides a "beginning to end" tax compliance solution. Once the university determines that you are a nonresident alien, you will receive an email to your osu.edu email address directing you to the Glacier website with a password for entry. After asking a few simple questions, the Glacier program will guide you through the tax filing process. Glacier does the following:

  • Makes tax residency, withholding and income tax treaty determinations
  • Manages all paperwork
  • Maintains data
  • Provides you with next steps
  • Files appropriate reporting statements with the IRS

If you are a nonresident alien and you have not received Glacier information, please submit a case in 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 Pay worklet > Tax Documents to update your printing election. Detailed instructions can be found here.

An electronic Form W-2 ensures:

  • Your W-2 is posted securely on workday.osu.edu 
  • 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

To access and print your electronic W-2 for tax year(s):

  • 2021 and onward, go to Workday>Pay>Tax Documents
  • 2016-2020, go to Workday>Pay>Tax Documents Prior to Tax Year 2021

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.

TurboTax Enrollment

If you use TurboTax to file your income tax return and would like your Form W-2 information to upload to TurboTax automatically, you must enroll in Workday to receive this convenience.

Explanation of Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement

Forms and instructions are available for download at the following web sites: IRS web site www.irs.gov, State of Ohio web site www.tax.ohio.gov. 

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 #

Description

Explanation

Section where information is located on your last paystub

1

Wages, Tips, Other

Compensation

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

Plus: 

  • 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

Minus:

  • 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

 

2

Federal Income Tax Withheld

Federal income tax withheld.

Taxes

3

Social Security Wages

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

4

Social Security Tax Withheld

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

 

5

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)

Plus:

  • 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

Minus: 

  • 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

6

Medicare Tax Withheld

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

Taxes

9

Advance EIC Payment

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

10

Dependent Care Benefits

Dependent care contributions withheld and/or day care reimbursements

Before Tax Deductions

12

C

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

Employer Paid Benefits

 

DD

Cost of employer-sponsored health insurance

Not Applicable

 

E

IRS Code Section 403(b) tax deferred annuity contributions

Before Tax Deductions

 

G

IRS Code Section 457 deferred compensation contributions

Before Tax Deductions

 

T

Adoption Benefit (Adoption Reimbursement)

Hours and Earnings

13

Retirement Plan

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

Not Applicable

14N

Vehicle Reporting

Cost of personal use of university provided car(s)

Hours and Earnings

15

State & Employer’s State I.D. Number

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

Not Applicable

16

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

17

State Income Tax

State income tax withheld

Taxes

18

School District Code/Tax

School district code and school district income tax amount withheld

Taxes

18

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.

Taxes

19

Local Income Tax

Local income tax withheld for each locality

Taxes

20

Locality name

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

Taxes

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 HRConnection@osu.edu 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.