Tax Information

Understanding Your Taxes

Payroll Services provides you with employer tax statements like the W-2, and can guide you through the steps to adjust your withholding elections via the W-4 at 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

If you want to make changes to tax withholding, login to Workday. Please review both the W-4 Tax Information and State Data.  Form instructions can be found within these tabs.

Please note that only Ohio taxable school districts need to be added.

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

You can adjust the amount being withheld from your paycheck by changing your W-4 tax information through Workday.

Reasons to Recheck Your W-4

You should pay particular attention to your withholding if you received a big refund check the previous year or if you had to make a tax payment that was more than you could comfortably pay. Also check your withholding if you had a significant change in your life this year, like marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or retirement. There is a good chance you're not having enough withheld if you have more than one job, if your spouse works, if you have income not subject to withholding, such as rent, dividends, interest or capital gains, or if you owe other taxes like self-employment or household employment taxes.

How to Find Out if You Are Withholding Enough

With the help of current pay stubs and a copy of last year's tax form, you can check to see if you are withholding the right amount using the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator.  

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.  Work locations prior to the pandemic will continue to be used for tax reporting until further notice.

We are actively working to implement a process by the end of the year to support the volume of tax changes needed for employees who are not returning to their pre-pandemic work location(s).  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.  Reporting your updated location(s) now will ensure that we have the information necessary to implement tax changes later this year.  

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

  • 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 form is in a different tax municipality from your previous work location, your tax withholdings will be updated later this year.  Street addresses, including city and zip code, must be entered accurately to ensure accurate and timely taxation.  Questions regarding invalid addresses will be sent back to the employee and manager and may cause a delay in processing.  We are still working to implement the process needed to manage these changes for the entire organization.  By submitting your updated work location(s), you have ensured that your taxes will be updated when the new process is implemented. 

  • How do I request a refund for the taxes that were deducted from my paycheck for the city that I was not actually working in due to COVID?

    Contact the local municipality directly for more information on their process for filing a credit. 

  • Who needs to submit a Flexible Work Agreement and Location Management request to report work location(s)?

    Employees who (1) work fully remote, (2) have a hybrid arrangement working remote and on campus, or (3) work in multiple campus locations on a single position.  Work tax withholdings will only be accurate if the information is submitted in HR Connection using the Flexible Work Agreement and Location Management form. 

  • Is the Flexible Work Agreement and Location Management 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.


More information regarding the Flexible Work Agreement and Location Management 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 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. 

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. 


W-2 Statement Access

University employees may choose to access their W-2 statement electronically through Workday (preferred) or to receive a paper copy mailed to their home address on file.

The benefits of receiving an online W-2 form are:

  • Faster access than through the mail
  • Significantly less risk that your W-2 may be lost or stolen, compared with mailed delivery
  • Available on demand from any location with internet availability
  • Environmental impact

Employers must comply with specific Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations (26 CFR 31.6051-1) to issue electronic W-2s, and employees must provide their consent to receive an electronic W-2 instead of a paper copy. 

How to access your W-2 electronically

To access your W-2 online for 2013 and onward, you must provide your consent through Workday. There is a W-2 Consent section with a Consent Now button. 

Once you have signed up for electronic forms, you can print copies of your W-2s for tax years 2013 and onward at any time. To access our forms, log on to Workday and under the Tax Information folder in the Time and Pay section, click on the View W-2/W-2c Forms link. The most recent tax year forms will display. To view your tax forms for a different year, click on the View a Different Tax Year link.


Disclosure Statement

  • Consent Generally: If an employee does not consent to receive an electronic version of the W-2 form, he or she will continue to be furnished with a paper W-2 form. The “default” position is for employees to receive paper W-2 forms via U.S. mail.
  • Scope and Duration of Consent: An employee’s consent to receive a W-2 form in electronic format is effective only for all future tax years until consent is withdrawn. Payroll Services will notify employees each year when the W-2 Forms are available for access online.
  • Withdrawal of Consent: An employee may withdraw his or her consent at any time. Consent withdrawn by employees is only effective for W-2s not yet issued, and does not apply to previously issued Forms W-2. To withdraw your consent, you may change your selection in Workday to receive a paper copy or send a request to
  • Terminated Employees: All terminated employees regardless of consent will no longer be able to access the electronic W-2. A paper W-2 will be sent to all terminated employees. 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 consents to accessing an electronic W-2 and 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.