Changes to Federal Tax Code Affect W-4 Form

January 14, 2020 | UToday
By Christine Wasserman

Signed in December 2017 and taking effect last year, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was the largest overhaul of the national tax code in more than three decades. As a result, UToledo employees are encouraged to check their W-4 form early in 2020 to ensure it accurately reflects their information to avoid owing additional taxes in April 2021.

The new W-4 form has a five-step approach that determines your tax withholdings based on the filing status you choose and the dollar amounts you enter when completing steps two through four, which are optional. Allowances are no longer used because they were tied to personal exemption, which has been eliminated in the new tax law.

The IRS is not requiring all employees to fill out a new W-4 form; however, any new employee with a hire date on or after Jan. 1, 2020, as well as UToledo employees wanting to make withholding changes for 2020 — such as those changing their marital status or number of dependents — must use the new form. The W-4 form’s five-step process is:

1. Enter personal information and filing status (required).

2. Account for multiple jobs (optional).

3. Claim dependents (optional).

4. Other adjustments (optional).

5. Sign and date/certify changes (required).

Filling out only steps one and five (minimum required) will result in tax withholding based on your standard deduction and tax rates with no other adjustments. Per the IRS, also filling out steps two through four, which target your personal financial situation, will more accurately reflect your tax liability when this extra data is entered.

To access and review your W-4 form, log in to the myUT portal using your username and password. Select the Employee Self-Service Dashboard (at top, upper left of screen) and use the drop-down menu for Taxes. Choose the W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate to review your current information.

If you want to make changes after reviewing your current W-4 form, select Update, enter your changes, and then submit for Payroll to process.

For additional information, the Payroll website has step-by-step instructions to assist in filling out the new W-4, located in the FAQ section titled “Deduction FAQS,” How do I change my tax filing status/exemptions/allowances?

IRS instructions and a W-4 form worksheet can be found on this IRS PDF. Frequently asked questions also are available on the IRS website.

If you still have questions about the new tax code or how to fill out or update your W-4 form, consult a professional tax preparer; UToledo Payroll cannot provide employees tax advice.

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