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OHIO employees to track work locations for tax purposes with new Flexwork Tracker tool

Ohio University’s Flexible Workplace Project has been working to define a new and innovative model for the workplace that enables flexibility, adapts to evolving team and University needs, optimizes collaborative work while respecting the need for focused individual effort, and seamlessly integrates virtual and physical environments.

To support this more flexible work environment and to ensure compliance with current tax legislation, University Human Resources (UHR) has developed a new electronic application that employees will use to record current and future remote and hybrid work arrangements. The following information is provided to help employees understand the process for reporting work locations in the new Flexwork Tracker tool, which will ensure accuracy of income tax withholding and create enhanced reporting tools for supervisors.

What does this mean for me?

All University employees should use the application to record any current remote or hybrid flexible work arrangements in the Oracle MPI (My Personal Information) module by Dec. 3, 2021. To access MPI, visit myhr.ohio.edu.

Any future flexible work arrangements, or changes to existing ones, must also be submitted using MPI and approved by the employee’s supervisor. Before updating MPI, all employees are expected to have a conversation with their supervisor regarding their work arrangements, whether it is a pre-existing or new arrangement. After the conversation with your supervisor and a documented agreement is reached, the employee should update their work location within MPI. This will generate a workflow record requiring supervisory approval before the record is submitted to UHR for processing.

A step-by-step guide for employees to update work location in MPI and a step-by-step guide for managers to approve updates are available. An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) webpage is also available to provide information, guidance, and examples for different employee groups and arrangements.

Please note, the University is anticipating high initial demand for this application within MPI. If you encounter errors while updating MPI, please close out of the application and try again later.

Tax effects

Ohio University will withhold applicable domestic employment taxes on wages earned based on the employee’s primary work location. An employee’s primary work location as defined in Ohio Revised Code section 718.011 (A) (7) is the fixed location to which an employee is required to report for employment duties on a regular and ordinary basis.

Employees with a remote or hybrid work arrangement will enter the information into the Flexwork Tracker and that information will be used to determine proper tax withholdings. Withholdings will be updated for the first payroll processed in January 2022 based on the information provided by the employee in the Flexwork Tracker. Employees should update their flex work arrangements using MPI as they change. Changes impacting tax withholdings after Jan. 1, 2022, will be effective with the first payroll processed after the change is submitted. All changes to your Flexwork Tracker will require supervisory approval and should be discussed with your supervisor prior to submission.

Employees are reminded that their home address should always be up to date with UHR. This is particularly important for individuals who work remotely or have a hybrid work arrangement, as the home address on file with UHR will be utilized for tax withholdings. To update your home address, please utilize MPI via myhr.ohio.edu. While checking your address in MPI, please pay particular attention to the “Inside City Limits” flag and update as appropriate.

What’s next for 2022 and beyond?

If you have a regular and foreseeable remote or hybrid work arrangement, enter any applicable flexible work arrangements in the Flexwork Tracker in MPI by Dec. 3, 2021.

What if I worked remotely in 2021?

In January 2022, UHR will distribute a Microsoft Form requesting your primary work location for the past year in order to record and update your 2021 tax record. All employees will need to submit the form, which will require supervisory approval. Once the form has been approved and sent to UHR, employees may be able to apply for refunds for any Ohio municipality tax withheld from the employees pay for municipalities they did not work in during 2021. This process will be conducted between the employee and the appropriate municipality; the University cannot process these refunds. More information will be forthcoming on how to apply for refunds for municipal tax withheld in 2021.

Open forums

UHR will hold several open forums for faculty and staff to ask questions about the process and the Flexwork Tracker, including any questions regarding their particular work arrangements and how the tracker will best benefit their situation. The dates and times of the sessions are below. There is no need to register. Please mark your calendar with the date that works best for you and utilize the corresponding meeting link to join the session.  

If you have questions, please contact the Employee Service Center at 740-593-1636 or uhr@ohio.edu.

This article was also including in the Ohio Employee News.