Ohio University

News and Announcements

2020 Employee Withholding Certificate now available

Published: December 6, 2019 Author: Staff reports

The 2020 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, is now available and is very different from previous versions. This is due to the federal tax law changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that took place in 2018. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not requiring existing employees to complete the revised W-4 form and has designed the withholding tables so that they will work with both the new and prior year forms. However, certain employees will be required to use the new form: those hired in 2020 and anyone who makes withholding changes during 2020.


The IRS has published Frequently Asked Questions that you may find helpful as you complete the form (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-on-the-draft-2020-form-w-4). IRS has also published “paycheck checkup” tool 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 (www.irs.gov/W4App). To effectively use the estimator, it is helpful to have a copy of your most recent pay stub and tax return. It is likely that the estimator will be updated to account for the 2020 tax tables in early January. Please note: if you do not submit a new form, withholding for current employees will continue based on your previously submitted form.

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 federal tax you want withheld); and Step 5 is where you sign and date the form.

The IRS takes your privacy seriously and suggests that, if you are worried about reporting income from multiple jobs in Step 2 or other income in Step 4(a), you check the box in Step 2(c) or enter an additional withholding amount in Step 4(c). To determine the additional withholding amount, you can use the withholding estimator.

The Federal W-4 in My Personal Information (MPI) will be offline Dec. 24, 2019 through Jan. 5, 2020 for implementation of the new form. The Federal W-4 in MPI will be online beginning Jan. 6, 2020 to make federal tax changes for 2020. Updated versions of the 2020 W-4 can be found here: https://www.ohio.edu/hr/resources/forms

Please return completed paper forms to the UHR Employee Service center in person, by campus mail, or via fax.  If you have questions please contact the ESC at:

HR Employee Service Center
169 West Union St
Human Resources and Training Center, room 103
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: (740) 593-1636, 
Fax: (740) 593-0386, uhr@ohio.edu