On December 6, 2019, the IRS released the final draft of the new Federal Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. The new 2020 Form W-4 is now available in Workday.
The new Form W-4 has been significantly updated and is quite different than prior year W-4s, in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) signed into law in December 2017 and the corresponding changes to the income-tax withholding tables during 2018 which lowered the amount of withholding on many employees’ paychecks (though please note: less taxes withheld on a paycheck does not necessarily mean less taxes owed at tax time).
Wondering if the New W-4 Impacts You?
⇒ If you are an employee with a completed W-4 already on file:
If you already had a W-4 on file as of December 31, 2019, you are not required to complete the new 2020 Form W-4 as the IRS designed the withholding tables to work with both prior year W-4s and the new 2020 W-4.
Having said that, we do highly recommend all employees review their withholding elections each year as best practice, and the start of a new year can be a great time to do that. Any withholding changes you make between January 1 and January 6 will go into effect as of the first paycheck of the year, though you can change your withholding elections at any time.
⇒ If you are new to the UW:
If you are new to the University – welcome! If you are completing your Form W-4 after January 1, 2020, you will need to complete the new 2020 Form W-4 in Workday as part of your onboarding tasks (you can find this step in your Workday Inbox).
Please note: Employees who do not submit a W-4 will be defaulted into a Single/Married Filing Separate category with no adjustments.
If you started work at the UW in December and completed the older 2019 version of the Form W-4 in Workday, you are not required to complete a new Form W-4 in 2020 (though you may do so if you wish), as the IRS designed the withholding tables to work with both prior year W-4s and the new 2020 W-4.
Guidance: Completing the W-4 and Updating Withholding Elections
Please refer to the appropriate User Guide for step-by-step guidance on how to add or update federal withholding elections in Workday:
- To complete the W-4 in Workday for the first time: Add Federal Withholding Elections
- To update a W-4 already on file: Update Federal Withholding Elections
We strongly encourage using the IRS’s Tax Withholding Estimator or consulting with your tax advisor to help determine the best withholding allowances for you and your family. You will need your most recent payslip (found by using the Pay worklet in Workday) and a copy of last year’s tax return to use the calculator. Additional information can be found on the IRS’s FAQs on the 2020 Form W-4 page.
If you have any questions about updating your withholding elections in Workday, please contact us. However, the ISC cannot offer tax advice or assist in determining withholding elections.