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Withholding

Federal Withholding Elections

Overview
When an employee is hired, and will be receiving compensation from the university, they are required to complete the Federal Withholding Elections business process. The Federal form W-4 that the employee completes is used to indicate how much federal taxes to withhold from a paycheck; this form will be completed electronically in Workday as part of the Employee onboarding process.

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WA Medical Aid/Worker’s Comp

Information on Washington State Medical Aid and Worker’s Compensation

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OASDI (Social Security & Medicare)

OASDI (Social Security and Medicare) are mandatory federal payroll taxes. Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) is the combined employee and employer portions of mandatory OASDI (Social Security and Medicare) taxes.
Social Security is withheld on taxable gross income up to an annual wage limit each year.
Medicare is withheld on taxable gross income. The rate is increased when the minimum subject gross threshold is crossed.

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Federal Withholding Tax

Most payments to employees have Federal Withholding Tax deducted based on the IRS Semi-Monthly Tax Withholding Table, your IRS Form W-4 Withholding Allowance Certificate, and any pre-tax deductions you have elected.
Payments made separately from salary payments are exceptions to the withholding tax guidelines, as follows:

  • Supplemental Wage payments (e.g., Awards, Employee Separation Authorization Payments—vacation time paid at separation from the UW—as well as some other payments) have a Federal Withholding Tax rate of 25%.
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    Year-End Information for Foreign Nationals

    Annual IRS Reporting
    For tax purposes, all Foreign Nationals are required to fill out Form 8843 Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition.
    Resources and information on annual IRS reporting requirements are available through the International Student Services Office (ISS).
    Nonresident alien students and scholars use Glacier Nonresident Tax Compliance System to file their individual tax return with the IRS.

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    Foreign Nationals Working Outside the US

    Payments made to a Foreign National who performs services outside of the United States are not subject to Federal Withholding Tax, or OASDI (Social Security and Medicare) taxes. Nor is there any US reporting obligation.
    If this circumstance applies to you, complete the UW Certificate of Foreign Status and provide proof of citizenship and residency (i.e.,

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    Federal Withholding Taxes & Tax Treaties

    The University of Washington is a withholding agent for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is required to withhold mandated taxes.
    All employee wages are taxable unless specifically exempt from tax by a US law or a treaty.
    Scholarships and fellowships paid to a Foreign National from a US source are taxable unless specifically exempt from tax by a US law or a treaty.

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    OASDI (Social Security & Medicare) Taxes

    In general, United States OASDI (Social Security and Medicare) taxes apply to payments of wages for services performed as an employee in the US, regardless of the citizenship or residence of either the employee or the employer.

    Exemptions to OASDI
    Determination of an exemption from OASDI is based on the calendar year (January-December) you enter the United States.

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    Working Outside Washington State

    State Income Tax
    Washington is one of seven states in the US that do not have a state income tax. Employees working and residing in Washington have no state income tax liability.
    However, if you are working in a state that does have an income tax, the UW is required to withhold income tax for the state(s) in which your services are performed.

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    Tax Withholding Information

    Change your withholding elections (IRS Form W-4) in Workday.
    Your tax residency address on the tax forms will pull from your Home (Primary) Address in Workday.

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