Payroll Deductions & Other Tax Information
Payroll taxation is highly regulated and includes a number of different forms for a variety of employee scenarios. The links below will provide helpful information to guide you with answers to most of your questions.
► Mandatory Tax Withholding Required for Most Employees
Social Security and Medicare taxes are payroll deductions mandated by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). The combined tax rate is 7.65 percent of total gross income, consisting of 6.20 percent for Social Security and 1.45 percent for Medicare. There are maximum earnings limits established each year as taxable maximums for Social Security. See annual updates.
Exception to Mandatory Withholding: Students at the University who are enrolled in a half-time or more student schedule may be exempt from FICA withholdings. Half-time schedules are equivalent to 5 credits minimum per term for graduate students and 6 credits per term minimum for undergraduate students. It is important to note that if at any time enrollment drops below that level or as a student you are working in a non-student position, FICA withholding will be required. During summer term, student employees will have FICA withholdings on their pay, regardless of enrollment status.
Federal Income Tax
Federal Income Tax is withheld according to a Federal Tax Table titled “Publication 15–Circular E, Employer’s Tax Guide.” The Federal Tax Tables display figures that reflect a combined total for income tax plus Social Security and Medicare taxes. The WOU payroll system utilizes figures listed under the annualized formula to calculate your withholding.
Oregon Income Tax
The Oregon Tax Tables are found in the Oregon Withholding Tax Tables and Oregon Withholding Tax Formulas can be found here. It is recommended that you reference “Things You Need to Know” to gain relevant information for your income and needs. The WOU payroll system utilizes the monthly tax tables to calculate your withholding.
► Filling out the W-4 Form
The W-4 Form is used by WOU to determine the correct federal and state income tax to withhold from your pay. A complete form is required for each employee who receives pay from the University according to the Internal Revenue Laws of the United States. The information requested under “Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate” must be provided to the University.
Different Requirements Depending on Employee Status
US Citizens and employees with Resident Alien or Substantial Presence Status will find detailed guidance on the W-4 Form on the factors to consider when completing the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, including when and if individuals may claim exemption from withholding.
The Substantially Present Status is based upon a test as outlined below that reflects each person’s individual situation rather than in accordance with Non-Resident Alien restrictions outlined below. If you meet the test for Substantially Present you will need to review procedures for filing a tax return, as well–refer to IRS Publication 17–Your Federal Income Tax. Additional information regarding the test to determine Substantial Presence is located in the IRS Publication 519–US Tax Guide for Aliens.
Restrictions for Completing the W-4 Form for Non-Resident Alien
1. Check “Single” on line 3 regardless of your marital status.
2. Claim “1” allowance on line 5 (see below for exceptions)
3. You may NOT claim “Exempt” on Line 7.
4. You must write “Non Resident Alien” or “NRA” above the dotted line in line 6.
Non-Resident Alien (NRA) employees at the University must adhere to the following restrictions when filing out the Form W-4. Failure to comply with these restrictions can result in Internal Revenue Service penalties and fines. Detailed instructions are found under the IRS Publication 519–US Tax Guide for Aliens.
If you are a resident of Canada, Mexico, or South Korea, you may claim more than one allowance on line 5. Students from India may claim an allowance for an accompanying spouse and dependent children who are US citizens or residents. US Nationals of American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands may also claim allowances for dependents.
The W-4 Form may be updated by completing a new form whenever there is a change in your individual tax situation and you would like your withholdings to reflect this. Changes may include events such as marriage, divorce, adding a new dependent, increase or decrease in FTE, and so on. Please note that if you submit a W-4 Form reflecting an exemption from withholding, you must complete a new request for this exemption by February 10th of each year, as the exemption status expires each year in February.
If you wish to withhold additional amounts for Federal and/or State, you may do so by clearly writing the dollar amount that you wish deducted, on line 6, and specify whether it is for Federal only, State only, or the amount for each.
To complete or update your W-4, please come to the Human Resources Office, Admin. 306.
► Tax Treaties and Non-Resident Alien Guidelines
The United States has negotiated tax treaties with many other countries in the world. Oregon has chosen to honor these tax treaties, and Western Oregon University has chosen to extend treaty benefits through payroll to those employees who are eligible under the provisions of a tax treaty.
Please bear in mind that not all treaties exempt income earned in the United States from income taxes. Some treaties exempt income received from foreign sources for the support of a student or faculty member while here. Most treaties contain clauses to eliminate double taxation of a foreign national while here. The true limit on most treaties is calculated from the first date of arrival in the United States. IRS rules regarding treaties can be found in Publication 519–US Tax Guide for Aliens and in the Publication 901–US Tax Treaties.
Remember that Tax Residency and Citizenship are not the same. The information provided under this tab refers to Tax Residency. Considerations evaluated relative to what taxes you may be subjected to on your income are based on a set of criteria. Your income tax determination will hinge upon your eligibility for a tax treaty, and your FICA (Social Security and Medicare) is determined by the type of visa you have been granted and whether you have met the test for substantial presence or the green card test.
- Non-Resident Alien (NRA): Non-US citizen who holds a VISA. Some VISAs allow the holder to work with the proper authorization. Non-Resident Alien employees are subject to Federal and State income taxes and may be exempt from FICA withholdings. There are restrictions imposed when completing the W-4 Form due to Internal Revenue Service filing options for NRAs. You may refer to IRS Topic 851 for additional information.
- Resident Alien (RA): Non-US citizen who holds a Green Card or qualifies under the “Substantial Presence Test”. If you become a lawful permanent resident of the US at any time during the calendar year you are considered a resident alien. Resident Alien employees are subject to Federal and State income taxes as well as FICA withholdings under the same rules as a US citizen.
Required Forms for All Non-Resident Alien and International Employees
1. The CO-NRA Form is a required form for all international employees. It allows us to determine what taxes you are subject to in the US and evaluate your treaty eligibility (if applicable). Foreign employees must fill this out when:
- Employment begins
- Visa status changes
- At the start of each calendar (tax) year–due by January 10th
- Failure to submit a CO-NRA on time will result in all taxes being withheld from your pay until such time that you submit the form to the Office of Human Resources.
2. If your home country has negotiated a treaty with the United States and you would like to claim treaty benefits, complete the IRS Form 8233.
3. Bring all the completed forms to the Office of Human Resources along with your 1-20 or S, on-campus work authorization and passport with visa and I-94.
► Reading and Understanding Deductions on your Pay Stub
The following is a list of deduction codes that you may see on your pay stub. To view the deductions from your pay, please login to WolfWeb. You can also view a sample Pay Stub.
- T17, T18, T19: NRA Federal income tax
- T7S, T8S, T9S: NRA State income tax
- TFE: Federal income tax
- TSF: State Accident Insurance Fund (employer paid)
- TMA: Medicare, Additional
- TME: Medicare
- TSS: Social Security
- TST: State income tax
- TT1: TriMet tax (employer paid)
- TUI: Unemployment tax (employer paid)
- TWC: worker’s compensation insurance (mandatory deduction for all employees
- EFD: AFT dues
- EFF: AFT fairshare
- ECC: AFT Political Action
- L04: SEIU life insurance
- U2B, U2C, U2D: SEIU political contributions
- UAD: SEIU dues (1.7% of gross or $5 minimum)
- UAF: SEIU fairshare (1.7% of gross or $5 minimum)
- UDA: SEIU Assessment (Part-time = $1.38/mo, Full-time = $2.75/mo)
- CL1-3: life insurance, employee
- L02-3: life insurance – spouse, domestic partner or dependents
- LAE, LAF: Accident and Disability insurance
- LCE, LCS: Long-term care insurance
- LMM: Minnesota Mutual insurance
- LST: Short-term disability
- LTD: Long-term disability
- MEC: most commonly this is used for part-time employees who are going “out-of-pocket” on their basic benefits
- Kaiser = PMK,PML, PME,PMF
- PEBB Statewide = PMV or PMW
- Providence PPO = PMT or PMU
- If you have a PEBB Statewide or Providence PPO, then you will also see PVP (vision plan)
- Kaiser = PDK or PDJ
- ODS = PDT or PDP or PDL
- Willamette = PDW
- PSA: employer contribution
- PST: employer paid subsidy for part-time employers w\benefits
- POB or POO: plan opt-out
- P3P: 3% employee premium contribution
- P5P: 5% employee premium contribution
- P40:Employer paid subsidy
- R1O, R2O, R3O, R7O, R8O, R9O: FIDELITY
- R1T, R2T, R3T, R7T, R8T, R9T: ORP—TIAA-CREF
- R1V, R2V, R3V, R7V, R8V, R9V: ORP—VALIC
- R00, R01, R03, R06, R07, R08, R09, RDR: PERS
- TDI (Tax Deferred Investments):S1T, S2T, S3T, S4T, S5T, S1V, S2V,S1O, S2O, S3O
- MG1-9, MGA: Writs, garnishments and administrative fees for processing a writ or garnishment.
► When and How to File Income Tax Returns
At the end of each calendar year, the University is required to issue a Form W-2 or 1042-S outlining wages you received at any time during the prior calendar year. A 1042-S is issued to anyone who claimed treaty benefits in the tax year. Individuals who performed services for the University as Independent Contractors receive a Form 1099 in late January from University Financial Services.
W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are available for you to view, and/or print an official copy, from WolfWeb. Simply log in to WolfWeb and follow the links through Employee Menu, Tax Forms, W-2 Wage and W-4 Statement. Select the Tax Year and click “Display.” For more frequently asked W-2 questions, please see our W-2 FAQ’s here.
Employees are then required to submit a tax return by April 15th of each year for the prior year for both Federal and State governments even if no taxes are owed. The following links should assist you in this process.
Federal Income Tax
Tax Information for US Citizens, Resident Alien and Substantially Present Individuals
- IRS Publication-17—Your Federal Income Tax 1040 Central
- Where’s My Refund?
- Education related tax savings opportunities
Tax Information for Non-Resident Alien
- IRS Publication-519—US Tax Guide for Aliens
- Figuring Your Tax
- Filing Information
- How to Get Tax Help
State Income Tax
Affordable Care Act Form 1095-C
Obtaining Assistance in Tax Return Preparation
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides free tax preparation services to individuals who are below certain income thresholds. Visit the IRS Free Tax Preparation page for more information.