Tax Information


Table of Contents

Introduction

As the university's tax office, the Payroll Services provides you with employer tax statements like the W-2, and can help you adjust your exemptions via the W-4 Tax Data option in Employee Self Service. The Tax Office does not provide tax advising or consultation services. We recommend you contact your tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 1-800-829-1040 for specific information and advice.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, refer to our Nonresident Alien page.

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City of Columbus Tax Increase Information

Effective Oct. 1 the City of Columbus implemented a 0.5% income tax increase. The increase reflects the passage of Issue 1 on the Aug. 4, 2009 ballot. This change was implemented on the following pay dates:

  • Biweekly paid: Oct. 23, 2009
  • Monthly paid: Oct. 30, 2009

The tax rate increase impacts all individuals residing in as well as those working in the City of Columbus.

Columbus will continue to give full credit to residents for local tax paid to another tax jurisdiction. If the tax rate of the jurisdiction where a Columbus resident works is less than 2.5%, then the resident will owe additional tax to the City of Columbus so as to result in a total local tax paid of 2.5%.

Additional information on the tax increase can be found at www.columbustax.net.

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Form W-2: Wage & Tax Statement

Ohio State is required to furnish all employees with a Form W-2 showing their compensation and tax withholding amounts for the calendar year by January 31 of the following year. You will use the W-2 to complete your yearly tax return by April 15.

We encourage you to check your W-2 Online but if you choose not to your W-2 will be mailed to you.

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Form W-4: Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate

All Ohio State employees are required to complete a Form W-4 when they are hired. You will also need to review your Form W-4 and make appropriate changes if you have had a major life change, such as marriage or divorce, death of a spouse, or birth/adoption of a child.

To complete or make changes to your Form W-4, log into Employee Self Service, select the W-4 Tax Data option, and follow the instructions on the screen.

For more information, see Withholding: About Your W-4 below or try the IRS Withholding Calculator.

Information about the Making Work Pay Credit and how it impacts your W-4 is available here.

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Withholding: About Your W-4

Withholding is the amount of taxes that are taken from your paycheck based on factors such as whether or not you are married, have children, or have multiple jobs. It makes sense to take a few minutes to make sure that what is being withheld from your paycheck matches your actual tax liability. If you're having too much tax withheld, that's money you can't use until you get your refund. If you're not having enough withheld, you will owe tax at the end of the year, and you may even have to pay a penalty. Generally, a penalty will apply if your withholding and estimated tax payments total less than 90 percent of your current year's tax liability and less than 100 percent of the previous year's tax.

Information about the Making Work Pay Credit and how it impacts your W-4 is available here.

Reasons to Recheck Your W-4

You should pay particular attention to your withholding if you received a big refund check this year or if you had to make a tax payment that was more than you could comfortably pay. Also check your withholding if you had a significant change in your life this year, like marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, purchase or sale of a home, or retirement. There is a good chance you're not having enough withheld if you have more than one job, if your spouse works, if you have income not subject to withholding, such as rent, dividends, interest or capital gains, or if you owe other taxes like self-employment or household employment taxes.

How to Find Out if You Are Withholding Enough

Need help in figuring out whether you are withholding enough? You can review How Do I Adjust My Tax Withholding? (IRS Publication 919). You can also use the IRS Withholding Calculator. With the help of current pay stubs and a copy of last year's tax form, you can check to see if you are withholding the right amount, then use the calculator results to change your W-4 tax data through Employee Self Service.

How to Adjust the Amount of Withholding

You can adjust the amount being withheld from your paycheck by changing your W-4 tax data through Employee Self Service.

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Tax on Graduate Tuition Assistance

Employee - The first $5,250.00 in tuition assistance benefits per year that the university provides to faculty and staff for graduate-level courses is not subject to federal taxation. The excess amount over $5,250.00 in graduate tuition assistance benefits per calendar year is taxable. Calendar year includes spring, summer and fall semesters' tuition assistance benefits.

Dependent - Please note that graduate-level tuition assistance benefits for all dependents are subject to federal taxation. The federal exempt limit does not apply to dependents.

Dependent undergraduate tuition assistance is taxable to the employee if the dependent is not eligible to be claimed as a tax dependent on the employee's federal income tax return for that calendar year.

Tax for the tuition assistance benefit is based on the employee's current W-4 on record at the time of taxation. The W-4 can be accessed through Employee Self Service or at http://eprofile.osu.edu. Biweekly paid employees are taxed over six pay periods for Spring and Autumn semesters and four pay periods for Summer semester. Monthly paid employees are taxed over three pay periods for Spring and Autumn semesters and two pay periods for Summer semester. The months affected are March, April, and May for Spring, August and September for Summer, and October, November, and December for Autumn. This timeframe may vary slightly depending upon payroll processing dates. An email notice is sent to employees prior to the first pay to be taxed, stating the specific pay periods and amount on which they will be taxed.

Example: A monthly paid employee with a gross salary of $3,941.00 receives $9,640.00 in graduate-level tuition assistance for herself after exceeding the $5,250.00 federal exempt limit for the year. The $9,640.00 is divided over two pay periods, adding $4,820.00 to the taxable income. The W-4 exemptions are Single – 1 exemption.

Check without Tuition Assistance
  Taxable Tax
Federal $3,420.95 $434.72
State $3,420.95 $88.44
Medicare $3,812.05 $55.27
Columbus $3,812.05 $95.30
Check with Tuition Assistance
  Taxable Tax
Federal $8,240.95 $1,657.57
State $8,240.95 $293.14
Medicare $8,632.05 $125.16
Columbus $8,632.05 $215.80

Paycheck Totals
Earnings $3,941.00  
Taxes $618.46  
Deductions $525.44  
Net $2,741.83  
Paycheck Totals
Earnings $3,941.00  
Taxes $2,291.67  
Deductions $525.44  
Net $1,123.89  

Example: A biweekly paid employee with a gross salary of $3,710.48 receives $9,640.00 in graduate-level tuition assistance for himself after exceeding the $5,250.00 federal exempt limit for the year. The $9,640.00 is divided over four pay periods, adding $2,410.00 to the taxable income. The W-4 exemptions are Married – 1 exemption.

Regular Check without Tuition Assistance
  Taxable Tax
Federal $3,196.16 $372.99
State $3,196.16 $105.91
Medicare $3,565.82 $51.70
Columbus $3,565.82 $89.15
Check with Tuition Assistance
  Taxable Tax
Federal $5,606.16 $971.06
State $5,606.16 $262.81
Medicare $5,975.82 $86.65
Columbus $5,975.82 $149.40

Paycheck Totals
Earnings $3,710.48  
Taxes $619.75  
Deductions $531.30  
Net $2,559.43  
Paycheck Totals
Earnings $3,710.48  
Taxes $1,469.92  
Deductions $531.30  
Net $1,709.26  

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