You are here: American University Finance Memos IRS Form W-4 Changes for 2020

Memorandum January 17, 2020

To:
All Faculty, Staff, and Student Employees Earning Wages in 2020
From:
Phillip R. Harris, Associate Director of Payroll
Subject:
IRS Form W-4 Changes for 2020

As we enter tax season, it’s a good time to review your tax withholdings to see whether you need to make any necessary adjustments. 

It is important to review your withholdings this year as the Tax Cuts Jobs Act of 2017 went into effect in 2018 and significant changes were made to federal income tax laws which may affect the amount of taxes being withheld from your paycheck.

In addition, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a new Form W-4 Employee’s Withholding Certificate (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf).

The new Form W-4 will affect the following individuals:

  • New hires who begin working at AU in 2020.
  • Employees who claimed EXEMPT status in 2019 and who expect to be EXEMPT in 2020.

If this applies to you, then be sure to write the word EXEMPT under Step 4, line (c) of your Form W-4, complete Step 5, and submit to Payroll@american.edu.

  • Employees who are non-resident alien status.

If this applies to you, complete the Form W-4 through the AU Foreign National Tax Compliance System (Glacier). Under Step 4, line (c) of your Form W-4, write the words NON-RESIDENT ALIEN, complete Step 5, and submit to Payroll@american.edu

For additional assistance, you also may schedule an appointment with a Foreign National Specialist through the AU Portal. (In the WORK@AU tab, click “Payroll,” and select Foreign National Appointment Schedule).

  • Current employees who wish to change their withholdings in 2020.

Keep in mind, if you do not submit a new Form W-4, withholdings will continue based on your previously submitted form.

To conduct a checkup on your tax liability and withholdings, you can use the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator (www.irs.gov/W4App). To use the estimator effectively, be sure to have a copy of your most recent pay stub and tax return. 

For more information on the new Form W-4 and how the tax law changes may affect you, visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-on-the-2020-form-w-4.

For all tax-related information and inquiries, consult with your personal tax advisor.