New 2020 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate

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The IRS released the 2020 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate. The 2020 Form W-4 is very different from previous versions due to the federal tax law changes that took place in 2018. Allowances are no longer used for the redesigned form.  The Payroll Department has compiled the following information and tools to assist you with this new form change:

Current Form W-4 Withholdings:

  • If you are a current employee, you do not have to complete a 2020 Form W-4.
  • If you choose to not submit a new form, withholding will continue based on your previously submitted form.
    • IRS has not determined if this will be permissible after 12/31/2020


Who MUST complete the new 2020 Form W-4:

  • Anyone hired 1/1/2020 or after.
    • If you do not complete a new form, the default is Single.
  • Anyone requesting a change 1/1/2020 or after.


Who SHOULD consider reviewing and updating the new 2020 Form W-4:

  • Significant job/salary change for you or your spouse
  • People with children who claim credits, such as the Child Tax/Dependent Credit
  • Add/remove dependents
  • People with high incomes or more complex tax returns


Resources to assist you with completing the new Form W-4:


If you do elect to change your federal income tax withholding:

  • Use your results from the Withholding Calculator to complete an online Form W-4 change at > Search for PRISM > Click the PRISM icon > PHR Self Service > W-4 Tax Form.
  • You must complete Steps 1 and 5.
  • Steps 2, 3 and 4 should be completed only if they apply to your taxpayer situation and will help ensure that your federal income tax withholding will more accurately match your tax liability. If these do not apply, these steps may be skipped.
  • Step 1 is for your personal information.
  • Step 2 is for households with multiple jobs.
  • Step 3 is used to claim tax credits for dependents.
  • Step 4 is for other adjustments (additional income such as interest/dividends, itemized deductions that exceed the standard deduction, and extra tax you want withheld)
  • Step 5 is where you sign the form

After you submit your change, please be sure to review your next online pay statement. It is important you do a review to ensure the correct amount of taxes are withheld. If you need to make additional changes, the IRS permits you to update your Form W-4 at any time throughout the year.


Non-Resident Aliens

The new tax tables may impact nonresident alien pays differently than other types of employees. Please review IRS Publication 15 – Section 9  and IRS Publication 15-T Page 3 for additional information.

We are not able to advise you on how to complete this form, as it relates to personal individual tax information. After reviewing the IRS website and tools they provide, if you still require additional assistance regarding your withholding, please consult your tax adviser.

For general questions related to this information, please submit an inquiry and we will be happy to assist you.

The University of Pittsburgh Payroll Department

Revised 1/3/2019