US Tax Information

Graduate Students with Academic Appointments 0

The University of Pittsburgh is required to withhold federal, state and local taxes from each pay you receive and remit to the appropriate taxing authority. This section provides an overview of these taxes.

Foreign Nationals seeking taxation information should refer to the Global Pay section.

Summary Tax Charts

Summary of 2020 Tax Rates

Federal Taxes

Current Rate

FICA – Social Security1 6.20%
FICA – Medicare2 1.45%
Federal Withholding Based on Form W-4

State Taxes

 Current Rate

PA State Income Tax 3.07%
PA State Unemployment Insurance 0.06%
Indiana State Income Tax Based on Form WH-4
Maryland State Income Tax Based on Form MW 507
New Jersey State Income Tax Based on Form NJ-W4
Ohio State Income Tax Based on Form IT-4
Virginia State Income Tax Based on Form VA-4
Washington DC Income Tax Based on Form D-4
West Virginia State Income Tax Based on Form WV/IT-104

Local Taxes

 Current Rate

Local Earned Income Tax (EIT) Based on Address
City of Pittsburgh Non-Resident Tax3 1.00%
Local Services Tax (LST) Based on Work Location

1 $137,700 cap for 2020; $132,900 cap for 2019; Resets annually
2 No Cap; Resets Annually; Over $200,000 is 2.35%
3 Non-Resident Tax: Non Immigrants and Out of State Employees


Graduate Student Assistant (GSA), Teaching Assistant (TA), Teaching Fellow (TF)

Is My University of Pittsburgh Income Taxable? Will Tax Be Withheld From My Payment?
Federal Income Tax Yes Yes
FICA (SS/Medicare) Yes, unless qualify for student FICA exemption. See FICA section below. Yes, unless qualify for student FICA exemption. See FICA section below.
State Income Tax Yes Yes
State Unemployment Tax No No
Local Earned Income Tax Yes Yes
Local Services Tax Yes, unless qualify for exemption and complete a Local Services Tax Exemption Certificate. Yes, unless qualify for exemption and complete a Local Services Tax Exemption Certificate.

Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)

Is My University of Pittsburgh Income Taxable? Will Tax Be Withheld From My Payment?
Federal Income Tax Yes Yes
FICA (SS/Medicare) Yes, unless qualify for student FICA exemption. See FICA section below. Yes, unless qualify for student FICA exemption. See FICA section below.
PA State Income Tax No No
IN, MD, NJ, OH, VA, DC, WV State Income Tax Yes Yes
State Unemployment Tax No No
Local Earned Income Tax No No
Local Services Tax Yes, unless qualify for exemption and complete a Local Services Tax Exemption Certificate. Yes, unless qualify for exemption and complete a Local Services Tax Exemption Certificate.

Federal Taxes

Federal Insurance Contributions Act Tax (FICA)

FICA contains two parts: Social Security and Medicare. The tax rate for social security is 6.2% and the tax rate for Medicare is 1.45%. Student with academic appointments who currently have a full course load, as defined in the chart, are exempt from FICA.

Term Undergraduate Credit Load Graduate Credit Load
Part time Full Time Part time Full Time
Fall/Spring Terms 6+ 12+ 4.5+ 9+
Summer Terms 3+ 3+
Graduate Students working on dissertations must be registered as graduate student and PeopleSoft must be coded as dissertation student for person to be FICA exempt.

Federal Income Tax (FIT)

The amount of federal income tax deducted from your pay is determined by the martial status and number of allowances entered on Form W-4. If Form W-4 is not completed, a marital status of Single with 0 allowances (the highest rate) will be used to calculate federal income tax. You can change your W-4 information at any time by logging into Self Service.

State Taxes

The University of Pittsburgh currently withholds state income taxes for individuals living in Pennsylvania and the following states, which have reciprocal agreements with Pennsylvania. In most cases, individuals living in states other than these listed here will have Pennsylvania state income tax withheld from their pay and may be responsible for remitting the income tax to their state of residence.

State Income Tax (SIT)

Pennsylvania The tax rate for Pennsylvania SIT is 3.07% and there is no wage limit.  However, any compensation received as a Graduate Student Researcher is exempt from Pennsylvania State income taxes under Pa. Code §101.6(b)(4). For more information on the Pennsylvania Income Tax, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue website.

Indiana The tax rate for Indiana SIT is based on the completion of form WH-4. If form WH-4 is not completed, 0 allowances (the highest rate) will be used to calculate state income tax. For more information on the Indiana Income Tax, visit the Indiana Department of Revenue website.

Maryland The tax rate for Maryland SIT is based on the completion of form MW 507. If form MW 507 is not completed, 1 allowance will be used to calculate state income tax. For more information on the Maryland Income Tax, visit the Comptroller of Maryland website.

New Jersey The tax rate for New Jersey SIT is based on the completion of form NJ-W4. If form NJ-W4 is not completed, federal form W-4 will be used to calculate state income tax. For more information on the New Jersey Income Tax, visit the New Jersey Department of the Treasury website.

Ohio The tax rate for Ohio SIT is based on the completion of form IT-4. If form IT-4 is not completed, 0 allowances (the highest rate) will be used to calculate state income tax. For more information on the Ohio Income Tax, visit the Ohio Department of Taxation website.

Virginia The tax rate for Virginia SIT is based on the completion of form VA-4. If form VA-4 is not completed, 0 allowances (the highest rate) will be used to calculate state income tax. For more information on the Virginia Income Tax, visit the Virginia Tax website.

Washington, DC The tax rate for Washington, DC IT is based on the completion of form D-4. If form D-4 is not completed, 0 allowances (the highest rate) will be used to calculate state income tax. For more information on the Washington, DC Income Tax, visit the DC Office of Tax and Revenue website.

West Virginia The tax rate for West Virginia SIT is based on the completion of form WV/IT-104. If form WV/IT-104 is not completed, federal form W-4 will be used to calculate state income tax. For more information on the West Virginia Income Tax, visit the West Virginia State Tax Department website.

Local Taxes

Local Earned Income Tax (EIT)

As a Pennsylvania employer, the University of Pittsburgh is required to withhold local earned income tax from wages based on your permanent address and remit the tax to the appropriate tax officer. For most students, this will be the address where you permanently resided before you went to college. College dormitories, fraternity houses, sorority houses, and off-campus rentals by enrolled college students generally do not qualify as permanent addresses.

Each person is required to complete a Residency Certification Form at time of hire and for any address changes attesting to their permanent address. If you do not have a permanent residence in the state of Pennsylvania, the non-resident tax rate where the campus is located will be withheld from wages. For example, an Ohio resident working at the Pittsburgh campus would have the 1% Pittsburgh non-resident rate withheld from wages and remitted to the city of Pittsburgh.

The Local Earned Income tax is comprised of 2 parts – city tax and school district tax based on your permanent residence. If a locality does not impose a city tax, or the rate is lower than the non-resident rate where the campus is located, the non-resident rate of the campus will be deducted, not the resident rate of the your permanent residence.

You can update your address at any time by logging into Self Service.

Find your withholding rates by entering your work and home address in the rate calculator provided by the PA State of Community and Economic Development.

More information about Pittsburgh Wage and School Tax can be found on the City of Pittsburgh's Department of Finance website.

Local Services Tax (Occupational Tax)

As a Pennsylvania employer, the University of Pittsburgh is required to withhold a Local Services Tax (Occupational Tax). LST is a local tax payable by all individuals who are employed within a taxing jurisdiction imposing the tax. The annual amount of LST is $52 per year but is withheld monthly at $4.33 per month, or $2.00 per biweekly pay. For more information on LST, read more at the City of Pittsburgh's Department of Finance website.

You may qualify for an exemption for any of the following reasons:

  • Multiple Employers
  • Expected total earned income and net profits from all sources within your work municipality will be less than $12,000*
  • Active Duty Military Exemption
  • Military Disability Exemption

* If you exceed the $12,000 income exemption, the University is required to withhold a lump sum tax equal to the amount of tax that was not withheld as a result of the exemption and continue withholding the required $4.33 per monthly pay or $2.00 per biweekly pay for the remainder of the calendar year.

Choose the political subdivision in which you are employed for more information.

Choose the political subdivision in which you are employed for more information.

How do I adjust my Federal Income Tax withholding?

Federal income tax withholding is adjusted by submitting a new Withholding Allowance Certificate (Form W-4) through Self Service.

The amount of allowances you claim on line #5 of your Form W-4 can be changed to increase or decrease the amount of your withholding for Federal Income Tax (FIT). For example:

  • When you increase your number of allowances, the amount of FIT withheld is reduced.
  • When you decrease your number of allowances, the amount of FIT withheld is increased.

Additionally, you may elect to have an extra, fixed dollar amount withheld for FIT from each pay. By specifying an "Additional Amount" (see line #6 of Form W-4), be aware that this withholding is over and above the amount based on your allowances.

Click here to update and submit your Form W-4

Can I claim that I am ‘Exempt’ from Federal Income Tax withholding?

Yes, providing you are a US citizen, permanent resident, or are considered a resident alien for tax purposes and meet both of the following conditions for exemption:

  1. Last year you had a right to a refund of all Federal income tax withheld because you had no tax liability
  2. This year you expect a refund of all Federal income tax withheld because you expect to have no tax liability

Claiming ‘Exempt’ is valid for only one calendar year at a time. In order to claim ‘Exempt’ for a new calendar year, you must re-file a new Form W-4 by February 15th in order to maintain the exempt status. Otherwise, Payroll is required to withhold FIT as if your filing status is ‘Single’ with zero allowances. Some additional restrictions apply. Please read Form W-4 completely before claiming ‘Exempt’.

If I forgot to change my W-4 form, can I fill it out now and have it processed retroactively?

No, Federal law prohibits retroactive processing for taxes.

If I reached my social security tax maximum with my former employer, can I exempt myself from social security taxes for the rest of the year with the University?

No, each employer must deduct FICA according to earnings paid through that particular employer. If you have excess tax withheld during a calendar year, you must claim the excess on Form 1040, which must be filed on or before April 15th of the following year.

What is the Social Security (FICA) maximum for 2020?
  • Social Security benefits(OASDI) 6.20%,$137,700 cap
  • Medicare 1.45% tax, no cap. Over $200,000 is 2.35%
How does moving affect my taxation?

Your permanent home address is used to determine your liability for certain local taxes. To avoid inaccurate tax withholding, always notify Payroll of any address changes. Instructions for updating your address online can be found under the Forms link. If you are terminated and need to update your address, complete and submit a Residency Certification Form to Payroll as soon as possible.

What are the tax rates in my area?

Find Your PA Local Withholding Rate by Address.