Change to 2020 W-4 withholding form

Friday, November 13, 2020

Originally published Dec. 4, 2019; updated 1/09/20, 11/13/20

The 2020 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, is vastly different from previous versions. This is due to the federal tax law changes that took place in 2018. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not requiring all employees to complete the revised form and has designed the withholding tables to work with both the new and prior year forms. However, certain employees will be required to use the new form: those hired in 2020 and anyone who makes federal withholding changes during 2020. This form is available in Banner Self Service.

While the IRS does not require all employees to complete the revised form, they recommend you perform a “paycheck checkup” to see if you need to make adjustments to your current withholding. To conduct the checkup, you can use the IRS’s Tax Withholding Estimator. Please note: if you do not submit a new form, withholding will continue based on your previously submitted form.

Before completing the 2020 Form W-4, please read the instructions that are included with the form. You must complete Step 1 and certify any changes. Steps 2, 3, and 4 are optional, but completing them (if they apply to your situation) will help ensure that your federal income tax withholding will more accurately match your tax liability. 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 and dividends, itemized deductions that exceed the standard deduction and extra tax you want to be withheld). It is highly recommended that you complete the form in Banner Self Service after conducting your "paycheck checkup."

The IRS takes your privacy seriously and suggests that if you are worried about reporting income from multiple jobs in Step 2 or other income in Step 4(a), you check the box in Step 2(c) or enter an additional withholding amount in Step 4(c). To determine the additional withholding amount, you can use the withholding estimator.

The IRS has also published 2020 Form W-4 Frequently Asked Questions that you may find helpful as you complete the online form.