Tax Info

How do I make a change to my federal and/or state tax withholding?

Go to Employee Self-Service (ESS), select “Benefits and Pay”, “Pay”, “W-4 Withholding” and choose “Edit” to make changes to your Federal or State Withholding, allowances, marital status or to request additional withholdings.

What will my check look like if I change my W-4?

There is a paycheck calculator on the following website: You can enter your salary, benefit deductions, and number of exemptions claimed. You will then be given a net pay calculation.

Why did the state tax go up in my check this month?

Massachusetts tax is calculated against your state taxable wages after deduction of the first $2,000 you pay for Social Security and Medicare each year. When your year-to-date Social Security and Medicare tax reaches $2,000, those amounts are no longer exempted from the state tax calculation. This causes the increase to your MA withholding tax deduction on your check.

When will my W-2 be mailed?

W-2s will be mailed on January 31.

How do I request a duplicate W-2?

You may call or e-mail Payroll to request a duplicate W-2.

Why doesn’t my W-2 agree with my paycheck for December 31?

The W-2 reflects your total wages less sheltered deductions. Parking deductions, MBTA deductions (up to an agreed limit), medical insurance, dental insurance, and personal family accident insurance, are all sheltered from Social Security, Medicare Tax, Federal Income Tax, and State Income Tax. Your required and supplemental retirement contributions are sheltered from Federal and State Income Tax.

Why does my federal wage appear as zero on my W-2?

Are you a foreign national covered by a tax treaty? The federal wages covered by the treaty will appear on a 1042S form, which will be mailed to you by March 15. Do not file your tax return until you have both forms.

Why didn’t I receive a W-2 for the stipend income I received?

Stipend recipients who are U.S. citizens or U.S. residents (for tax purposes) do not get a tax form for the stipends they receive. However, they are responsible for reporting the income on their personal tax return as non-qualified scholarship income and will probably have to pay tax for it. (The IRS does not have a method available that would allow us to collect the tax or report the payments.) Foreign national stipend or honorarium recipients will receive a 1042S form for the funds paid to them and must file a tax return reporting the income as non-qualified scholarship.

I am telecommuting from a state other than Massachusetts. How does this affect my state tax withholding?

On occasion individuals employed at Boston University have entered into arrangements with their supervisor to telecommute from home. In some of these situations, the employee’s home is located in another state. When the employee is working under the umbrella of an established BU program located in another state, or there is an agreement in place between the University and the individual that the work will be performed off campus and office or research space will not be provided by BU, earnings will be taxed as earned in the state where the employee is working. Otherwise, the full amount of the compensation earned is treated as earned in Massachusetts and is subject to Massachusetts withholding tax. Upon request from the individual, Payroll will withhold and remit additional taxes over and above the required Massachusetts withholding to the individual’s state of residence.