department menu

Tax Time FAQs

Question  Payroll Answer 
Should all employees check their withholding? Yes. Employees should check their withholding each year or when their personal circumstances change. Using the Withholding Calculator is the best way for employees to check to see if they are having too much or too little tax withheld from their paychecks.
How do employees change the amount of tax withheld from their paychecks? Taxpayers who need to change the amount of tax withheld from their paychecks need to complete an EAR Form, Form W-4 equivalent and give it to CSUSM Payroll Services for processing. Employees need to take this step whenever they determine they need to have more or less tax withheld.
The tax rates were reduced by the new law. Why should people check their tax withholding? New withholding tables that were released in January reflect the lower tax rates, but there are other changes in the tax law that could affect the tax someone owes for 2018. Checking withholding now can help an employee see if they are having their employer withhold the right amount of tax.
If someones current withholding is fine as it currently is, do they need to submit a new EAR Form? No, not necessarily. However, because the tax laws change each year, everyone should review their withholding to make sure they are withholding the right amount of tax for their personal situation. Using the Withholding Calculator can help employees check if their withholding is the right amount or determine if they need to adjust their withholding by submitting an EAR Form, W-4 equivalent to Payroll Services.
How does someone determine how many allowances they should claim? The Withholding Calculator will help employees determine that. Remember, the fewer allowances someone enters on the EAR Form, the more tax will be withheld from their paycheck. So, entering “0” or “1” exemptions on your EAR Form, Form W-4 equivalent will mean more tax is withheld from their paycheck. Entering a larger number of allowances means less tax withholding—which means a smaller tax refund or potentially a tax bill when the employee files their tax return. Taxpayers should review their situation carefully.  The Withholding Calculator can help.
Can Payroll Services or Human Resources help someone understand tax law changes or how to use the Withholding Calculator? It’s a taxpayers responsibility to check their withholding and determine if it’s accurate for their personal situation. Payroll and Human Resources are responsible only for processing the EAR Form, Form W-4 equivalent. It is important to remember, Payroll and HR employees do not know your personal financial situation, and are not responsible for giving you tax advice. Employees who have tax questions should consult with a trusted tax professional.
Does it make any difference when someone checks on their withholding? Sooner is better. Withholding takes place throughout the year. If an employee needs to adjust their withholding, doing so as quickly as possible means there’s more time for tax withholding to take place evenly during the rest of the year. But waiting until later in the year means there are fewer pay periods to make the tax changes – which could have a bigger impact on each paycheck. In addition, employees who need to submit a new EAR Form  equivalent to IRS Form W-4  to adjust their withholding should keep in mind that it will take time for CSUSM to apply the change to your paycheck.
What is a withholding table? A withholding table shows employers how much tax to withhold from employee paychecks, given each employee’s wages, marital status and the number of withholding allowances they claim.