Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 55: Payroll

Withholding Federal and State Income Taxes

BPPM 55.10

For more information contact:
   Payroll Services


Federal taxes and state taxes (if applicable) are automatically withheld from paychecks for employees who provide the correct documentation (for federal tax) or home and work addresses (for state tax). See the requirements below.

Federal Tax

Employees are responsible for ensuring that they have completed the W-4 form process in Workday. Employees may update the W-4 as often as needed throughout the tax year. (See the Workday Complete Federal Withholding Elections reference guide for instructions.)

Workday uses the information provided to withhold the applicable amount from the employee’s paycheck each pay period.

For employees that do not complete a W-4 form process, Workday defaults to withholding federal tax at the highest rate.

Withholding Exemption

For employees that claim Exempt from Federal Withholdings on the W-4, the exemption must be renewed annually by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exemption date, in accordance with IRS regulations. Employees that fail to update their exemption status by the IRS deadline default back to the highest withholding level. The IRS exemption renewal date is available on the W-4 form instructions page or by contacting Payroll Services.

State Tax

To ensure that the correct amount of applicable state income tax is withheld, the employee must provide accurate home and work addresses in Workday.

See the Workday Modify Personal Information, Change Home Contact Information, and Complete State and Local Withholding Elections reference guides for instructions.


Payroll Services does not refund withholdings for employees. Employees must submit their annual year end federal and state tax filings to obtain any applicable refunds.

Payroll Address

Employees may change their payroll address through Workday. (See BPPM 90.70 and the Workday Modify Personal Information reference guide).

Employees may not use a WSU departmental address as the payroll address.

Other References

See BPPM 55.49 for additional information about federal income tax withholding.

Exchange Visitors (J1)

A new exchange visitor with a J1 immigration code should request that Payroll Services do a tax analysis for the current year.

The exchange visitor should request a tax analysis by December for the following calendar year. NOTE: A tax analysis is only good for the current calendar year, ending 12/15/YY.

Payroll Services deducts OASI and Medicare payments until the tax analysis is conducted. If the exchange visitor is exempt from federal income tax the tax analysis is to be renewed each year by February 15.

Refer to BPPM 60.05 for more information regarding employment of non-US citizens.

Revisions:  August 2022 (Rev. 597); Jan. 2017 (Rev 484); May 2013 (Rev. 412); June 2003 (Rev. 231); Sept. 1998 (Rev. 127); June 1989 (Rev. 76); Mar. 1987 (Rev. 66); Mar. 1981 – new policy (Rev. 42).