Exemption from Tax Withholding Claims Due by February 28

Federal and State regulations require that employees who claim exemption from Federal and State tax withholding must recertify their claim each calendar year by completing a new W-4/DE 4 form. If an employee filed a W-4/DE 4 in 2017 for an exemption from federal and/or state income tax withholding, it will automatically expire on February 28, 2018. If the exemption is not renewed, Payroll Services is required to withhold Federal and State tax at the single rate with maximum withholding.

There are two ways for an employee to continue to claim an exemption from Federal or State withholding:

  1. The employee recertifies his/her exemption via At Your Service Online (AYSO). The deadline for entering information via AYSO is 3 p.m. on February 28, 2018.  When W-4 information is entered via AYSO, a W-4 indicator will be set in the system confirming that a revised W-4 form was filed for exemption for 2018. Note: The indicator will only be set for 2018 if the employee went into AYSO to recertify their exemption after December 31, 2017.

    To recertify their exemption, employees should:
    • Log into MyAccess and select "At Your Service Online"
    • Go to "Tax Withholdings" under "Income and Taxes"
    • Select "Fed/CA Exemption"
    • Read the instructions, then click "continue"
    • Check the certification box and click "confirm"

    Payroll recommends that employees retain a copy of the web confirmation for their records until they have confirmed that their earnings paid on the March 7 (biweekly) or March  29 (monthly) pay date properly reflects their exemptions.

  2. The employee may obtain a paper UC W-4/DE 4 form from their departmental payroll or HR coordinator, or from the Controller's Office website.  The paper form must be processed no later than 6 p.m. on February 28, 2018.

    The 2018 Form W-4 is not yet available and may not be available prior to the February 28, 2018 deadline.  The IRS will allow employees to claim exemption (new or renewal claims) from withholding using the 2017 Form W-4 until 30 days after the 2018 Form W-4 is released, if these instructions are followed:
    • Strike out "2017" in the text on Line 7 and enter "2018" in its place
    • Enter "Exempt 2018" on Line 7
    • Sign the form in 2018
    Any alterations or modifications other than those described above will cause the altered Form W-4 to be invalid, as will any oral or written statement indicating that the Form W-4 is false made by the employee to the employer on or before the date on which the employee furnishes the Form W-4. 

Contact the Controller's Office Solution Center if you have questions about this process.