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University Payroll - FAQs - Answers

questions          Can I claim 99 on a W-4 form?
You can claim the number of withholding allowances that you are entitled to based on the Form W-4,
Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, worksheets. You can claim less than you are entitled, but not more. You may not arbitrarily pick a number with the goal of avoiding income tax withholding.

The law provides for a civil penalty of $500 for filing a false statement on Form W-4. If at the time the Form W-4 is submitted, an employee has made any statement indicating that the W-4 is false in any way, it is invalid. MUSC would then be required to treat the submitted form as invalid and withhold as if the employee were single claiming no allowances. MUSC is required to submit any Forms W-4 with more than 10 allowances claimed to the IRS’s Form W-4 coordinator. The W-4 coordinator will review the employee's most recent tax returns and make a determination as to whether to notify MUSC to withhold based on a lesser number of allowances.

How can I calculate how much will actually be withheld from my paycheck when I make a change on my W-4?
Taxes are withheld based on the Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. In Publication 15,
Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, (available at there are two sets of income tax withholding tables: the Percentage Method Tables and the Wage Bracket Method Tables. The wage bracket method is the most commonly used method. There are separate tables under each method based on marital status and payroll period. These tables are not to be used to decide how many allowances should be claimed.

As a full-time student, am I exempt from federal taxes?
Every U.S. citizen or resident must file a U.S. income tax return if certain income levels are reached. There is
no exemption from tax for full-time students. If you are a full-time student, you may not be working full time. Factors that determine whether you have an income tax filing equirement include: the amount of your income (earned and unearned), whether you are able to be claimed as a dependent, your filing status, and your age. If your income is below the filing requirement for your age, filing status, and dependency status, you will not owe income tax on the income and will not have to file a tax return. You may choose to file if you have withholding that you would like refunded to you. You may have given MUSC a Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, claiming exemption from withholding. To claim exempt, you generally would have to have had no tax liability the previous year and expect none in the current year. An exempt certificate is only valid for the current calendar year.

Can an employer take out taxes if a W-4 was never filed?
Yes: All employees are asked to submit a signed Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate,when they start work. If the employee does not submit a Form W-4, MUSC will withhold as if the employee were single claiming no allowances. An employee may submit a Form W-4 at any time. MUSC will base the employee's income tax withholding on the most recently submitted Form W-4, unless the IRS has notified us to withhold based on a different number of allowances, or unless the W-4 is invalid. If an employee submits a new Form W-4, we will start basing withholding on that W-4 on the first available payroll cycle.


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