Frequently Asked Questions - Tax Withholding
The tax forms identified below are available for download in Portable Document Format (PDF). You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print these documents.
Federal Taxes - Citizens and Permanent Residents of U.S.
- Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate (Form W-4)
- All new employees must complete Form W-4 during their first days of work. Wage employees, student workers, graduate assistants, part-time faculty and full-time faculty are requested to submit completed tax forms to the business office within their department. Classified employees are requested to submit forms directly to the Payroll Office, MS 2B5. Classified employees who attend orientation on their first day of work may submit their forms during orientation.
- New employees who do not submit a completed Form W-4 before the processing of their first pay check will be taxed at the rate of single with zero exemptions (withholding allowances). This tax rate will not be changed until the completed Form W-4 is received. Taxes withheld at the higher single/zero rate, due to Form W-4 not being submitted in a timely manner, will not be refunded to the employee by the Payroll Office.
- Employees who work in more than one department need only submit one set of tax forms. The HRS/Payroll data base retains the tax information for each employee regardless of how many department affiliations the employee has.
- Changes to federal withholding may be made at any time using PatriotWeb. Complete a new Form W-4 in Employee Services/Tax Forms and submit it. The change will be effective with the next pay check that is processed. (Pay checks are processed one to two weeks in advance of the pay date.)
- IRS regulations require that a copy of Form W-4 be forwarded to the IRS for anyone who claims exempt or claims 10 or more exemptions (withholdings).
State Taxes - Citizens and Permanent Residents of U.S.
- Virginia Withholding Allowance Certificate (Form VA-4)
- Maryland Withholding Exemption Certificate (Form MW-507)
- DC Withholding Allowance Certificate (Form D-4)
- George Mason University withholds taxes for the states of Virginia and Maryland and the District of Columbia.
- Taxes for Maryland are withheld at the nonresident rate with no local percentage taken. Plan accordingly so that Maryland state taxes will not be significantly under-withheld. For further details about the local rates reference the Maryland Local Income Tax Withholding Rates
- Out-of-state students working in Virginia pay Virginia tax unless they are from a state having a reciprocity agreement with Virginia.
- Salary and wages paid for services performed in Virginia are subject to Virginia withholding unless specific criteria are met. Virginia currently has reciprocal agreements with District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In order for the agreements with Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to be valid, the income earned in Virginia must be subject to taxation by the individual's state of residence.
Taxation of Nonresidents Visiting the U.S. on a Visa
All employees visiting the United States on any type of visa must report to International Tax Office in room 4400 in Merten Hall to complete appropriate tax forms. An International tax coordinator will assist nonresident employees with interpretation of U.S. tax laws as they apply to each country and will also assist with completing the tax forms.