Form W­4 & State Tax Withholding


Employees who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes should contact the university’s tax department prior to completing tax withholding forms. The Tax Department phone number is 571-553-8313.

The university is responsible for withholding federal and state taxes from all employees’ wages and reporting all taxable wages and taxes withheld to the Internal Revenue Service (Social Security Administration) and to the appropriate state. The university and each employee have responsibilities in this process.

University’s Responsibilities

Withholding federal, FICA, and state taxes from employee’s wages.

Remitting taxes withheld in a timely manner in accordance with published federal and state guidelines

Providing taxable wages and taxes withheld information on each employee to federal and state jurisdictions.

Providing each employee an annual Wage and Tax Statement (Form W-2) no later than January 31.


Employee’s Responsibilities

Completing an Employee Withholding Certificate (Form W-4) (PDF) for federal tax withholding as well as the appropriate state withholding certificate (PDF)

Notifying Payroll Services by completing new tax withholding forms when there are changes in their tax status (i.e. address changes, changes in the number of exemptions).

Employees who change their state of residence must complete a new state withholding certificate (PDF)

Employees who qualify to claim exempt from federal withholding must renew their exemption status each year by completing and sending to Payroll Services a new Form W-4 (PDF), no later than February 15. Failure to do so will result in taxes being withheld at the single standard rate.

Payroll Services, Tax Department, and Student Employment are not able to provide tax advice and are limited in the amount of help staff can give in filling out forms. Please consult your tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (telephone: 800-829-1040) for assistance.


Form W-4

Form W-4, Employee Withholding Certificate, is required so that the university can withhold the correct amount of Federal income tax from employees' pay.  Employees are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of personal information to include their address and withholding information. Form W-4 address information will be used for payroll and benefit purposes, it is important to keep your information current.

Instructions on how to change address information and W-4 Withholding information using GWeb can be found online under Self Service Instructions in Payroll Forms. 


Form W-4 Address Changes

For payroll and benefit purposes, it is important that GW has a current record of all faculty and staff addresses.  

Changes to address information can be made at any time through GWeb.  Instructions on how to update this information can be found online under Self Service Instructions in Payroll Forms. 

 Address information can also be updated by downloading and completing a paper copy of the Form W-4(PDF).
Information on state tax withholdings

State Withholding

In addition to Form W-4, all employees are required to complete the appropriate state tax withholding form at the time of hire.

If a state withholding form isn’t submitted the university will withhold DC taxes at the maximum allowable rate. 

A new withholding form must also be completed when an employee’s state of residency changes or there is a change in their personal information affecting withholding.

Employees who reside in DC, Maryland or Virginia may update their state forms electronically through GWeb.

Those who reside in other states will need to complete an actual form. Those residing in states with no withholding should complete for D4a- DC non residency form.

Instructions on how to electronically update tax forms as well as a list of the states for which the university withholds tax can be found under Payroll Forms. Please remember, if you terminate one state tax withholding you must activate another state.