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Employee Tax Withholding

Employees update their own tax status through UCPath.

The IRS has issued a new W-4 form, retitled Employee’s Withholding Certificate, effective January 1, 2020. The new form and withholding calculation reflects the changes to the federal tax code from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect 2019. 

Current employees are not required to resubmit an updated W-4. 

The IRS has created a dedicated website contains the following helpful tools:
FAQs on the 2020 Form W-4 
Withholding Estimator
Publication 15-T, Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods for use in 2020

Read more on UCNet.

Through the UCPath Employee Portal employees update their own tax filing status.

Update Federal Tax Filing Status

  • Dashboard Navigation: Income and Taxes > Federal Withholding (W-4)
  • Menu Navigation: Employee Actions > Income and Taxes > Federal Withholding (W-4)

Update State Tax Filing Status

  • Dashboard Navigation: Income and Taxes > CA State Withholding (DE-4)
  • Menu Navigation: Employee Actions > Income and Taxes > CA State Withholding (DE-4)

Update Out-of State Tax Filing Status

  • Dashboard Navigation: Income and Taxes > Out-of-State Withholding (W-4)
  • Menu Navigation: Employee Actions > Income and Taxes > Out-of-State Withholding (W-4)

How to File Tax Exempt Status


  • DCP-Safe Harbor and Medicare Exemption Eligibility
  • Overview

    The Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) is the federal law that requires employers to withhold certain taxes from the wages they pay their employees. As stated on the IRS website: “Taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) are composed of the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance taxes, also known as social security taxes, and the hospital insurance tax, also known as Medicare taxes.”

    In place of OASDI, employees who are not members of the UC Retirement Plan become "Safe Harbor" participants in the Defined Contribution Plan (DCP).  University policy requires that all eligible non-career employees hired or rehired on, or after, October 19, 1992, contribute on a pre-tax basis, 7.5% of their gross wages to the DCP. These employees are also required to contribute 1.45% of their earnings to Medicare.

    Qualifying for Exemption

    A student may qualify for a FICA exemption if the student is working less than 80% and enrolled in a minimum of 6 units during the Academic Semester. During the Summer Session, the exemption will require registration and enrollment in 6 units by undergraduate students and 2 units by graduate students.

    Students who do not meet the FICA exemption eligibility requirements will be required to contribute 7.5% of their earnings to the DCP and 1.45% to Medicare. Please reference the UCOP website for additional policy rules and exceptions.

    Possible Reasons for Erroneous Withholding

    FICA deductions can be inadvertently withheld when the following occurs: 

       * Student’s Social Security Number is not provided to the Registrar's Office or stored in the Student  Information System

       * Student's birth date in the Student Information System does not match the HR System

       * Student registers late in the semester or owes fees

       * Student’s appointment percentage in the HR System is greater than 80% when actual hours worked may be less; this requires a correction to your HR record appointment percentage