IRS Releases 2018 Form W-4 and Tax Withholding Calculator Based on New Tax Law

Publication Date

Use these tools to help ensure the accuracy of tax withholdings from your paycheck

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the updated W-4 form and Withholding Calculator, which are now aligned with the changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

VPF HR/Payroll withheld federal income tax from monthly paychecks in January and February and from weekly paychecks since February 2, based on the new law and the tax tables provided by the IRS. Now that the IRS Withholding Calculator—also based on the new law—is available, the IRS strongly recommends you use this tool to do a “paycheck check-up” to be sure your federal tax withholdings from your paycheck are accurate.

VPF HR/Payroll calculates the amount of federal taxes to withhold from your paycheck based on two pieces of information—the tax tables provided by the IRS and withholding instructions from each employee. Those initial instructions are provided by you to VPF HR/Payroll via your online tax withholding instructions on Atlas or a completed W-4 form when you are hired.

As your employer, MIT recommends you review your withholdings whenever you have a major life change (marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, new job, significant changes in income or other changes to your personal finances), or, if after filing your taxes each year, you want to make an adjustment (for either over withholding or under withholding).

Given the significant changes in the new tax law, VPF HR/Payroll concurs with the IRS and strongly suggests you review your federal tax withholding amounts for 2018.

A comprehensive FAQ on using the Withholding Calculator is posted on the IRS website.

If after using the calculator you want to change your federal tax withholding, you can make those changes in one of two ways:

  • Log in to Atlas, and go to About Me on the maroon navigation bar on the top, then choose Tax Withholding from the menu on the left.  Make your changes using the edit tool and Save. In most cases, these changes will be reflected in your next pay date (or sometimes second pay date), depending on when they are submitted within the pay cycle.
  • Download the W-4 form, from the VPF website or from the IRS. You can fill it out and bring it to HR/Payroll. We recommend dropping it off to us at the VPF HR/Payroll Service Center in NE49-4079, which is open Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Do not send the form to the IRS.

VPF HR/Payroll staff are available, in person, NE49-4079 by phone at 617-253-4255, or via email to address your withholding questions as they relate to your pay at MIT. We cannot provide individual tax advice.