Income Tax Withholding 

All ESU employees must complete a W-4. The following summarizes Internal Revenue Service information for U.S. citizens and resident aliens. For complete information, you should see the appropriate IRS Publication. Publications may be ordered from the IRS by calling 1-800-829-3676.


All employees must complete a W-4 form so that ESU can withhold the correct amount of federal and state income tax from your wages. It is important that the name on your W-4 is the same as the name on your social security card. If you need to change your name on your social security card, you should apply for a new card at any Social Security Administration office.

The amount of tax that is withheld from your pay is determined by the following:

  • The amount of wages paid to you.
  • Your marital status checked on line 3 of the W-4. The withholding tables are different for single and for married employees. If you are married, you may choose to have withholding at the higher single rate.
  • The number of withholding allowances entered on line 5 of the W-4. The number of withholding allowances claimed on your W-4 may be different from the number of exemptions claimed on your tax return. The process of determining the correct number of withholding allowances begins with the number of personal exemptions you expect to claim on your tax return. This number is then increased or decreased based on your financial situation as outlined on the "personal allowances worksheet."
  • Exemption from income tax withholding entered on line 7 of the W-4. You may claim exemption from income tax withholding if you (1) had no tax liability last year and (2) expect no tax liability for the current year. Note that you cannot claim exempt if (1) your income the current year exceeds $750 and includes more than $250 of unearned income (e.g. interest and dividends), and (2) another person can claim you as a dependent on their tax return.

    To claim exempt from federal income tax:

    • Write "Exempt" on line 7 of the W-4.
    • Do not complete lines 5 and 6.

    No Federal income tax will be withheld from your pay if you claim exempt. Your exemption is good for the current calendar year only and will expire February 15th of the following calendar year.

    You can have additional federal income tax withheld by completing line 6 on the W-4. A separate form is available from the Payroll Office if you want to have additional state income tax withheld.

    W-2 Form

    You will receive a W-2 Form around the last week in January of the following year. W-2's are sent to your permanent address. It is important that you notify the Office Human Resources of any address changes by December 1st of each year. Student employees should change their permanent address in the Registrar's Office.

    IRS Publications

    Specific instructions for completing the W-4 and the "personal allowances worksheet" are available from the Payroll Office.  For more information, see the following IRS Publications:


    Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information


    Tax Withholding & Estimated Tax


    Is My Withholding Correct?

    Please feel free to call the Payroll Office at Emporia State University, 620-341-5369 or e-mail