Loyola University Chicago

Human Resources

New Federal Form W-4

Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released a new version of the Federal Form W-4 (Employee Withholding Certificate) for 2020. The revised Form W-4 has many changes from previous years. The form no longer uses the concept of withholding allowances, but requests other information that can be used to calculate the withholding amount.

Employees will not be required to complete a new form. However, employees hired in 2020, or who previously completed a 2019 or earlier form and want to make a change in 2020, must use the revised form. Employees are encouraged to review the latest draft form and instructions to familiarize themselves with upcoming changes.

It is recommended that employees perform a "paycheck checkup" to see if adjustments are needed to current withholdings. The IRS Tax Withholding Estimator can be used to perform this checkup. Please visit the IRS 2020 W-4 Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

The 2020 Federal Form W-4 is listed as "Federal W-4 Form" under "Government" on the Forms page. The form is also located on the IRS website here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf.

If you were hired before January 1, 2020, the IRS does not require that you submit a new form. Your withholding will continue based on your previously-submitted W-4.

However, if you wish to change your withholding after January 1, 2020, you will need to use the new form to do so.

  • For current employees with a valid W-4 already on file, your withholding will continue based on your previously-submitted form.
  • For new employees, if you do not submit a valid Form W-4, taxes will be withheld as if you are a single filer with no adjustments (per IRS regulations).

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does not directly affect state tax withholding, though state tax laws and forms may change from time to time. At this time, the State of Illinois has not announced any changes to the current Illinois withholding form.

Loyola University Chicago is not able to provide individual guidance on completion of the new W-4 or any related tax implications. Please visit the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator and/or the IRS 2020 W-4 Frequently Asked Questions for additional information. For further assistance, we recommend that you contact a tax professional.