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To: All Employees
From: Walter Miller, Director of Payroll Services

The Internal Revenue Service released a new Federal Form W-4 Employee Withholding Allowance Certificate (federal W-4 form) effective January 1, 2020. The 2020 federal W-4 form is used to designate federal tax withholdings.  The 2020 form is very different from previous versions. The IRS is not requiring all employees to complete the new form, however certain employees will be required to use the new form: those hired in 2020 and anyone who makes federal tax withholding changes after January 1, 2020.

The update to ConnectCarolina Self Service was announced on January 13, 2020. Since then, questions from employees about the federal W-4 form have centered on the changes below.

Viewing your current W-4 settings

When you view your ConnectCarolina Self Service W-4, you may or may not see your current active W-4 settings. Since the 2020 federal W-4 form is entirely new, and the calculations are different from the previous version, information from the previous versions of your W-4 do not carry forward appropriately.

To view your current W-4 settings, the following is recommended:

  • If your latest W-4 on file was submitted prior to January 1, 2020, you can see your current W-4 designations in the top right corner your latest pay stub.
  • If you submitted a W-4 update or were hired on or after January 1, 2020, viewing the Self Service W-4 should show your current settings.

Adjusting your W-4 “extra withholding” amount in Step 4C for 2020

With each new calendar year, many employees elect an additional amount to be withheld on each paycheck to meet their tax withholding goals for the year.  However, since the 2020 federal W-4 form uses different tax tables than the 2019 or earlier W-4, adjusting the “extra withholding” will not provide a similar result to the 2019 form. The 2020 form does not use allowances and has added various other fields to be used instead.

  • For example, a 2019 W-4 designated as Married with 0 allowances and $100 additional withholding per paycheck does not result in the same withholding as a 2020 W-4 designated as Married with no adjustments other than $100 additional per paycheck.) Payroll Services recommends using the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator linked below in the section “Assistance with completing with 2020 federal W-4 form.”

Updating your 2020 W-4 “Step 3: Claim Dependents” section

There is a known issue with “Step 3: Claim Dependent”: when an employee attempts to remove a previously elected amount, they are unable to do so. We expect a fix to this issue in ConnectCarolina later this year. Please contact the ITS Help Desk or if you experience this issue.

Assistance with completing the 2020 federal W-4 form

Employees are also encouraged to review paystubs after submitting a tax form change to confirm the desired amount of tax is being withheld.  If tax withholdings are not as desired, employees can submit a new Self Service W-4 update at any time and as often as needed.

As a reminder, action is not required for current employees with existing tax forms unless their tax situation changes and updates are needed.

If you have ConnectCarolina Self Service functionality questions, please reach out to the Help Desk. All other questions can be sent to

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