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Date: December 7, 2015

Bulletin Number: 1445

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Subject General Tax Tips

Purpose

To provide Agencies with general guidance on the services and processes of the Bureau of State Payroll Services Tax Audit and Compliance Unit.

Effective Date(s)

Immediately.
Agency Actions

Agency Inquiries/Requests

  • All tax-related inquiries/requests must be submitted in writing to the Tax and Compliance mailbox. Requests sent to individual OSC employee email addresses may fail to be delivered due to mailbox storage limitations. Also, sending your requests to the Tax and Compliance mailbox allows multiple staff to review and respond to your issue.
  • Requests must originate from the agency payroll office, not individual NYS employees. 
  • In the email subject line, list the type of request (e.g., Reissued W-2, W-2c/Corrected W-2, SS/Med Refund Request (Year), or NYC/Yonkers Income Tax refund request), EmplID and the EmplName.  If the inquiry is in response to a bulletin, please follow the instructions outlined in the bulletin.
  • All emails must contain at a minimum the Employee ID # and a legible and accurate spelling of the Employee Name.  Effective immediately, do not submit the Employee’s Social Security number, in part or whole. 
  • Depending upon the type of request, additional information may be required, including: Department ID/Agency Code, the applicable year, an explanation of the request, and any supporting documentation and calculations.
  • OSC’s targeted response time for all inquiries/requests is 48 hours.

Corrected W-2 (W-2c)  

  • A correction to previously reported data on an Employee’s Wage and Tax Statement (W-2).
  • When requesting a W-2c the agency must provide a valid reason and any corresponding backup documentation.  This information should be provided as a scanned attachment (pdf) when requesting a W-2c. 
  • The IRS does not require a corrected W-2 for an address change. 
  • From April through December, W-2cs are printed monthly, unless there is a large number or special project.  From February through March, W-2cs are printed weekly.  Employees must allow two weeks from the time the job goes to print for receipt of the W-2c in the mail.
  • When W-2cs are issued, agencies are informed via a PayServ Bulletin Board Message (BBM) that lists the Batch numbers and a general description of why the W-2cs are being issued.  Agencies are required to review the NTAX722 Control-D report (Agency W-2c Report) and complete a Form AC3206 (Prior Year Social Security and Medicare Tax Refund Certification) for every employee who is due a Social Security/Medicare tax refund.  Agencies must provide this form to their employee(s) for their signature and return allowing sufficient time to check the AC3206 box in PayServ by the established due date listed in the original bulletin board message.  OSC recommends that agencies document and track their efforts in providing this form to employees.
  • There are two reasons why an agency may not be able to locate an employee on the NTAX722 report:   
    • The NTAX722 report only lists employees who had a change to a previously reported wage or withholding amount (i.e., if a corrected W-2 is requested because the Retirement Box needs to be unchecked, it will not appear on the NTAX722).
    • If the employee worked at a different agency during the year, the corrected W-2 may be listed under that agency.
  • W-2cs are mailed directly to an Employee’s current mailing or home address in PayServ.

Reissued W-2s

  • A reprint of the originally issued W-2. 
  • Agencies can reprint the most current year from PayServ.  Enter “W-2 Reprint” in the Search box and the path will appear.  Save it as a favorite for easy reference in the future.
  • Reissued W-2s, created and issued by OSC, are mailed directly to the requesting agency for distribution to the employee.

Reissued W-2cs

  • A copy of the latest W-2c issued.
  • Will be mailed to the employee at the current address in PayServ.

Lock-in Letters

  • A special order by the IRS requiring an employer to withhold taxes from an employee’s wages at a specified minimum rate.
  • Agencies must not override, change, or process lock-in letters.
  • Employees should not submit these letters to OSC.
  • If an employee has questions, they should be referred to the IRS and the number referenced in their letter.

General Income Tax Refunds

  • Typically involve New York City or Yonkers tax refund requests.
  • NYC taxes are based on the employee’s home address.  If an employee moves into or out of NYC during the current year, we do not issue refunds for the income taxes paid.  Any refund that may be due to the employee will be received when they file their part-year tax return.
  • Yonkers taxes are based on residency and/or employment location.
  • Prior year tax refund requests will require a corrected W-2 to be issued.  Employees can only obtain a refund if they decide to file amended tax returns.

Non Resident Aliens (NRA) Social Security/Medicare Tax Refund

  • Before any requests are submitted, NRAs must have their Tax Data pages set up as Nonresident Aliens with the appropriate fields completed if they intend on taking advantage of an available tax treaty.  If they qualify for a FICA exemption, then their FICA status in Job must reflect them as being “Exempt” on all rows that fall within the period in which a refund is being requested.  Retroactive correction of multiple rows through a Job request may be necessary.
  • All required documentation must be submitted with the refund request directed to the Tax and Compliance mailbox.  This documentation includes the reason behind the refund request, the amount being requested, details supporting how the refund amount was calculated (please complete the attached SS/Med refund template SS-Med Refund Template), a valid I-20 (F-1) or DS2019 (J-1) that hasn’t expired (for the I-20, the agency is required to have petitioned the NRA to work there), a copy of the valid VISA that hasn’t expired (this is not the passport) and a Registrar’s letter if the employee is a full-time student.
  • Agencies must complete the Form AC3206 process by the due date established in the BBM at the time the corrected W-2s are issued.
  • Even if an NRA is also a full-time student the agency is still required to set up that employee’s tax data page. 
  • Prior Year SS/Med tax refunds are issued to employees only upon receipt from the IRS, and after an appropriate reconciliation by our Office.  These refunds will be issued in a separate paycheck with a “TF7” code.

Employee Address Changes

  • Changes are the responsibility of the agency and must be entered into PayServ in a timely manner.
  • The Home Address determines taxability, while the Mailing Address is where the W-2s are mailed to employees.  The agency has a responsibility to verify that any address change request is a valid one.

Tax Advice

  • OSC is not permitted to provide tax advice to agencies, employees or other third parties.  Please do not ask them to contact OSC.  Please refer employees to their tax advisor/consultant.

Employee Tax Withholding

  • IRS Publication 505 (Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax) provides guidance on employee federal tax withholding.
  • Agencies should process any W-4 forms submitted by employees as soon as possible.  There is a 30-day deadline from the date of submission.
  • Employees claiming exemption from federal tax withholding must submit their W-4 form by February 15 of each year, unless the date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, in which case the due date is the next business day.

InterTrac

  • Agencies must review and update this information regularly to ensure OSC has the most updated contact information for the appropriate agency personnel or payroll officer. Outdated or incorrect information can cause delays when timing is crucial.

Questions

Questions regarding this bulletin may be emailed to the Tax and Compliance mailbox.