General Payroll Information

W-4 Info
US Citizens, US Residents, and International Employees who have met the substantial presence test:
  • Employees claiming exempt must re-file a new W-4 every calendar year in February prior to the document deadline.
  • Employees may not claim exemption from withholding if (a) another person can claim them as a dependent on his or her tax return; (b) income exceeds $950 and includes more than $300 unearned income (for example, interest and dividends.
  • The Payroll Office will send a copy of W-4 to the Department of Revenue when employees claim more than 10 allowances on their W-4 form.

International Employees (non-residents for tax purposes):

On line 3, must select either the "Single" status box, or the entitled, "Married, but withhold at the higher Single rate."

On line 5, may only claim "0" or "1" allowance.


  • Residents of Canada, Mexico and South Korea may claim more than one allowance
  • Students from India may claim an allowance for an accompanying spouse and dependent children who are US citizens or residents.
  • Nationals of American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands may also claim allowances for dependents

For additional tax information, see IRS Publication 519 US Guide for aliens.


Workers Benefit Fund (TWC)

All base earn codes (REG, SAL, OCH, RST, etc...) are used in the calculation of the Workers Benefit Fund tax. Leave taken is not included in the calculation for non-exempt employees. The employee and employer are both assessed at $0.012 for each hour worked.

Visit the OR Dept of Consumer & Business Services' web page for details:


Minimum Credit Enrollment for Student Employment 
Undergraduates 8 credit hours
Graduates 5 credits  3 credits if working on thesis.
Note: These credit hours are not the same as the FICA exemption ruling. 


Student Wages Standard  Portland Metro Nonurban County
Oregon Minimum Wage (effective 7/1/2020) $12.00/hr  $13.25/hr $11.50/hr
UO Student Wages $12.00-$16.00/hr $13.25-$16.00/hr $11.50-$16.00/hr
Note: Hourly wages above $16.00 must be approved in advance by the SR. Recruiter in Human Resources.


FICA 2020 2019 2018 2017
Social Security  6.20% 6.20% 6.20% 6.20%
SS Maximum $137,700 $132,900 $128,400 $127,200
Medicare 1.45% 1.45% 1.45% 1.45%
Medicare Maximum no ceiling no ceiling no ceiling no ceiling
Additional Medicare Tax (Wages over $200,000) 0.9% 0.9% 0.9%  0.9%
FICA Exemptions:
  1. Half time student status. Undergrads-6 credits/Graduates-5 credits.
  2. International employees in F-1 or J-1 status if temporarily in US as students, scholars, teachers,researchers, trainees; must be considered a non-resident (has been in US less than 5 years for students and less than 2 years for faculty and has not passed the Substantial Presence Test).

Exceptions:  H-1 status, O-1 status, and TN status are always subject.  F-2 and J-2 are also subject and must have special permission from USCIS to work.


  1. For international employees who have met the substantial presence test and who are treated as US residents for tax purposes, FICA tax assessment is based on enrollment status, not on visa type or status.
  2. Non-System Students are subject to FICA tax.

See the SS Administration web page for details: