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The IRS has released the second early draft of the 2020 Form W-4Employee’s Withholding Certificate. The Form W-4 has been substantially revised from the pre-2020 version to comply with the income tax withholding requirements of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The IRS will release the final versions later in 2019 after inflation-adjusted numbers affecting the documents are issued.

Redesigned Form W-4

Step-by-step process. The draft contains five steps for employees to complete (or to skip if they are not applicable): (1) enter personal information; (2) account for multiple jobs; (3) claim dependents; (4) make adjustments for other income and itemized deductions (optional); and (5) sign and date under penalties of perjury. Steps 1 and 5 are required.

No more withholding allowances. To comply with the TCJA, the draft form no longer uses the concept of withholding allowances but includes lines for money amounts to be used to calculate the withholding amount. The name of the form has changed to Employee’s Withholding Certificate, which eliminates “allowance” from the title.

Multiple jobs. Employees with multiple jobs in the household can use either; (a) the IRS’s Tax Withholding Estimator, (b) the Multiple Jobs Worksheet; or (c) check a box for withholding at a higher rate if there are only two jobs in the household.

Claiming exempt from withholding. Employees will claim exempt from withholding by writing “Exempt” in the space below Step 4(c) and completing Steps 1 and 5. There is no longer a dedicated line for employees to claim exempt.

What employees should do

While the form and instructions won’t be finalized until later this year, employees should become familiar with the changes and be prepared to submit the new form however a new form will not be required by active employees.  The new form will be required for all new hires in 2020 and for employees who have completed a Form W-4 before 2020 and want to make changes in 2020.

from:UMS Employee News<umsemployeenews@maine.edu>
to:UMS-EMPLOYEES@lists.maine.edu
date:Jun 21, 2019, 2:12 PM

Dear Colleagues,

As we work on our transition in University of Maine System leadership, which will occur July 1, we know our two greatest resources are our students and our faculty and staff. With many students taking a break from their studies or research over the summer, many faculty and staff continue at work planning for a new academic year. And we all look ahead now to a short holiday break to celebrate July 4th and the best of our country's democratic traditions.

To assist with your July 4th holiday weekend planning, we wanted you to know now that there will be an administrative holiday on Friday, July 5th.

Since classes are not in session, all administrative and academic offices should be closed. All departments should permit employees to receive time off. However, where continuous operation is required, schedules should be arranged to allow as many employees as possible to receive these days off.

All regular hourly employees will be given holiday pay equal to the regularly scheduled hours for these days. Hourly employees who are required to work will be compensated at straight time for the number of hours worked as well as holiday pay.

If payroll questions arise, please call 581-9104 or email payroll@maine.edu; for specific information on reporting time for administrative holidays. Human Resources Partners are also available to assist with questions.

Finally, know that the work you do is appreciated and critically important to advancing our teaching, service, and research missions around the state. Much more hard work lies ahead and to make progress we will need your best ideas and efforts. We look forward to your input and engagement on how we can do our work together better.  

We hope you enjoy the July 4th break with family and friends.

James H. Page

Chancellor

Dan Malloy

Chancellor-Elect

The Payroll Schedule has been updated to accommodate this holiday.   Visit How to Enter Time - Hourly Holidays for details on time entry.

5/21/19 UPDATE:  System is back up and running.

System is This prevents the payroll and benefits teams from logging in to the system to take calls made to 581-9104 and 973-3373.  If you leave us a message, we will be able to call you back.

Tech Support has been notified and is working on the issue.    (They are not able to sign in to their phone system either!)

Here are descriptions of the various sections of the HR Operations Confluence space.  This space was designed to keep employees and staff apprised of important information related to HR Operations.  

Recent Updates

Lists all pages recently updated; shows time updated and who made the update.  Click view change to see details.  Click Show More to go further back in history.

blog post iconNews

Also named Blog Posts in Confluence, these articles are announcements regarding important topics.  Generally, employees would have received an email with this information and the blog post is created for the purpose of storing it in Confluence for historical reference.

Search by Topic

Enter the topic you're looking for.  You will immediately see content that contains the text you typed.  Each item listed is prefaced with an icon to assist you with selecting the correct item:

  • html icon represents html text on a page/article
  • pdf icon pdf, most likely a form
  • excel icon Excel spreadsheet
  •  blog post also known as a news article

Items prefaced with a number such as 0500.00 indicates that the article represents a policy.

Table of Contents

Forms

A page that lists all of the current forms.  Forms must be downloaded to local pc and then filled out online and printed for signatures.  Click on the menu icon (3 horizontal dots) in upper right and then select Attachments to view all of the forms with additional information.

page menu

Click on the down arrow to the left of the form to see the version history including who made the change, the date the change was made and a Comment column that indicates the type of change made based on the editor's note if entered when updating a different version of the form.  

forms versions

At the bottom of the page, click Download All to save a zipped folder containing all forms on the page.

Frequently Asked Payroll and Benefits Questions

Answers to the most commonly asked questions of HR Operations.  These pages are referred to by campus onboarding sites.

How-To Articles

Step-by-step guides for MaineStreet transactions.  How-to Articles are organized by Employee, Manager/Supervisor, HR Liaison/Partner and Finance.

HR Operations Standard Operating Procedures

Organized numerically by categories, standard operating procedures represent current policy and/or practice.  The homepage lists the table of contents two deep, however if you click on a heading such as 0500.00 Compensation and Earnings, you will see that there is additional specific content under those subheadings showing more detailed topics.  Here you will find guidelines for Summer Camp payments, steps for obtaining a replacement paycheck, payroll schedule, etc. 

HR Operations Service Guide- Contact Information

Shows who to contact for what types of inquiries or requests.  If not listed here, your request should be directed to your HR Partner on campus.


2018 Form 1095-C is now available in Employee Self-Service.  

To access your Form 1095-C via Employee Self-Service simply log into MaineStreet. Select the option to View Your Form 1095-C under the Benefits menu option in Employee Self-Service. You may need to disable your popup blocker in order to view the Form.

Additional Information

Update 12/7/18:   Important Note:  On Nov. 29, 2018, the IRS announced an extended deadline of March 4, 2019 for employers to send 1095-C Forms to employees. 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), health insurance reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, requires employers to send a Form 1095-C to certain employees by January 31st of each year (March 4, 2019 for 2018 forms).

For employees working 30 or more hours per week or enrolled in healthcare coverage from UMS at any point in 2018, a 1095-C Form will be mailed February 27, 2019, however MaineStreet Employee Self-Service is available now.  

Your Form 1095-C is not required to file your 2018 Income Tax Return but may be requested by your tax preparer.

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/health-care-reform

FYI: USM Payroll & Benefits office has moved,  Please refer employees to the new address below:

Gorham Campus-Human Resources: 149 State Street  Gorham ME 04038.  

December 7, 2018

James H. Page, Chancellor, has designated Monday, December 24, 2018 as a UMS administrative holiday. All campuses and System offices will be closed for the day.   Per collective bargaining contracts and employee handbook, eligible hourly-paid employees may receive pay for the administrative holiday by using the HOL time reporting code.   If you must work on 12/24, use time reporting code HOLAD.  See Administrative Holiday time reporting guide for details:  http://support.hr.maine.edu/employee-self-service/time-entry-topics



Employee Benefits Updates

Open Enrollment 2019

Open Enrollment for 2019 will run from November 1, 2018 to midnight, November 25, 2018. Benefit elections will be effective January 1, 2019.  Employee information packets will be mailed the week of October 29, 2018 in time to arrive for your reference in making any updates or adjustments beginning November 1, 2018.

More information:  http://wellness.maine.edu/open-enrollment.html

Roth 403(b)/457(b)

Roth 403(b)/457(b) additional voluntary employee options were added effective September 1, 2018. With the Roth contribution option, your contribution is taken out of your paycheck after your income is taxed, which does not lower your current taxable income. However, your contributions, and the earnings on them, are tax-free upon withdrawal in retirement provided certain conditions are met. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations require that amounts set aside in the Roth count toward your overall IRS limits for calendar 2019.

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/retirement-plans

2019 Health Plan Changes

Police unit members will have changes to their Copay health plan effective 1/1/19.

Health Plan deduction/premium rates are increasing.

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/health-insurance

2019 Dental Premium Changes

Dental Plan deduction/premium rates are increasing effective 1/1/19.

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/dental-insurance

2019 Health Savings Account Annual Contribution Limits

Choice Plan CoverageEmployee Under Age 55Employee Age 55 or over
Employee Only$3,500$4,500
2-Person or Family$7,000$8,000

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/health-savings-account

Flexible Spending Accounts

2018 Expenses Deadline

Reminder:  You have until December 31st to incur eligible 2018 expenses.  

Health Care FSA balances will carry forward up to $500 of the annual election into the following calendar year without penalty.   Unspent balances above $500 will be able to rolled over to the new year.

2019 Contribution Limits

FSA Healthcare limit increases from $2,650 to $2,700 effective 1/1/19.

FSA Daycare limit remains at $5,000

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/flexible-spending-accounts

2019 403b/457b IRS Retirement Annual Contribution Limits

Contributions20192018
403b Employee Elective$19,000$18,500
Age 50 Catch-up$6,000$6,000
All Sources$56,000$55,000

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/retirement-plans

2019 UMS Wellness Program Changes

Be on the lookout for exciting changes to the 2019 UMS Wellness Program.  Updated information will be posted as it becomes available:  wellness.maine.edu

Liberty Mutual transitioning to Lincoln Financial 2018-2019

Lincoln Financial has acquired Liberty Mutual and the transition of branding has started to take place.  Liberty Mutual/Lincoln Financial is the University's third-party administrator for employee Life and Disability Insurance benefits.

More information:

Maximum Annual Leave (Vacation) Carryover

Employees may carry over to the new year up to 40 days of annual leave.The maximum Annual Leave/Vacation balance that may be carried over to 2019 is 320 hours (prorated for part-time).    Salaried employees should report time expected to be used through 12/31 and time approvers should approve all salaried disability and annual leave time through 12/31 by the monthly payroll deadline.

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/paid-leave

2018 Form 1095-C Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

Update 12/7/18:   Important Note:  On Nov. 29, 2018, the IRS announced an extended deadline of March 4, 2019 for employers to send 1095C Forms to employees. 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), health insurance reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, requires employers to send a Form 1095-C to certain employees by January 31st of each year (March 4, 2019 for 2018 forms).

For employees working 30 or more hours per week or enrolled in healthcare coverage from UMS at any point in 2018, a 1095-C Form will be mailed by March 4, 2019, however MaineStreet Employee Self-Service may be available sooner. Stay tuned to email notifications. Visit Employee Self-Service to ensure your home/mailing address is accurate. Your Form 1095-C is not required to file your 2018 Income Tax Return.

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/health-care-reform

403(b) Hardship Distribution Requirements effective in 2019

Treasury guidance has not been provided at the time of this notification, therefore, the information shared below may change, once further guidance is received.

In summary the Bipartisan Budget Act directed the IRS to make the following significant changes to hardship distribution regulations, effective January 1, 2019:

  • Removes the six-month prohibition on contributions to retirement plans after a hardship withdrawal.
  • Removes the requirement for participants to first take a loan from their plan account before taking a hardship withdrawal.
  • Permits employers to extend hardship distributions to amounts not previously permitted. The act allows a plan participant to withdraw the plan sponsor's qualified non-elective contributions qualified matching contributions, profit-sharing contributions and earnings (including post-1988 earnings on elective deferrals. Please note, this change will not likely apply to 403(b) plans without an actual legislative change to the 403(b) statute. In speaking with Treasury, Treasury does not have the authority to override statute with regulation.

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/retirement-plans

Best Doctors Program will end 12/31/2018

More information:  https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/mycampus/health-insurance

Payroll Updates 

December 24, 2018 designated as Administrative Holiday

December 7, 2018 James H. Page, Chancellor, has designated Monday, December 24, 2018 as a UMS administrative holiday. All campuses and System offices will be closed for the day.   Per collective bargaining contracts and employee handbook, eligible hourly-paid employees may receive pay for the administrative holiday.  See Administrative Holiday Time Reporting Guide for details.

Non-Cash Compensation/Benefits - Taxable Income

Annual reminder to notify payroll when providing non-cash compensation/benefits to an employee so we can adhere to IRS rules and regulations with regard to reporting these items as income. Generally, all non-cash income such as room and board, non-standard tuition benefits, country club dues, cars and all moving expenses must be reported as income and appropriate taxes withheld. 

More information:  1040.40 Taxable Fringe Benefits - Imputed Income

2019 Social Security Taxable Base Increase

Social Security payroll taxable gross will increase by $4,500 to $132,900 1/1/19—up from the $128,400 maximum for 2018

More information:  1040.20 Tax Withholding

2019 Minimum Hourly Wage Increases

The minimum hourly wage for employees (including student workers) will increase to the State of Maine minimum wage of $11.00 effective January 1, 2019.

More information:  0520.30 Minimum Wage

2019 Nonresident Taxation

Tax Treaty Benefits Expire

Nonresidents of US must reapply for treaty benefits each calendar year, if applicable.

Tax Withholding Adjustment for Non-Residents

The IRS updated 2019 amounts that must be added to the wages paid to nonresident alien employees.

More information:  1040.30 Tax Withholding for Nonresident Aliens

2019 Form W-4 for Withholding Tax

Exempt Status Expires

Forms W-4 claiming exempt for Federal and/or Maine expire at the end of the calendar year.  Employees may submit new Forms to continue exempt status.  The filing status will be changed to Single with zero allowances unless the 2019 updates are received or entered in MaineStreet by February 15, 2019. 

IRS Releases 2019 Federal Form W-4

The IRS released a revised 2019 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. The 2019 Form W-4 is very similar to the 2018 Form W-4.  In several sections of the 2019 Form W-4, the IRS added language clarifying that employees should take into account nonwage income “not subject to withholding” in using the various worksheets and that the child tax credit may be claimed only for children who have a valid social security number. 

More information:  1040.20 Tax Withholding

2018 Form W-2 Annual Earnings Statement

Form W-2 is required to be distributed to employees by January 31st of the year following the year the wages were earned.  Employees will be notified when their Form W-2 is available in MaineStreet Employee Self-Service if consent for electronic delivery has been received.  Employees who have not consented to electronic delivery will have their paper Form W-2 mailed year to their mailing/home address before the January 31st deadline.  Visit Employee Self-Service to ensure your home/mailing address is accurate.  

More information:  1120.00 Form W-2 Annual Earnings Statement

Possible State of Maine Tax Increase:  Nov. 6, 2018 Referendum Question 1: Citizen’s Initiative

Update:  This question did not pass. 

Maine residents will vote on November 6, 2018 on whether they want to create the Universal Home Care Program to provide home-based assistance to people with disabilities and senior citizens, regardless of income, funded by a new 3.8% tax on individuals and families with Maine wage and adjusted gross income above the amount subject to Social Security taxes, which will be $132,900 in 2019.

Welcome

Have a payroll or benefits question?  Review these answers to our most common questions:  Frequently Asked Payroll and Benefits Questions

To view your most recent paycheck, please navigate to Employee Self-Service > Payroll and Compensation > View Paycheck.  You should be able to see your last few paychecks, excluding future-dated paychecks. 

Click on the Filter icon, circled in red below: 

A pop-up window will appear, and from here you will change the data range to include future-dated checks:

Click Done and future-dated checks should appear. 

Ryan Gately has joined the payroll/data entry team.  His office is in Corbett Hall on the UMaine campus.  Ryan will be responsible for student data entry.

View Paycheck

Since our upgrade in June, a few employees reported they couldn’t view their paychecks.  This issue has been resolved and therefore everyone should be able to view paychecks.  

Deny Time

When approving time, please be careful to select the "Approve" button.  The "Deny" button (new with upgrade) should only be used when denying the time submitted by the employee.  If time is denied, the time approver should communicate with the employee to remedy the submitted time.  If the "Deny" button is chosen incorrectly, the employee will need to resubmit their time and be approved before being paid.