Payroll - University of Houston
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Payroll Services

  • New 2020 Form W-4

    There is a new W-4 form that is now available to employees. The 2020 Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Certificate, is very different from previous versions. This is due to the federal tax law changes that took place in 2018. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not requiring all employees to complete the revised form and has designed the withholding tables so that they will work with both the new and prior year forms. However, certain employees will be required to use the new form: those hired in 2020 and anyone who makes withholding changes during 2020.

    Even though the IRS does not require all employees to complete the revised form and even if your tax situation has not changed, we recommend you perform a "paycheck checkup" to see if you need to make adjustments to your current withholding. To conduct the checkup, you can use the IRS's Tax Witholding Estimator ( To effectively use the estimator, it is helpful to have a copy of your most recent pay stub and tax return. It is likely that the estimator will be updated to account for the 2020 tax tables in early January. If you do not submit a new form, withholding will continue based on your previously submitted form.

  • Payroll Contacts

    Payroll Operations Team:

    Payroll Tax Team:

    Payroll Accounting Team:

  • Listserve Self Enroll

    You now have the ability to subscribe and unsubscribe to the Payroll Listservs. Report to Managers and Payroll Coordinators who verify the trial payrolls both have a responsibility to ensure that all leave, payable time and high exceptions are corrected and approved by the Payroll designated deadlines.

    If you are a Reports to Manager or a Payroll Coordinator that verifies the trial payrolls, it's imperative that you do not "unsubscribe" from the listserv, this will ensure that you receive all Payroll communications. If you "unsubscribe" as indicated above you are still responsible for reviewing, correcting and approving time and validating the payrolls.

    We have 2 Listservs available:

    • Biweekly listserv: Select this listserv if you have biweekly time reporters or if you are the Payroll Coordinator who verifies the trial and final payrolls. If you just want to be informed you can subscribe to the listserv.
    • Monthly listserv: Select this listserv if you have month time reporters or if you are the Payroll Coordinator who verifies the trial and final payrolls. If you just want to be informed you can subscribe to the listserv.

    Biweekly Listerv

    Monthly Listserv

  • Processing



    • When will my paycheck be direct deposited?
      • Direct deposit paychecks are credited to your bank’s account on payday. The University of Houston’s paydays are listed on the in the Calendar and Schedules section of the Payroll Services website.  The actual time of deposit varies according to your bank's practices. It may be early or late in the day.
    • I closed or changed my Bank account and my direct deposit has not hit my new account, what do I do?
      • Please allow 24-48 hours after payday for the bank to return any funds.  Once Payroll receives notice that the funds have been returned it will be reissued on the next available off-cycle payroll.
    • Payday has passed, and I haven’t received my paycheck.  What do I do?
      • Verify with your Reports to Manager or departmental Payroll contact to confirm that all approvals were completed by the designated payroll deadlines to ensure a check was generated.  At that point they will reach out to the System Payroll Office to verify if a problem exist and how to resolve to the issue.
    • Can I choose to have my paycheck direct deposited into multiple accounts?
      • Yes, you may elect to have your money split into multiple accounts.  This is done via P.A.S.S. and is set up as an “amount” type, then you’ll specify the dollar amount to be deposited.


    • Who do I contact for received & released garnishment questions?
      • You may contact Kimberly Thompson regarding these type of questions at 713-743-8682 or via email at


  • Tax and Compliance



    • What is the rate of Additional Medicare Tax?
      • The rate is 0.9 percent.
    • When are individuals liable for Additional Medicare Tax?
      • An individual is liable for Additional Medicare Tax if the individual’s wages, compensation, or self-employment income (together with that of his or her spouse if filing a joint return) exceeds the threshold amount for the individual’s filing status:

        Filing Status: Threshhold Amount:
        Married filing jointly $250,000.00
        Married filing separate $125,000.00
        Single $200,000.00
        Head of Household (with qualifying person) $200,000.00
        Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child $200,000.00
      • All wages that are currently subject to Medicare Tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax if they are paid in excess of the applicable threshold for an individual’s filing status.  For more information on what wages are subject to Medicare Tax and additional questions, refer to IRS Publication 15, (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide.


    • What is the FICA?
      • The Federal Insurance Contributions Act is the federal law that requires you to withhold two separate taxes from the wages you earn. It includes Social Security Tax and Medicare Tax at a flat percentage rate. The Social Security Tax is 6.2% rate of your wages, and the Medicare Tax is 1.45% of your wages.
    • What is the FICA cap?
      • Social Security Tax is subject to a cap, which is adjusted every year for inflation.  The 2020 cap is $137.700.00.
      • There is no cap on Medicare Tax.
    • Is there a student exemption to FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes?
      • Students who are enrolled and employed by The University of Houston may be exempt from paying FICA taxes if they meet certain eligibility criteria established by the IRS. More information is available on the Tax Website.
    • What are Social Security and Medicare (OASDI) taxes?
      • OASI stands for Old Age and Survivor's Insurance.  OASI is also known as Social Security.  All employees are subject to this withholding unless exempt by visa status and length of presence in the U.S. or by the student employee rules.  The Social Security and Medicare rates, as well as the Social Security wage limit, are updated annually and posted on the Internal Revenue Service website.

    W2 & W2C's

    • W2 – Why doesn’t my W-2 reflect my December earning paid in January?
      • The IRS requires employers to report wages on tax form W-2 in the year in which the wages were paid. Wages for the December are paid in January and are therefore reportable in the following calendar year.
    • W2 - I did not work for the University of Houston last year, so why did I receive a W-2?
      • Form W-2 reports wages paid during the year, not wages earned during the year. The University of Houston pays monthly salaries on the first working day of the following month. If your last day worked was in December of one year and you were paid in January of the following year, those wages would be reported on the W-2 for the second year.
    • W2 – I started working in December but did not receive a W-2.  Why not?
      • Wages for December are normally paid in January of the following year. If you started working in December you probably did not receive a payment until January, and those wages will be reported on next year’s W-2. The W-2 reports wages paid during the year, not wages earned during the year. 
    • W2 - Why is the amount in box 1 not the same as my calendar year to date gross pay amount?
      • The amount reflected in Box 1 represents taxable wages for a given calendar year. The amounts reflects gross wages less pre-tax deductions such as medical, dental and life insurance premiums, pre-tax parking, retirement contributions, tax sheltered annuity contributions, Texflex, etc.
    • W2 – Why is the amount in box 3 and box 5 more than the amount in box 1?
      • Boxes 3 and 5 report your social security and Medicare taxable wages. Some deductions that are sheltered from income tax are not sheltered from social security and Medicare. These deductions include tax sheltered annuities, deferred compensation, Teacher Retirement, and Optional Retirement.
    • W2 - Why is the amount in box 3 less than the amount in box 5?
      • There is an annual maximum on the amount of wages subject to social security retirement deductions. These deductions stop when your salary reaches that maximum. There is no maximum on the Medicare portion of the social security taxes.
    • Why was Social Security and Medicare (OASDI) taxes not taken out of my checks?
      • The IRS exempts student employees who work at their own university and are employed in a position that requires them to be a student, from Social Security taxes as long as they are enrolled and attending classes half time. Certain foreign employees are also exempt from Social Security for a limited time period.
    • W2 – Why is there no amount listed in box 12?  The retirement box is checked, and I had retirement deductions taken out.
      • Voluntary retirement contributions, such as to a tax sheltered annuity, ROTH, or deferred compensation plan contributions are reported in box 12. TRS and ORP contributions are not voluntary, and therefore are not required to be reported in box 12.
    • W2 – Why is there an amount listed in box 12DD?  Will I be taxed on this amount?
      • This amount is both the employee and employer cost for health insurance coverage for the year which is required to be reported on W-2 forms beginning in 2012. This reporting to employees is for their information only. The reporting is intended to inform them of the cost of their health care coverage and does not cause excludable employer-provided health care coverage to become taxable.


  • Calendar and Schedules

  • Resources

  • TRAM

    TRAM Manager Training 

    • TRAM Reports to Manager Training: Course HRT077
      • This course will walk you through the role and responsibilities of a Reports to Manager, providing detailed information on all TRAM and payroll processes which include payable time, high exceptions, absence request, delegation, etc. This course will ensure that you have the tools and knowledge to ensure that your employees will be paid accurately and on time.
    • Advanced TRAM Administrator Training: Course HRT088
      • This course is designed to provide advanced training in the areas of TRAM Administration and Payroll Validations to ensure that your employees are paid accurately and on time and is geared towards the TRAM Administrators at the department level who are validating the payrolls.

        You will have a clear understanding of all roles and responsibilities, payroll functions and deadlines with a focus on navigating PeopleSoft to validate the payroll data.


    TRAM manuals for:

    TRAM Minute Conversion Table