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Frequently Asked Questions

Reimbursement for Purchases/Expenses
How do I get reimbursed for purchases or expenses I incurred for Colgate University?
For reimbursements to individuals, complete a disbursement voucher and provide required supporting documents (e.g., receipts). The preferred process is for the university to be billed directly by vendors whenever possible.

Where do I send the completed forms?
Send the completed forms and supporting documents to Accounts Payable in James B. Colgate Hall.

When is a check required?
Checks are required for all invoice and independent contractor payments. Expense reimbursements less than $350.00 may be paid in cash at the Cashier's Window.

Can I pick up the checks?
Yes. The "Hold For Pick-Up" box must have been marked on the Disbursement Voucher form. The checks are available after 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday (with the exception of holiday weeks - call the Accounting Office for information).

When will I get paid?
ACH payments and checks are processed every Wednesday and Friday (with the exception of holiday weeks - call the Accounting Office for information). Please allow time for delivery of the check through the campus mail system.
Independent Contractors – payment for services
Rental of property and items from an individual or partnership, or company that is not incorporated is a 1099 issue.
This would include apartment and building rentals, costume and or material rentals also to name a few.

Individuals performing services for Colgate University.

This includes actual individuals, partnerships, and any company that is not incorporated or a Limited Corporation who performs any types of service, e.g., lectures, performances, repairs, catering, sewing, construction, lawn care, baking, bed and breakfast charges, snowplowing, geese control, web pages, art work, tutoring, transcribing, (any type of service) to name a few.

All payments for medical services are 1099 issues.

This is for all medical services even if the business is incorporated.

Any payments to attorneys for services are 1099 issues.
Any awards that are paid to individuals are 1099 issues.
Paychecks
Where does my paycheck get mailed?
To your on-campus business address unless you have instructed Human Resources otherwise.

Where can I obtain blank time sheets?
You can contact Payroll by calling 315-228-7802.

When are time sheets due?
Payroll deadlines for changes and time sheet information is found on the Payroll Calendars and Deadlines web page.

Where are you located?
In the Office of Accounting & Control on the ground floor of James B. Colgate Hall.
W-2 Form and Income Taxes
What is the W-2 Form "Wage and Tax Statement"?
The W-2 form is your wage and tax statement provided by your employer to summarize the taxable salary and taxes withheld for the calendar year. This form is needed for filing your personal tax return with the appropriate tax agency.
Caution: Foreign nationals often receive both a W-2 and a 1042S. The 1042S must also be attached to tax returns. The 1042S is mailed by March 15th. Foreign nationals should not file their U.S. tax returns prior to that date.

To what address is the W-2 mailed?
Your home address.

When are W-2s mailed out to employees?
IRS law states that W-2s must be postmarked by January 31.

How is Box 1, "Wages, Tips, and Other Compensation," calculated?
This is federal, taxable income for payments in the calendar year. The amount is calculated as follows:

YTD Earnings (from your last check in December) MINUS
  • Tax deferred retirement deductions (see Box 12)
  • Select benefit deductions (not separately disclosed on W-2):
    • before-tax health insurance
    • dependent care reimbursement
  • Medical reimbursement
    PLUS
  • Taxable benefits (e.g., certain educational benefits, certain moving expenses, etc.)
Where is my Social Security Number?
Box D contains the "Employee's Social Security Number."

What if the Social Security Number is incorrect?
If this number is incorrect, contact the Payroll Office at 315-228-7802 for further instructions.

What are the items shown in Box 12?
The Internal Revenue Service developed a coding system to report information in Box 13. These codes are explained on the back of the W-2 form, copy C.

The codes used by Colgate University are listed below:
  • Code E: Retirement plan reductions - 403(b)
  • Code P: Excludable moving expense reimbursements
Note: The reporting rules for moving expenses are complicated. If an employer pays a third-party moving company directly, nothing is required to be reported. If the employer reimburses the employee AND the reimbursement qualifies as "direct moving," it is reportable (Box 13-Code P) but NOT taxable. If the reimbursement is for "indirect moving," it is reported in Box 1 because it is taxable.

What is the "Retirement Plan" Box 13?
This box should be checked if you are eligible to participate in one of the retirement plans for which you and/or Colgate University contributed.

What if my Federal or NY State tax withholding was too high or low?
A new tax-withholding certificate (W-4 Form) should be completed if your tax status has changed during the year (e.g., marital status, number of dependents, etc.) or if you wish to increase or decrease your withholdings. W-4 Forms are available on the Human Resources website.

What is my current withholding tax status on file with Colgate University?
You can call the payroll department to obtain this information at 315-228-7802.

Why are my Social Security Wages (Box 3) not the same as my Wages, Tips, and Other Compensation (Box 1)?
Social security wages are federal taxable gross (Box 1) plus retirement benefits (Box 12). Note: Deductions for retirement cannot be deducted for social security taxes. The social security wage base in Box 3 is subject to a dollar limit. There is no limit for Box 5.

What payments are included in the W-2 form?
The date of the payment determines the year in which the payment is reported. Work performed the last part of one calendar year, and not paid by Colgate University until the next calendar year will be reported NEXT year.

How can I get a reissued W-2 form?
There are a number of ways to request a reissued W-2 Form:
  • In Person at the Payroll Office.
  • By Letter to Payroll Office, Colgate University, 13 Oak Drive, Office of Accounting & Control, Hamilton, NY 13346. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope, along with your Name, Social Security Number, Date of birth, Correct Address (even if picked up), tax year whether it is to be picked up or mailed, and your SIGNATURE.
  • By FAX, Send all the same data as if letter to 315-228-7989
  • By E-Mail (accounting@colgate.edu) Send the same information as if letter.
Can the Payroll Office Provide Tax Advice?
No, Colgate University cannot provide individual tax advice.

Will Nonresident Aliens receive other forms?
Non-resident aliens may also receive a 1042S form if they were exempt from payroll withholding due to a tax treaty, or received a reportable scholarship or fellowship, or received a payment from the University Accounts Payable system.

Important: If nonresident aliens anticipate that they will receive a 1042-S form, they must not file their personal income return until this form is received.

Where else can I obtain information?
You can obtain tax information from the following:

IRS Tax Assistance: 1-800-829-1040
IRS Forms and Publications: 1-800-829-3676, or: http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html
NYS Income Tax Bureau Tax Assistance: 1-800-225-5829, or: http://www.tax.state.ny.us/
NYS Income Tax Bureau Tax Forms: 1-800-462-8100
Payroll Foreign Nationals
Why do I care if I'm a nonresident alien or a resident alien?
A nonresident alien is taxed on U.S. source income only--not worldwide income. Generally, a nonresident alien is eligible for only one personal exemption and cannot take the standard deduction on his/her tax return. A resident alien is taxed in the same manner as a U.S. citizen.

Do I need a U.S. Tax Identification Number?
YES. Life in the U.S. is very complicated without a tax ID number. If you are on an F-1, H-1, J-1 or M-1 visa, you are eligible for a social security number and should obtain one immediately. All other foreign nationals (including spouses and children) should obtain an individual taxpayer identification number by filing IRS Form W-7 with original documentation described in the instructions. You can get a W-7 by calling IRS or printing it from IRS's web page.

Why is the number necessary?
The U.S. taxing authorities (IRS) will not accept a tax return that lacks a number and most foreign students and scholars are required to file a return. Moreover, your administrative life in the U.S. will be far easier once you've obtained this number. NOTE: There are two types of numbers: social security numbers and ITIN's (Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers).

Should I obtain a social security number or an ITIN?
You should obtain a social security number if you have a U.S. alien registration card ("green card") OR you have entered the U.S. on an F-1, J-1, H-1 or M-1 visa; otherwise you should obtain an ITIN. NOTE: spouses and dependent children should also obtain an ITIN.

How do I obtain a social security number?
Complete form SS-4 that is issued by the IRS.

How do I obtain an ITIN?
Complete IRS Form W-7. This form can be obtained directly from IRS's Website: http://www.irs.ustreas.gov. Be sure to read the instructions carefully; IRS requires original or certified copies of documents that substantiate the information on W-7.

Will I be subject to U.S. social security taxes?
Nonresident aliens on F-1, J-1 or M-1 visas are exempt from U.S. social security taxes.

For other individuals, the exemption depends upon the type of payment and/or student status. Contact the Payroll Office if you need additional information.

Will Colgate withhold federal and state income taxes on my payments?
There are no simple answers. Colgate must withhold taxes on all payments to nonresident aliens unless the payment is exempt under the Internal Revenue Code, a tax treaty, or as foreign source income.

Types of Payments
  • Wages: Colgate withholds federal and state taxes using graduated rates.
  • Tuition Fellowships: No withholding.
  • Other Fellowship Support (e.g., room, board, stipends, living allowances, travel, prizes, awards, emergency funds, etc.): Colgate withholds federal taxes at 14%. New York State does not provide a mechanism for withholding on non-wage payments; therefore you must evaluate whether to make quarterly estimated tax payments to cover the state liability.
  • Fee/Honorarium Royalty: Colgate withholds federal income taxes at 30%. New York State does not have a mechanism for withholding on these non-wage payments.
  • Reimbursed Business Expenses for Employees/Short Term Visitors: No withholding.
How do I know if I qualify for treaty exemption?
In order to qualify for treaty exemption, you must be a citizen or a permanent resident (generally a noncitizen who files a resident income tax return) of the "treaty country" and the type of payment must be exempt under that specific treaty. In addition, Colgate requires a U.S. federal identification number, evidence of nonresident alien status (i.e., the substantial presence test), evidence of proper work authorization (i.e., visa) and a properly completed IRS "treaty exemption form" (i.e.. Form 1001 for fellowships and royalties; Form 8233 for wages, fees, honoraria). Information on Tax Treaties is available from IRS (Pub.901). Note: Although Colgate only grants treaty exemption to nonresident aliens, some treaties have "tie breaker rules." If a foreign national feels he/she qualifies for treaty exemption in spite of the fact that Colgate withheld taxes, the individual can file IRS Form 8833 with his tax return and certify to the facts that merit the "treaty based return position."

Should I file a tax return if I receive no U.S. income?
If you are a nonresident alien and have no U.S. source income, IRS now indicates that you are not required to file an income tax return BUT you must file with IRS form 8843 disclosing information about your nonresident alien status. Resident aliens are taxed on their worldwide income and therefore must file a U.S. income tax return if they have income from any sources.

Should I file a tax return if I received U.S. income exempt from taxation under a Treaty?
You should file a federal and New York return.

Should I file a tax return if I received U.S. income but taxes were withheld on this income?
You should file a federal and a New York State tax return to be sure you comply with tax laws, to be sure you fully pay your actual tax liability, and to be sure you receive any tax refund that is properly yours. Note: The Internal Revenue Code establishes the rate of withholding but the withholding rate does not necessarily correspond with a taxpayer's actual year-end tax liability.

If Colgate does not withhold taxes to cover my liability, how should I pay these taxes?
In order to avoid penalties, you should pay these taxes quarterly (April 15th, June 15th, September 15th and January 15th). You can obtain worksheets from the IRS and New York State to help you calculate your quarterly payment. IRS and New York State also provide tax vouchers that should be remitted with the quarterly payment.

Will Colgate report my income to the IRS?
Payments to nonresident aliens are reported to both you and the IRS on Form 1042S or W-2 --but not on 1099. The W-2 is issued by January 31st; the 1042S by March 15th. Payments to resident aliens are reported on W-2 or 1099--not on 1042S.

What is a 1042S?
The 1042S reports calendar year income to foreign nationals who are nonresident aliens and to the IRS. Effective 2001, we are no longer required to report fellowship support used for tuition or mandatory fees on a 1042S. Colgate is required to mail the 1042S to you by March 15. CAUTION: Wages are reported on a W-2, not a 1042S. Exception: wages that are exempt from U.S. taxes under a treaty are reported on a 1042S. An individual might receive both a W-2 and one or more 1042S forms. If a foreign national is a resident alien for tax purposes, we generally don’t issue a 1042S. A resident alien is one who has a green card OR meets the substantial presence test.

Will Colgate report payments to my home country?
Colgate does not report payments to the home country but it appears that IRS reports income that is exempt under a treaty to the home country.

Where can I find information about U.S. taxation?

Web sites:
http://www.1040.com (includes federal and state information)
http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html (federal only)

Toll-Free Telephone Numbers:
Federal Tax Issues: 1-800-829-3676 (forms and publications) or 1-800-829-1040 (advice)
New York State Tax Issues (forms, publications and advice):1-800-225-5829
IRS Publications (available on Web and by Phone): #505 Tax Withholding/Estimated Tax; #508 Educational Expenses; #513 Tax Info. for Visitors to the U.S; #515 Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens; #519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens; #520 Scholarships/Fellowships; #597 Canada Tax Treaty; #901 Tax Treaties; #970 Education
Grants and Sponsored Research
May I use internal grant funds to purchase a computer or related equipment?
Some funds may be used to purchase computers and related equipment. The purchase should be coordinated with ITS to determine if the equipment may be supported. The equipment should be ordered through the Purchasing Office. All equipment purchased with grant funds becomes the property of Colgate University.

What are allowable costs for federal grants?
For detailed information, review the following websites:

National Science Foundation
National Institutes of Health

What are the Fringe Benefit Rates?
Click here to review Colgate Guidelines for Personnel Compensation and Fringe Benefits.

What are the Indirect Cost Rates?
Click here to review Colgate Guidelines for Indirect Costs.
Financial Statements
May I view a copy of Colgate University's Financial Statements?
Click here to review Financial Statements.