You are here: American University Finance Memos Tax-Exempt Renewal Notice 2023

Memorandum January 30, 2023

American University Community
Phillip R. Harris, Director of Payroll
Tax-Exempt Renewal Notice

Dear AU Community member,

Our records show that in 2022 you claimed exempt status from Federal tax withholding and/or state tax withholding (District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia). Here is what that means:

  • You submitted forms certifying that you didn’t have a tax liability.
  • Per your forms, the Payroll Office did not withhold taxes from your paycheck.

Exempt status is valid only for the calendar year in which it was filed. To maintain exempt status in a new calendar year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state agencies require new tax withholding forms. Exempt statuses for the previous calendar year expire in February of the next year.  To claim exempt from Federal and/or state tax withholdings in 2023, please send a new completed form (blank forms linked) by:

  • February 6 for biweekly employees
  • February 13 for monthly employees

You may send your tax forms via one of the following methods:


Online, via AU Help and Services (preferred, more secured method):


  1. Navigate to
  2. Login with your AU credentials.
  3. Click 'Request Help' (across the top), then select 'Payroll' as the 'Service Area.'
  4. Be sure to attach the tax form(s) using the paper clip icon at the bottom of the screen.
  5. When finished, click Submit.

Via Regular Mail:


American University
Attention HR/Payroll Office
3201 New Mexico Ave NW – Suite 350
Washington, DC 20016

All tax forms must have a valid signature and contain your name, address, and SSN. 

IMPORTANT: If we do not receive your form by the dates listed above, we are required to start withholding Federal and/or state taxes from your paycheck. Per IRS and state regulations, the Payroll Office is not allowed to provide tax advice or refund taxes once they have been withheld from your pay.

For general payroll tax withholding questions, please contact us at 202-885-3520 or at

You can ignore this message if you meet any of these criteria:

  • You no longer work for American University.
  • You do not expect to work for the university in 2023.
  • You already have submitted new withholding form(s) within the last couple of weeks.

To Renew Exemption from Federal Tax Withholding

To claim exemption from withholding, write the word EXEMPT on Form W-4 in the space below Step 4(c). Then complete Steps 1(a), 1(b), and 5. Do not complete any other steps. Ensure you sign your completed form. The Payroll Office cannot process your form without a valid signature.

To Determine Your Eligibility to Claim Exempt for 2023:


  1. Contact your tax authority to get tax liability information:
  1. Talk to family members or tax professionals who have knowledge of your tax situation.
  2. Direct further questions on your specific tax situation to a tax professional.


Phillip R. Harris, Director of Payroll