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This chapter provides instructions for withholding State, city, or county income taxes when an agreement has been reached between a State, a city, or a county and the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary).
Agreements between the Secretary and States, cities, or counties prescribe how Federal agencies withhold income or employment taxes from the compensation of Federal employees and Armed Forces members (see 31 CFR Part 215).
Appendix 1 provides a list of States that have entered into agreements, the effective date of the agreement, and the designated State tax offices to receive inquiries. Appendix 2 provides a list of cities and counties that have entered into agreements, the effective date of the agreement, the type of tax to be withheld for each city or county, and the designated city or county tax offices to receive inquiries. Appendix 3 provides a list of States, cities, and counties with other-than-standard agreements.
Title 5 U.S.C. 5517 and Executive Order 11997 (June 22, 1977) provide for withholding State income taxes from the compensation of Federal employees and members of the Armed Forces when an agreement is made between the Secretary and the proper State official.
To comply with 5 U.S.C. 5516 and Executive Order 11997, the Secretary and an official of the District of Columbia entered into an agreement for withholding District of Columbia income taxes from the compensation of Federal employees and Armed Forces members.
In addition, 5 U.S.C. 5520 and Executive Order 11997 authorize the Secretary to make an agreement with the proper official of an eligible State, city, or county for withholding city or county income or employment taxes from Federal employees’ compensation.
Title 31 CFR Part 215 governs withholding of State, city, and county taxes. It prescribes requirements for making agreements and contains the text of a withholding agreement.
See 31 CFR Part 215 for the definitions of the terms used in this chapter.
Federal employees’ compensation subject to withholding of State, city, or county income or employment taxes includes severance pay, according to 5 U.S.C. 5595, if paid to a former employee. Severance pay remaining unpaid upon the death of a former employee is not subject to such withholding upon payment to a survivor or survivors.
The heads (or designees) of agencies must comply with the provisions in the agreements and with State laws, city or county ordinances, regulations, and instructions concerning withholding taxes, filing returns, and paying taxes. Agencies must consult directly with tax authorities for obtaining forms and instructions. They must withhold the State, city, or county income or employment taxes only for those States, cities, and counties identified in Appendices 1, 2, and 3. An agency must consult the E-Commerce Division (see the Contacts page) when requested to withhold a tax not identified in the appendices as eligible for withholding.
Requirements of States for withholding income tax may be modified by reciprocal agreements among States. These agreements generally relieve nonresident employees of their tax liability to the State in which they are employed. They also relieve their employers of the duty to withhold such taxes. To comply with Treasury-State withholding agreements, agencies must conform to the withholding provisions of reciprocal agreements.
Agencies may use the same designated officers or employees for withholding State, city, or county income or employment taxes as they use for withholding Federal taxes. When required by the State, city, or county, agencies must provide the appropriate authorities with the names of the Federal officers or employees who are designated to perform the withholding duties.
At the request of the Secretary, heads of agencies must provide a report of noncompliance with provisions of any agreement or any information connected with the administration of the agreements.
State tax withholding is required for agency employees who are subject to the tax and whose regular place of Federal employment is within the political boundaries of the State that has entered into an agreement. (See Section 5045 for military withholding instructions.)
City or county tax withholding is required for agency employees who are subject to the tax and:
Generally, an “official duty station” is designated for Federal employees where they report regularly to perform their services. When employees’ duties are performed at a place other than their “official duty station,” the regular place of Federal employment is the place where the employees regularly perform their duties.
Many city and county ordinances provide that withholding be based on compensation paid for services performed only within the city or county. In most cases, this provision applies only to nonresidents of the city or county. Employees affected by this provision, who perform part of their services outside of the city or county away from their regular place of employment, must complete a withholding certificate. The certificate estimates the percentage of their annual compensation for services performed outside the city or county so withholdings may be reduced accordingly. In the absence of such certification, the agency must withhold tax on the employees’ entire compensation.
To avoid large numbers of withholding actions, when only a moderate difference between the employees’ annual compensation and the estimated percent paid for services performed within the city or county exists, agencies should reduce withholdings only when employees perform 25 percent or more of their services outside the city or county. FMS 7311: Employee’s Withholding Certificate for Local Taxes—City or County, contains these instructions.
The amount of State, city, or county income or employment tax withheld from the compensation of an employee or member of the Armed Forces must, at a minimum, be approximately the tax required to be withheld. Withholding may be accomplished as follows:
Each agency may require its employees to complete a withholding certificate as the basis to properly withhold State and local taxes. The certificate should specify if the employee is subject to the tax, the employee’s residence and regular place of employment, exemptions, allowances (if applicable), and whether an out-of-State employee consents to have city or county taxes withheld. A supervisor or designated employee should verify that the withholding certificate has been properly prepared. An agency may rely on the withholding certificate information unless it is contrary to information already held by the agency. The certificate remains in effect until superseded by a new certificate prepared by the employee.
A withholding certificate completed by an employee gives the agency all the information to properly withhold tax. If an employee does not provide a withholding certificate as requested by the agency, the agency withholds tax at the maximum level applicable to the employee’s annual compensation. This latter provision does not apply to an employee who may opt for voluntary withholding; in this case, failure to submit a withholding certificate is considered a refusal of the withholding option available to the employee (see Section 5065).
Agencies may use a withholding or exemption certificate provided by a State, city, or county, if that document provides all the required information. If it does not, agencies may use a certificate approved by the Treasury.
Agencies may use FMS 7311 if a local taxing authority does not provide an appropriate certificate. Agencies should reproduce the FMS 7311 for their own use. Any revision to the form must be approved in advance as required by TFM Volume I, Part 1, Chapter 2000. However, overprinting the form does not require clearance from Treasury. Agencies may obtain a limited supply of FMS 7311s by contacting the Facilities Management Branch (see the Contacts page).
Agencies may provide copies of completed withholding certificates when requested by the taxing authority for which the tax was withheld.
When a State has made an agreement with the Secretary, State income taxes are withheld from the compensation of members of the Armed Forces, based on the State of legal residence. Local taxes are withheld from the compensation of:
Agencies use DD 2058: State of Legal Residence Certificate, to:
The amount withheld each pay period from the compensation of employees or members of the Armed Forces is recorded on their individual earnings records. The total amount withheld is disbursed each pay period from the appropriations from which the payroll is paid and is credited to the deposit fund X6275, “Withheld State and Local Taxes,” pending payment to the taxing authority. Agencies maintain appropriate internal subsidiary records to show the amounts withheld for each tax class and a breakdown of the total taxes withheld for each taxing authority.
An agency corrects an error made in a prior pay period of the current calendar year if the employee is still on the agency’s payroll. It should make the correction by adjusting the deduction for the current pay period by an amount sufficient to offset the error in the withheld taxes and the net pay of the employee. If the error occurred in a prior calendar year or the employee is no longer on the payroll, the agency should not make an adjustment.
The basic provision in the Treasury agreements is that each Federal agency complies with the withholding requirements of the State, city, or county tax laws. Therefore, each Federal agency observes the payment requirements (biweekly, monthly, or quarterly) of the State, city, or county tax laws currently in effect. However, agencies do not make payment more frequently than required by the State, city, or county, or more frequently than the payroll is paid.
The disbursing office issues checks and/or electronic funds transfer payments based on an SF 1166: Voucher and Schedule of Payments, or other approved voucher form. Payments sent to States, cities, counties, or their collection agents are accompanied by the related tax payment documents prescribed by the States, cities, or counties. If an agency uses an SF 1166, a copy of the tax payment document is considered a basic voucher for the payment, and no other voucher is required. The agency should enter “Taxes” in the “Voucher No.” column of the SF 1166.
When a State tax statute provides for voluntary withholding, Federal agencies withhold State taxes only from those employees or members of the Armed Forces who elect such withholding.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) pay regulations 5 CFR 550.351 provide for voluntary payroll deductions of State, District of Columbia, or local income or employment taxes from salaries of Federal employees who have a legal obligation to pay, whether or not Treasury has a withholding agreement with their taxing jurisdiction. Agencies also may refer to the Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) Supplement 990-2 of May 11, 1981.
Agencies deposit the amount of voluntary withholding in the deposit fund X6275, “Withheld State and Local Taxes,” and account for it as prescribed in Section 5050.
Annual wage and tax information provided to taxing authorities must comply with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. If an agency has not obtained prior written consent of an employee or has not published a routine use in the Federal Register, annual wage and tax information must be provided under this section only to taxing authorities with whom the Secretary has entered into agreements (see Appendices 1 and 2).
The information returns consist of the name, address, social security number, wages (as defined in 26 U.S.C. 340l(a) of the Internal Revenue Code), and the amount of tax withheld, if any.
In the case of an agreement with a State, agencies provide the indicated information with respect to those employees who are subject to mandatory withholding, or who may elect withholding under a State law.
Agencies that have an agreement with a city or county provide the indicated information with respect to employees who are subject to mandatory withholding or city or county taxes, but not subject to mandatory withholding because they are not residents or not employed in the State in which the city or county is located, whether or not they have opted for voluntary withholding (see Section 5065).
Each agency must publish notices of routine use in the Federal Register to comply with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, indicating the information under this subsection routinely disclosed by the agency to State, city, or county authorities and the circumstances under which such disclosure is made.
Agencies are not required by the terms of Treasury’s withholding agreements to provide any additional information or more frequent wage and tax information returns to State, city, or county taxing authorities than is outlined in this section, or to submit to any inspection or audit of payroll records by State, city, or county taxing authorities.
Employees who would otherwise be subject to mandatory withholding pursuant to an agreement between the Secretary and an applicable State, city, or county authority, may file a certificate indicating that they are not subject to the tax. In such cases, the agency may provide, to the designated official of the State, city, or county imposing the tax, information concerning employees who claim to be exempt from the tax. Such information includes the name, social security number, and the claimed basis for exemption.
Each agency must determine which bases for exemption from the tax are acceptable under the law. Agencies should ensure compliance by requiring the use of appropriate tax exemption certificates.
Federal agency forms, including withholding and exemption certificates, must comply with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. When a State, city, or county form is used, each agency must provide the employee from whom the information is solicited a Privacy Act Notice, either on the applicable form or on a separate sheet of paper. A suggested statement follows:
The following information is provided to comply with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The social security number is required under the authority of Executive Order 9397 to provide taxpayer identification. The other information is required under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 5516, 5517, or 5520 for the purpose of implementing a Federal agreement with the State, city, or county relating to withholding of State, city, or county income or employment taxes to comply with a State law or municipal or county ordnance. The information provided may be disclosed to State, city, or county officials to ensure that the taxpayer’s account has been properly credited for the amounts withheld. Failure to disclose the information requested may affect the determination of the accuracy of the amount withheld.
Direct inquiries concerning this chapter to:
Financial Management Service
Department of the Treasury
Liberty Center, Room 306F
Washington, DC 20227
To obtain a limited supply of FMS 7311s, contact:
Property and Supply Section
Facilities Management Division
Financial Management Service
Department of the Treasury
Ardmore East Business Center
3361-L 75th Avenue
Landover, MD 20785
|1||List of States, Effective Dates, and Addresses of Tax Offices With Which the Secretary of the Treasury Has Withholding Agreements|
|2||List of Cities, Counties, Types of Tax, Effective Dates, and Addresses of Tax Offices With Which the Secretary of the Treasury Has Withholding Agreements|
|3||List of States, Cities, and Counties With Other-Than-Standard Agreements|
Appendices are available the PDF version only.
This transmittal letter releases revised I TFM 3-5000: Withholding of District of Columbia, State, City, and County Income or Employment Taxes. This chapter provides instructions for withholding State, city, or county income taxes when an agreement has been reached between a State, a city, or a county and the Secretary of the Treasury.
|Table of Contents for Part 3 (T/L 648)||Table of Contents for Part 3|
|I TFM 3-5000 (T/L 522)||I TFM 3-5000|
This transmittal letter is effective immediately.
Direct questions concerning this transmittal letter to:
Financial Management Service
Department of the Treasury
Liberty Center, Room 306F
Washington, DC 20227
David A. Lebryk
Date: December 27, 2012