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Tax Withholding

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Make changes to your Filing Status, Allowances, Additional Withholding and Tax Exempt status for both your Federal W4 and State Withholding Form by following these instructions.

Note: To protect your personal data, this application includes an additional security check. Please see Personal Information Security for more information.

You may need to click edit before you can make changes.

Filing Status

To change your filing status, choose either Single or Married from the Filing Status drop down menu, according to how you plan to file your tax withholding.


To change the number of Allowances claimed, enter the number in the Allowances field. Please refer to IRS W4 Form Instructions Personal Allowance Worksheet to determine the number of Allowances to claim.

Additional Withholding

To change your Additional Withholding tax, enter the amount in dollars and cents in the Additional Withholding field. This will increase the amount withheld for federal or state taxes for each pay period until the next time you change your record. If you wish for this change to be temporary please remember you will need to access ESS again to remove or change the additional amount.

  • Note: Taxes are calculated and withheld prior to your deductions. When adding an additional tax withholding amount, it is important to maintain sufficient funds to cover your deductions (e.g. health insurance, 401K contribution) so that they will be withheld from your payment.

Tax Exempt

To change your Tax Exempt status, select either Yes or No from the Tax Exempt drop down menu. Choosing Yes will exempt you from tax withholding for each pay period.

  • Note: If you need to make a change to the state (generally Massachusetts) that determines your tax withholdings, please contact the HR-Payroll Service Center at (617) 253-4255.

See also

Money Matters FAQ
Tax withholding screen, fields for marital status and number of exemptions are not editable

Reference Guide

Reference guides and documentation sets

Last Modified:

March 16, 2023

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