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Tax Withholding

This webpage helps you understand the withholding types and how to make changes to your federal and state withholding. Please note that Payroll employees are not qualified nor authorized to provide advice or assistance in determining an employee’s withholding information.  If you need assistance, please contact an accountant or a qualified tax preparer.

Federal and State Income Tax Withholding

The amount of Federal and State withholding taxes you pay is based on the information you provide on your W-4 and NC-4 withholding certificates and the amount of your taxable earnings.

Taxable Earnings is the portion of your gross earnings that is subject to being taxed.

Federal and state taxable earnings are the total salary plus non-wage, reduced by “pre-tax” deductions for dental, health and vision insurance, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D), dependent care & flexible medical savings accounts, supplemental medical plan, pre-taxed parking, retirement contributions and annuity payments (403b, 401k, and 457 Deferred Compensation).

Federal withholding is determined using IRS publication 15-T which is updated every calendar year.  Page 6 lists the wage brackets while page 5 provides the detailed steps to determine the withholding tax.  

North Carolina withholding is determined using the Annualized Method formulas on page 18 of publication NC-30.

The primary difference between federal and NC withholding taxes, is federal withholding taxes are graduated, while NC withholding taxes are based on a flat rate.  Graduated tax rates assess greater tax rates at greater levels of income while the flat tax rate remains the same regardless of income.  The current NC “flat” tax rate can be found on page 18 of publication NC-30.

What if I work in a state other than North Carolina?

Withholding taxes are based on your work location, not NCSU’s location.  If you work in a state other than North Carolina send an email to and a tax specialist will contact you to ensure the proper withholding certificate is completed.

Default Withholding Settings

The IRS and NC require employers to use default withholding settings for newly hired employees in case those employees do not submit a withholding certification (W-4 or NC-4).  The IRS W-4 form has one (1) default setting; marital status.  This is automatically set to single when a person is initially hired.  North Carolina (and most) states have two (2) default settings; marital status and withholding allowances.  As with the W-4, the NC-4 is automatically set to single when a person is initially hired.  The default number of withholding allowances is zero (0).

Changing Your Withholding Settings

You can review and change your W-4 and/or NC-4 withholding information through MyPack Portal.  Please see the note below before making any changes.  If you work in a state other than North Carolina and wish to change your withholding, please contact the payroll tax specialist at

Changing your W-4 and/or NC-4 through MyPack Portal.  

>Log into MyPack Portal using your Unity ID & password.

>Click on the “For Faculty & Staff” tab on the top of the page.

>In the Employee Self Service section select Payroll and Compensation.

>Click on the option NC4/W4 Tax Data.  

>Select either Submit New Federal Tax Withholding Allowance Certificate (W-4) or Submit new State of North Carolina Tax Withholding Information (NC-4).

If you will not be working in the state of North Carolina, send an email to or call (919) 515-4350.