12/11/2020 update from Harvard on the recently announced changes for out of state workers:
“We write to inform you that due to new guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Harvard’s planned changes in its tax withholding practices will not be implemented on January 1, 2021 as previously announced.
On December 8, the Commonwealth extended its requirement that employers generally must continue to withhold Massachusetts tax from their employees who are working outside the state due to COVID-19. This requirement, originally scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020, is now in place until 90 days after the Massachusetts state of emergency is lifted. In light of the extension of these rules, Harvard will continue your Massachusetts withholding in the new year.
You are not required to take any action; even if you submitted an Out of State Worker Questionnaire and accompanying state tax form, your Massachusetts withholdings will continue and taxes in your home state will not be withheld. When the state of the emergency is lifted and the Massachusetts rules expire, the University will resume the path to withhold tax in other states, as appropriate. At that time, Central Payroll will contact you again to confirm or update any information as needed.
If you have further questions, please contact University Central Payroll at (617) 495-8500 option 4, or via email at email@example.com.
We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we navigate the evolving regulatory landscape around the pandemic.”
Sent from The University Central Payroll Team on December 11, 2020
HUCTW’s original communication for members working out-of-state:
We want to update you on some positive developments for HUCTW members who are working remotely outside of Massachusetts due to COVID-19 campus and state restrictions.
As you know, the majority of HUCTW members have been working remotely (teleworking) during the pandemic. Some of you are working outside of Massachusetts because your homes are outside of Massachusetts, or because you are temporarily living with family or friends in other states, or for other reasons.
As remote work continues, a number of you have asked whether you will be able to continue working out of state and still remain fully benefited HUCTW staff members once Governor Baker’s emergency order allowing Massachusetts to collect taxes on out-of-state employees expires on December 31.
To address this problem, Harvard plans to register to do business and administer income tax withholding for employees in all New England states and NY. Currently, Harvard is only registered in Massachusetts and California, however, Harvard will register in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont by January 1, 2021. This will allow employees who are working remotely during the pandemic to continue to do so, while staying fully benefited HUCTW staff members.
In January, affected employees should complete an Out-of-State Worker Questionnaire and upload the appropriate signed state tax form so that taxes can be withheld in the states they reside in, instead of in Massachusetts.
If your mailing address in PeopleSoft is in one of these states, Harvard HR will contact you to fill out the questionnaire and submit the tax form. If you are working remotely in one of these states listed above, but your PeopleSoft address is still in Massachusetts, you will likely need to contact your local HR office to start the process described above. Learn more: huctw.org/newengland.
If you are working remotely in other states besides the ones listed above, you will be able to continue to work as fully benefited HUCTW member, on the Massachusetts PeopleSoft tax payroll while you work out-of-state until (1) the end of the public health emergency declaration in Massachusetts, or (2) August 31, 2021, whichever is sooner. If your address in PeopleSoft is listed in one of these states, Harvard HR will contact you to notify you of this extension. Please note that Dumbarton Oaks members in DC will not need to take any action.
If you have more specific questions about these changes, contact your local HR office. If you have concerns about your particular situation you’d like to discuss confidentially before contacting HR, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.