How to Change State Withholding Tax on Your Paycheck

Your employer should indicate your annual state tax witheld on your W-2.
••• tax forms image by Chad McDermott from

Nine states do not charge state income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These states are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and Wyoming. States that collect income tax require employers to withhold it from employees' wages. Each state sets its own withholding requirements. Therefore, the employer must check its individual state taxation department's regulations for specific rates and withholding guidelines. The procedure for changing your state withholding tax conditions is generally the same in each state that collects income tax.

Ask your employer for a state income tax form. This form is comparable to the IRS' W-4 used to help determine your federal income tax withholding. You also can visit your state's Department of Revenue or taxation department's website and search for the form.

Indicate the change you want to make on your state income tax so it shows on your paycheck. For instance, if you want to change your filing status in the state of Georgia, complete Line 3 of the Georgia Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. If you qualify for and want to claim exempt status, which allows you to not pay state withholding tax, follow your state's policies for claiming exempt. For instance, in Georgia, you can claim exempt using the same form you would use to make other withholding changes but in New York two separate forms are required for each process.

Read More: How do I Calculate Backpay Taxes?

Check with your employer for withholding guidelines, if city or local income tax applies. For instance, New York City collects city tax; and Pickerington, Ohio, collects city and local school district income tax. The same form for making a state income tax withholding change might be required for city or local income tax. Your employer withholds the taxes based on the rates the respective city and local government regulate.

Submit the form to your employer so it shows on the paycheck the way you want it to. Check with your payroll department for the submission date.


  • State withholding tax is withheld from your gross pay along with federal payroll taxes. Your employer must use the respective state withholding tax tables (see Resources) to calculate your state income tax withholding amount.

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