Harvard Will Not Participate in the Employee Payroll Tax Deferral

Harvard has decided not to participate, at this time, in the optional deferral of employee payroll tax allowed by a federal executive memorandum last month. The executive memorandum allows employers to choose to temporarily stop withholding payroll taxes for certain employees from September through December of 2020; employees would have to pay back these deferred taxes through increased tax withholding in 2021.

Upon analysis of the payback provision and after hearing from some employees, the University has determined that the increased taxes in 2021 would decrease pay and present a financial burden for affected employees. Therefore, the University will not implement this optional program.