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VPF Statement - MIT Office of the Vice President for Finance
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March 2018
Payroll Matters
 
I write to flag two significant changes on which our HR/Payroll team is focused right now.
 
As we have highlighted over the past several months, in April, MIT will transition from a monthly to a semimonthly pay schedule for all faculty, salaried staff, graduate students and fellows. Under this new pay schedule, which aligns the Institute with best payroll practices, these individuals will receive half of their monthly pay in the middle of the month, i.e., earlier, and half at the end of the month. There are no changes for those who are paid weekly.
 
The other change is directly related to the new federal tax law. MIT uses two pieces of information to calculate federal tax withholding from your pay—the most updated tax tables from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and withholding instructions you provided on the W-4 form when you were hired or updated subsequently through Atlas. We recently published a story on MIT News and on the VPF website with a recommendation that everyone we pay review their withholding instructions to be sure the federal tax withholding amount is accurate for their individual situations given the impacts of the new tax law. I encourage you to read the story for more details.
 
VPF’s HR/Payroll team has been working diligently on both of these issues and stands ready to help you with any questions you may have about them. We encourage you to check in with us either by phone at 617-253-4255, via email or in person at NE49-4079.
 
On another front, we are pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of VPF’s Leslie Wright, who is receiving a 2018 MIT Excellence Award in the Serving the Client category. A consulting business systems analyst in VPF’s Financial Systems and Data unit, Leslie works behind the scenes to support the rollout of VPF campus-wide initiatives—including the transition to semimonthly pay, the return of the Staff Appointments and Distribution (SANDI) report and the launch of Buy-to-Pay (B2P)—and ensures that multiple systems are well integrated. Please join me in congratulating Leslie on this recognition of her many contributions to MIT and VPF.
 
Best,
 
Glen Shor
Vice President for Finance
Updates to MIT's Record Retention Policy

VPF’s revised Record Retention Policy went into effect on February 1, 2018 and offers MIT’s DLCs new options for electronic record keeping. DLCs can choose to adapt their existing record-keeping practices and retain less paper by implementing some or all of the specific elements detailed below.
 
The revised policy addresses electronic imaging of paper receipts, relief from having to retain Procurement Card (ProCard) receipts for lower-dollar charges, and new functionality for recording receipt of goods (electronically).
 
Electronic Imaging: This new approach to record keeping gives you the option to discard paper records once a complete and legible copy is uploaded to a VPF-managed application (Concur, B2P, ProCard Inbox, eRFP, and Journal Vouchers). Please note you can now upload ProCard receipts directly to your ProCard Inbox and then discard the paper (in circumstances where a receipt is required—see immediately below for more).
Quickcard: Electronic Imaging
 
ProCard Receipt Threshold: If you make a purchase for $75 or under with your ProCard, you no longer need to submit a receipt for the expense. You do need to continue supplying specific information to the card approver/verifier, including a description of and reason for the purchase, and which cost object account to charge for the expense. This new policy for ProCard receipts for charges $75 and under is in line with the MIT Travel Card policy. However, with both cards, if they are used to pay for a business meeting meal, you must submit a receipt, no matter the amount of the charge. Receipts are still required for charges over $75 (though paper receipts can be discarded after uploading to your ProCard Inbox).
Quickcard: ProCard and Travel Card Receipts
 
Packing Slips: If you make a purchase through B2P, you can use the “Receive” feature to mark the items you purchased as received and confirm that they arrived in satisfactory condition. Once all items on the packing slip are received you can discard the slip. This too is considered a “best practice” but is optional. Alternatively, you can retain paper packing slips or upload an electronic image to B2P and discard the original.

Quickcard: Packing Slips for B2P POs

Quickcard: Recording Receipt in B2P

For more information: Check out the FAQ on Record Retention on the VPF website.

Questions? Send an email to the B2P Contact Center or call 617-253-7000.
Semimonthly Pay Schedule Begins Next Month

MIT faculty, salaried staff, graduate students, and fellows—including those at Lincoln Laboratory—will transition to a semimonthly pay schedule in April. 
 
If you are currently paid monthly, March is the last month you will receive the entire month’s pay at the end of the month (March 30). In April you will receive half of your April pay on Friday, April 13, and the other half on Monday, April 30. There is no need to adjust your schedule for paying bills, as you are receiving half of your monthly pay earlier in the month.
 
All tax withholdings and deductions will be divided equally between these two pay dates, with a few exceptions—Vanpool, Commuter Rail passes, and Educational Loan Plan payments will be deducted on the last pay date of the month only.

This change does not affect those who are paid weekly.

For more information, review Semimonthly Pay Schedule FAQs.

Questions about the transition? Please email payroll@mit.edu.
IRS Releases 2018 Form W-4 and Tax Withholding Calculator Based on New Tax Law
 
Use these tools to help ensure the accuracy of tax withholdings from your paycheck

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the updated W-4 form and Withholding Calculator, reflecting the changes in the new federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

VPF HR/Payroll calculates the amount of federal taxes to withhold from your paycheck based on two pieces of information—the tax tables provided by the IRS (which were previously updated for the new law) and withholding instructions from each employee. Those initial instructions are provided by you to VPF HR/Payroll via your online tax withholding instructions on Atlas or a completed W-4 form when you are hired. Now that the IRS has updated the W-4 form and Withholding Calculator based on the new law, it is strongly recommending that you use this tool to do a "paycheck check-up" to be sure your withholding instructions are accurate.

Given the significant changes in the new tax law, VPF HR/Payroll concurs with the IRS and strongly suggests you review your federal tax withholding amounts for 2018.

A comprehensive FAQ on using the Withholding Calculator is posted on the IRS website.

If after using the calculator you want to change your federal tax withholding, you can make those changes in one of two ways:
  • Log in to Atlas, and go to About Me on the maroon navigation bar on the top, then choose Tax Withholding from the menu on the left.  Make your changes using the edit tool and Save. In most cases, these changes will be reflected in your next pay date (or sometimes second pay date), depending on when they are submitted within the pay cycle.
  • Download the W-4 form, from the VPF website or from the IRS. You can fill it out and bring it to HR/Payroll. We recommend dropping it off to us at the VPF HR/Payroll Service Center in NE49-4079, which is open Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Do not send the form to the IRS.
VPF HR/Payroll staff are available, in person, at NE49-4079, by phone at 617-253-4255, or via email to address your withholding questions as they relate to your pay at MIT. We cannot provide individual tax advice.
Introducing MIT's Preferred Suppliers for Promotional Items
 
VPF Strategic Sourcing has signed two companies—DS Graphics and 4imprint—as MIT Preferred Suppliers for promotional items for the Institute. As Preferred Suppliers, DS Graphics and 4imprint will provide a ten percent discount on all MIT orders. The discount will appear on your invoice so that you can see the savings on your orders and VPF can document the annual savings to the Institute.
 
“We now have contracts with two suppliers—both with a long track record of providing a wide range of promotional services to MIT—who can meet the Institute’s needs for promotional items through pricing, service, and innovation,” says Minerva Tirado, VPF’s strategic sourcing analyst who sources promotional items, professional and creative services, and printing suppliers, and who led this recent sourcing initiative.
 
“Our goal in choosing Preferred Suppliers was to not only get a price break but to cut down on the time it takes for you to get your order completed,” says Tirado. “These two suppliers have dedicated teams in place for all MIT orders and offer high-quality branding solutions. They are fluent in the MIT style guide and have worked closely with MIT’s Technology Licensing Office (TLO) on the design approval process. They manage the entire imprinting process and can help you with design and guidelines on how to provide artwork that is prepped and ready for production.”
 
4imprint currently provides a significant volume of MIT’s promotional items—apparel (including athletic apparel), notebooks, pens and pencils, mugs and water bottles, and dozens of other items—all imprinted with MIT’s name and logo. DS Graphics, an MIT Preferred Supplier for printing, now offers promotional products to MIT in addition to printing services.
 
Promotional items often serve as gifts to students, alumni, parents, conference attendees, and other guests and friends of the Institute. They are frequently co-branded with MIT’s name and logo and departmental or event-specific logos.
 
Visit the Technology Licensing Office (TLO) website to learn more about the use of MIT’s name and the MIT Office of Communications Communications Initiatives site for branding guidelines.
 
You can find information about DS Graphics and 4imprint on VPF’s Supplier Search page. Choose Promotional Items from the Commodities drop down menu.

Questions? Contact Minerva Tirado, VPF Strategic Sourcing Analyst, at 617-258-9310.
Local Hotel Rates for 2018

The 2018 MIT negotiated discount rate information for a selection of Cambridge and Boston hotels—including three in Kendall Square—is now available on the VPF website. Follow this link to the list of hotels. The page also links to a PDF version for easy printing.
 
More detailed information about each hotel is available on VPF Supplier Search. From here, be sure to check the hotel’s individual page for special offers and features, information on what is included in the rate, shuttle services, booking and contact information, a direct link to the hotel (not the national chain page), and a map link.
 
VPF Senior Strategic Sourcing Analyst Pam O’Neil—who specializes in travel, events, hotels, and transportation—reminds you these rates are not for booking blocks of rooms for events. If you do need to book or hold blocks of rooms, contact the account manager referenced on the hotel list.
 
Members of the MIT community can ask for the MIT rates when booking these local hotels for personal travel too. Questions about hotels? Contact Pam O’Neil, VPF Senior Strategic Sourcing Analyst, at 617-253-2756.
Tax Workshop for Students and Scholars

VPF Tax and Global Operations and HR/Payroll staff will be on hand for a Tax Workshop for MIT Students and Scholars on Monday, April 2, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm in 10-250.
 
The workshop will be divided into two sections:
  • Nonresident students,
    5:00–6:30 pm
  • Resident and U.S. citizen students and scholars, 6:30–8:00 pm
There will be a short presentation by staff from the International Scholars Office and VPF, followed by a Q&A session with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

These sessions will provide general guidance on the process of filing 2017 federal tax returns and Massachusetts state tax returns and are not intended to provide individual tax advice.
 
For more information, contact Naziat Adnan or Rebecca Berger in VPF Tax and Global Operations.


Training Classes

Register for classroom-based and online VPF training through the MIT Learning Center on Atlas.

Fundamentals of Financial Management
March 29 and 30, 2018
9:00 am–12:00 pm
Grand Cayman Conference Room, NE49-3100


Drop-in Sessions

Concur Travel Expense
VPF Travel and Card Services staff are available to assist members of the community with their expense reports at drop-in sessions every Wednesday, 10:00–11:00 am, in the Little Cayman Conference Room, NE49-3098.

Buy-to-Pay (B2P)
Receive in-person assistance with tasks in the B2P system every Wednesday, 10:00–11:00 am in the Little Cayman Conference Room, NE49-3098.


Customized Training

VPF staff members are available to provide customized training to members of the MIT community. Request a customized training session.

Key VPF Links
 


Contact VPF

Staff Directory
Key Emails and Phone Numbers
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Banner photo by Tom Pixton


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