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Frequently Asked Questions

The following general information applies to all payrolls at Brown University. Select the category of question from the list below. Please feel free to contact a member of the Payroll staff regarding a specific issue or concern.


General Payroll FAQ

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What services are provided by the University Payroll Office?

The Payroll Office provides services to the Brown University community as well as Federal, State and Local authorities. Some of these services include but are not limited to:

    • Processing and payment of all payrolls at Brown University. This includes the Monthly, Semi-monthly, Weekly and Student payrolls.
    • Distributes checks and direct deposit advices to employee and student campus boxes
    • Direct deposit enrollment, change and cancellation.
    • Payroll check stop payment.
    • Lost check replacement.
    • Maintains employee payroll records.
    • Processes all Federal and State mandated employment tax forms.
    • Issues calendar year-end tax documents.
    • Issues duplicate W2 and 1042s forms.

How can I reach the University Payroll Office?

The Payroll Office is located in the Brown Office Building, 164 Angell Street, 2nd floor. We have a customer service window that is open during normal University hours.

A Payroll staff member may also be contacted by telephone at 401-863-2361. Also available for contact is the Payroll Office general email address:

What payment methods does the University offer for payroll payments?

Brown University currently offers two methods of payment:

    • Checks made payable to the employee
    • Direct Deposit of funds to employee’s financial institution
      • (see also Direct Deposit FAQ)

How do I change my home address/campus location?

Employee personal information such as address and campus location is managed by the Human Resources Department. They have developed an automated form for changing this type of self reported information.

How do I change my name and what documents do I need?

Staff and Faculty: Access the following HR link for specific instructions:

Students: Using your Banner access, update your address online. For HR/Payroll purposes, please update your “permanent address” in Banner.

I did not receive the correct number of hours or the correct amount of salary in my pay, who do I contact?

The Payroll Office staff is dedicated to the mission of paying Brown University employees accurately and in a timely manner. The first step in investigating any problem with your pay is to see your immediate supervisor. Your supervisor will contact the Payroll Office for any additional information.

What are my vacation and sick time balances?

Vacation and sick balances are maintained within the University departments. There is currently no central repository for vacation and sick balances.  For balance information, please see your immediate supervisor or department manager.

When and how often will I receive my pay?

How often you receive your pay depends upon the payroll cycle to which you are assigned.  For complete information please see “Payroll cutoffs & deadlines”

My paycheck has been lost or stolen, what should I do?

Contact the Payroll Office immediately. The Payroll Office will place a “stop payment” with the bank to make the check non-negotiable (unable to be cashed).  Once the Payroll Office has confirmation from the bank that the stop payment has been placed, a replacement check will be created for you (generally within 2-3 days).

Payroll Forms FAQ

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How do I request a duplicate W2 or 1042S form?

W2 and 1042S forms are mailed to employees on or before January 31st each year. You can access a duplicate of your 2010 W2 form on the ADP Paycheck+ website. To request a duplicate W2 from for tax years 2009 and earlier, please send an email to Include contact information (phone number or current address) and the calendar year of the form requested. A duplicate will be processed and sent to you.

W4 form link:


Time Sheets FAQ

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Where do I bring completed department time sheets?

Time sheets should be sent to the Payroll Office, 2nd floor Brown Office Building. Time sheets may be sent via campus mail but be sure that there is ample time for the time sheets to reach the Payroll Office on or before the cutoff date.

When are time sheets due?

Please refer to the “deadlines and cutoffs” section of the Payroll Office website.

How do I become an authorized signer of time sheets?

Your supervisor should send an email to the Payroll Office Manager authorizing you.

The time sheets my department sent to payroll need to be corrected. How do I do this?

Contact the Payroll Office directly and immediately to discuss the needed correction.

Direct Deposit FAQ

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What is direct deposit?

Direct Deposit is an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction that is a safe, proven, and confidential method of receiving a payment. With Direct Deposit, your pay check  is electronically transferred by the Brown University Payroll Office  into your checking or savings account (or multiple accounts).

Is Direct Deposit available to all employees?

Direct Deposit is an important employee benefit which is available to all employee types, including students and limited duration employees.  

Can I divide my pay among different accounts if I use Direct Deposit?

Yes, you can deposit your pay into multiple accounts. This method helps many people save money by automatically depositing a portion of their pay into a savings account.  Direct deposit can also be an excellent financial planning tool because it allows people to divide their pay into as a number of different accounts.

Is there a charge for Direct Deposit?

There is no charge to participate in direct deposit. Many banks offer free services for employees with direct deposit. Discuss this with your bank!

How do I sign up for direct deposit?

Sign into Workday and select "All About Me." From there select "Pay" and then "Payment Elections." Be sure to add accounts prior to changing payment elections.

Your enrollment in direct deposit will continue to be valid until you make another change in Workday.

How soon after I enroll in direct deposit will it take effect?

Your direct deposit request will be processed as soon as possible.  Our system requires at least one pay period for “pre-note” which is a confirmation process with the bank.  Therefore, you will receive at least one (1) more check before the direct deposit will actually take place.

How do I know when my payment has been deposited?

Brown University will continue to issue a pay stub to you with Direct Deposit.  It will show how much was deposited to your account and how much was taken out of your pay for taxes, insurance, and other items. 

When do I have access to my pay (money)?

Your pay will be available to you in your bank accounts at the opening of business the morning of pay day. Your financial institution can tell you exactly when your money will be available.

How do I stop or change my direct deposit information (including change of bank and/or accounts)?

Complete a new enrollment form indicating either “change” or “cancel” and return the completed form to the Brown University Payroll Office. All changes may take up to one full pay period to become effective. If you are changing banks, you will receive at least one paper check.  The Payroll Office staff is always available to assist you with this and answer any questions.

It is my pay date and my direct deposit is not in my bank account, what should I do?

As with all questions regarding accuracy of pay, please see your supervisor first. Your supervisor will confirm that you were entitled to pay for that particular pay period.  Your supervisor or you should then contact the Payroll Office for further assistance and investigation.

Why is Direct Deposit good for consumers?

Direct Deposit is secure, convenient and fast.  A Direct Deposit payment has never been lost, it saves consumers from waiting in lines at the bank, and gives many people access to their money earlier than a traditional check.

I am an LDE (limited duration employee), can I participate in direct deposit?

Yes, payroll direct deposit is available to all Brown University employees.

Link to form:

If I sign up for Direct Deposit, how can I be sure that no one will have access to my account?

Brown University does not have access to your account. The funds are electronically transferred to the bank accounts.  However, Brown University does have a limited ability to reverse direct deposit payments made in error but does not do this without first notifying the employee.

Tax Withholding FAQ

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Can the Payroll Office offer tax guidance?

The Payroll Office cannot offer tax guidance to Brown employees or students. This information may be obtained from an accountant or tax professional or by researching the IRS documentation found at

How do I change the amount of Federal and State taxes that are withheld from my pay check?

The Federal Form W-4 is used to determine the amount of Federal taxes withheld from each check. This form is available at the Payroll Office window or can be downloaded from the Human Resources web site at "HR Forms". The W-4 form must also be used in the case of claiming an exemption from having any taxes withheld (normally students). However, when claiming "exempt", it is necessary to re-file this form each calendar year before February 15th. Your W-4 form may be changed at any time during the year.

State of Rhode Island taxes are withheld based upon a tax table published by the State. Complete a State of RI W4 form to change the amount of State taxes withhold from your paycheck

What is a W4 Form?

The W4 form is an IRS form that tells an employer how many withholding allowances to use when calculating and withholding federal income tax from an employee’s pay.  A W4 form includes detailed instructions, and a worksheet to help the employee figure his/her correct number of withholding allowances.  Consider completing a new W4 form whenever your personal or financial situation changes.

Does RI have a separate W4 form?

The State of RI does have a W4 form. It may be accessed from the Controller's Office website/Forms/Payroll

What happens if I didn’t submit a  W4 form?

Your taxation status will default to Single with zero allowances.

How often can I change my W4?

The W4 form can be changed as many times throughout the year as you find necessary.  Once a W4 form has been submitted to the Payroll Office, the Payroll Office staff will make the change as soon as possible. This change to your marital status or withholding allowances will be done within 30 days of the date that the form is received by the Payroll Office.

How do I claim exempt from Federal Income Tax withholding?

Submit the W4 form with “exempt” written on line 7, please be sure to leave line 5 blank. The IRS has strict guidelines for claiming exemption from withholding.  For further information, please visit the IRS website, see Publication 505.

Who do I submit my completed W4 form to?

W4 forms must be submitted to the Payroll Office on the 2nd floor of the Brown Office Building. The form can also be mailed to the Payroll Office, Box 1873.

How many tax allowances can I claim?

The Payroll Office, Human Resources, and Benefits Staff are not permitted to assist you in determining the number of allowance you can claim. Please consult a tax professional or access further information on the IRS website (www.IRS.Gov)


Child Support, Tax Levies, & Garnishment FAQ

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What is a garnishment?

A legal order received by the Payroll Office requiring withholding from an employee’s pay check to satisfy a debt (including child support).

What types of garnishments are there and what are they for?

There are three basic types of earnings garnishments:

  • Child Support Orders
  • Tax Levies (unpaid Federal or State income taxes)
  • Creditor Garnishments (unpaid obligations to creditors)

How much will be deducted from my pay?

Most court orders specify a dollar amount to be deducted by the employer from your pay and remitted to the associated party.  If you have any questions regarding the amount currently withheld from your pay, please contact either the Payroll Manager or the Payroll Supervisor at

Can these amounts be modified?

Brown University will only withhold the amounts that are court ordered and can only change the amounts withheld if ordered by the courts to do so.

Employees should seek legal counsel to request a change in the amount from the courts.

I just received my paycheck and I have a deduction for a garnishment, levy, or court order. I do not know anything about this, what should I do?

You should have received notice well in advance of the start of the mandatory withholding.  You may contact the Payroll Manager or Payroll Supervisor at for further garnishment information, including the name of the attorney to contact.

How can I have the garnishment stopped?

Brown University must receive written notification from the proper authorities to change amounts or stop court ordered withholding.  That information can be sent by the attorney or courts to the Payroll Office, Box 1873, Providence, RI 02912.


Student Employee FAQ

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I am a graduate student receiving a fellowship, how and when do I get paid?

U.S. Residents: Your fellowship will be paid through the payroll system. You will receive your check/direct deposit advice from your department according the semi monthly payroll schedule posted under deadlines and pay dates on this website. The amount of fellowship paid to you by Brown University will not be included in a W2 form at year end. The total amount paid to you is listed in the year to date column on your pay stub. Use the amount on your final stub when completing your tax filing for the calendar year.

Non U.S. Residents: Your fellowship will be paid through the payroll system. You will receive your check/direct deposit advice from your department according to the semi monthly payroll schedule posted under deadlines and pay dates on this website. The amount of fellowship paid to you by Brown University will be included in form 1042S at calendar year end. You will receive this form by February 1st and should use this form to complete your tax filing for the calendar year.

I am a Brown student (either graduate or undergraduate) and noticed that no Social Security or Medicare taxes have been withheld  from my check. Is this correct?

This is correct as long as you are enrolled at least ½ time during the academic year. However, Social Security and Medicare taxes must be withheld from students who are enrolled less than ½ time and from all student pay during the summer months.