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2018 Tax Changes—Frequently Asked Questions

Late in 2017, President Trump signed legislation that, among other changes, lowers many individual tax rates. The legislation is complicated and we encourage you to consult your tax advisor for questions about the impact to your overall tax situation.

Some changes in the new tax law related to payroll withholding are new federal withholding tables reflecting the changes in tax rates and tax brackets, increase in standard deduction, and elimination of personal exemptions. Also, the new federal withholding tables are designed to work with existing W-4s that employees have on file.
We will offer further detailed information as we are able to; for now we are offering the following Q&A's based on recent questions received.

• When will I see the effect of the new tax rates on my check?
We are working with Oracle and their vendors to update our systems with the new tables. We expect paychecks issued in early February to reflect the updated tax rates.

• Do I have to change my withholdings or submit a new W-4 form?
Not at this time. Your 2017 W-4 selections remain in effect. We will inform the community when the IRS releases a new W-4 form.

• If I want to make changes through my W-4, when will it be available?
The IRS has announced that it will release the new W-4 form by Feb 15, 2018. After that release we will be happy to assist you with questions regarding changes to your withholdings. 

• Will there be more information available at Caltech, and how can I find out about it?
Once we get sufficient information, we will offer workshops to educate the community. Please check back on this site or call the Payroll Hotline, extension 8668.

In the meantime, please visit for information on this topic:


Your 2017 W-2 Tax Form is here!

If you opted to receive your W-2 online, your 2017 tax form is now available to you electronically and can be printed anytime.

To access your W-2 Tax Statement:
•        Log into Your Online Applications on the access.caltech page
•        Under the Self Service topic, select Electronic W2 (Online W2)
•        Answer your security questions, then follow the prompt and select the tax year to view and print your W-2

Instructions to Access for Consenting W-2 Online:
*Note:  You only need to consent one time – it remains in effect until withdrawn
•        Log into Your Online Applications on the access.caltech page
•        Under the Self Service topic, select Electronic W2 (Online W2)
•        Elect your delivery preference and click apply
If you do not want to wait for delivery by mail, you can sign up now and get it electronically immediately. You will have access to the last seven years of W2's issued by Caltech.

Employees who previously elected to print their Form W-2 online do not need to sign up again.  Your election will remain in effect for future years unless you change your election.  The online W-2 is only available to employees in active assignment status, who can access the Electronic W2 application on access.caltech.

For those who have not signed up for electronic delivery, hard copy W-2 forms are currently in production and are scheduled to be and mailed out in batches by the January 30, 2018.


Adopt an Angel

Caltech Human Resources is once again sponsoring the annual Adopt an Angel Program, which provides holiday gifts for children of poverty-level families in the San Gabriel Valley area.

Come to the Human Resources office between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to pick up a decorated paper angel bearing the name of a needy child, along with his or her special wish list, age, clothing size, and interests. Unwrapped gifts with the paper angel attached are to be delivered to the Human Resources office by Friday, December 1.

The Angel Program is affiliated with the Foothill Unity Center, a nonprofit organization that provides critical support in the form of food, clothing, motel vouchers, referrals, and advocacy for people in crisis who reside in the San Gabriel Valley area.

For more information, contact Diane Williams at or (626) 395-8055.


Introducing AWS Batch: A Highly-efficient, Dynamically Scaled Cloud Batch Computing Service from Amazon Web Services

AWS Batch is a fully-managed service that enables developers, scientists, and engineers to easily and efficiently run batch computing workloads of any scale on AWS. The service automatically provisions compute resources and optimizes the workload distribution based on the quantity and scale of the workloads. With AWS Batch, there is no need to install or manage batch computing software, allowing you to focus on analyzing results and solving problems. In this talk, Jamie Kinney describes the core concepts behind AWS Batch, details of how the service functions and provides relevant use cases and sample code.  Glenn Bach will also show "BatchBeagle", an open source tool he built that has commands for managing queues, compute environments, and job definitions in AWS Batch.

Wednesday, November 1st in BBB 180


  • Introduction to AWS key concepts, 30 Mins
  • AWS Batch Overview, use Cases and Sample Code, 50 mins
  • BatchBeagle, 20 mins
  • Questions

About the Speakers:

Jamie Kinney is the Principal Product Manager for AWS Batch and High Performance Computing at Amazon Web Services. He first joined in 1998 and has created a number of programs within AWS that are designed to facilitate scientific exploration on the cloud, including the AWS Public Data Sets, AWS Research Grants, and the global data egress waiver for research.

Glenn Bach is the Senior Director, Academic Computing Services, and manages two teams at Caltech. The first team is a development group that writes web software in support of instruction and research. The focus is on agile, iterative software development, and advanced automated tools to manage the deploy and support of software, both locally and in the cloud. The second team runs High Performance Computing resources and standard UNIX based services.  Glenn is also a software engineer himself, with over 20 years experience.


Fall 2017 Walking Campaign!

Looking to get the school year started off on the right foot?

Starting October 3rd, the Pink Turtles and Worklife@Caltech will be hosting a Move with the Pink Turtles walking campaign to help you get moving this Fall. The events are open to everyone willing to get a little more active, so bring a friend or family member!

The campaign kicks off on Tuesday, October 3rd at 5:30pm at the Caltech Student Health Center located at 1239 Arden Road, building number 8 on Caltech map.

Participants will then meet at 5:30pm every following Tuesday and Thursday at the Caltech Student Health Center for a walk hosted by Maria Lopez, founder of The Pink Turtles. The campaign will run until December 7th, 2017.


The Fall 2017 Wellness Brown Bag Lunch Series

This Fall Worklife@Caltech is bringing you four fun and educational events as part of the Brown Bag Lunch Series at Caltech.

Whether you are looking for healthy eating tips or to learn some easy ways to reduce stress, the Brown Bag Lunch Series has got you covered!

Click here to find out the dates. topics and to RSVP


Security Bulletin: Phone Scams

To: The Caltech Campus Community
From: Victor Clay, Chief of Campus Security
Re: Security Bulletin: Phone Scams
Date: August 3, 2017

Caltech Campus Security has been notified of a telephone scam that appears to be targeting students at universities throughout the area:

The caller identifies himself or herself as an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and demands money, sometimes in the form of gift cards, that he or she says is owed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The caller further threatens arrest or, when the victim is an international student, deportation if the victim does not comply.

Often, the caller knows the victim's name, address, phone number, home country, and other information. They may be using social media or online directories to gather this information.

In addition, the call may appear to come from a legitimate telephone number. It appears that the scammers are using easily accessible technology to spoof, or mimic, phone numbers from legitimate law enforcement offices.


  • None of these government agencies (FBI, IRS, or police) will call you to demand money. They will never require you to purchase gift cards. They will never ask you for money via wire transfer. They will never ask you how much money you have on hand. If you get a call from someone saying they are from one of these agencies, follow the next two steps:
  • Calmly ask what the call is about. Take specific notes about what the caller is saying and requesting.
  • Politely request the agent's information. Write down his or her full name, agency, and any identification number he or she can provide. Also, request his or her direct number so you can call back.
  • Hang up, and call Caltech Campus Security. Provide this information to them.
  • DO NOT give any credit/debit card information over the phone.
  • DO NOT give anyone your banking information.
  • Callers may already have part of your social security number or driver's license number, and request that you provide the rest. USE CAUTION when providing any ID number over the phone or online.
  • If a caller threatens you, tell them that you will hang up and call them back with your attorney. They may try to say that you cannot tell anyone about their call. If they do, they are a scammer. Hang up immediately.

If you are concerned that you may have been targeted by a telephone scammer, call Caltech Campus Security. Dial 4701 from any campus phone or (626) 395-4701 from off campus.

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