how to fill out a w4 for dummies

This strategy is best suited for those who expect to owe a small amount in taxes or have very little tax liability overall. Unmarried individuals earning less than $12,000 for the year, or married individuals earning less than $24,000 combined are required to claim 0 allowances. In the first section of the form, you’ll need to fill out your personal information, including your name, Social Security number, address, marital status, and other identifying information. The IRS has provided a Deductions Worksheet on page 3 to help filers determine the most accurate withholding amount.

how to fill out a w4 for dummies

The left-hand column lists dollar amounts for the higher-earning spouse, and the top row lists dollar amounts for the lower-earning spouse. The IRS advises that the worksheet should be completed by only one of a married couple, the one with the higher-paying job, to end up with the most accurate withholding. The standard deduction is a flat reduction in adjusted gross income that many taxpayers qualify for. The exact amount is determined by someone’s tax-filing status, and certain people, such as those 65 or older, get a higher standard deduction.

Step 4c: Extra Withholding

Your allowances will affect how much income tax will be withheld from each paycheck, so it’s important to know your situation in order to be sure you’re claiming the correct number. The W-4 form is an Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate designed to let your employer know Becoming a Certified Bookkeeper: Step-by-Step Career Guide how much of your income to withhold for federal taxes. You should fill out a new W-4 when you have started a new job, if your personal situation changes or if you want to adjust the amount withheld. The first step the IRS implemented was to change the withholding tables.

This can help you avoid an unexpected tax bill at the end of the year, and potentially result in a larger refund. On the other hand, by claiming 0 on your W4 you may get more money in each paycheck, but you may find that you owe taxes at the end of the year. If you have more than one job at a time or are married filing jointly and have a working spouse, you should fill out the Multiple Jobs Worksheet. Otherwise filling out a new W4 form is usually unnecessary. Employees that use their W4 for tax withholdings might then be more likely to owe taxes when they file taxes each year.

How to fill out your W-4 form: a step-by-step guide

If you claimed more than the standard amount, this worksheet will help you calculate how much more. Once you have this amount, you add any student loan interest, deductible IRA contributions and certain other adjustments. If your income will be $200,000 or less ($400,000 or less if married filing jointly), then multiply each qualifying child under age 17 by $2,000 and each additional dependent by $500. Add up the numbers, write down the total, and you’re done.

  • Keeping your W-4 current and accurate could keep you from a surprise tax bill when you file.
  • This means that you won’t pay federal income tax through your paychecks during the year.
  • If you are single and do not have other sources of income, it is recommended that you claim one allowance.
  • Be sure to consult with a tax professional, as they can help you determine the number of allowances that are right for your particular situation.
  • This will ensure you have enough money to cover your basic expenses while still paying an adequate amount of taxes.
  • Using the lower paying job, find the range where it fits using the row of wage ranges along the top of the table.

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