How To Fill Out Form W-4 for New Employees

When starting on a new job, you should expect to complete several documents for your new employer. Your employer will request your social security number, driver’s license, and various other forms of identification. He will need this to complete your Employment Eligibility Verification which is a federally mandated document confirming your identity and allowing you to work in the United States. Another form requires you to sign a release permitting your employer to do a background check on you. An important form that you will need to complete is the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate form W-4. This will let your new employer know how much to withhold from your federal income tax. This form must be accomplished whether you are exempt or collect a 1099 at year’s end. Each year, you must fill out this form as certain circumstances may change through time. Here are some guidelines to follow when filling out your W-4:

  • Print out your full name clearly on item 1 of the form. On box 2, fill in your Social Security number. Check on your marital status on box 3. If your surname has been changed or are recognized by a different last name such as when you have just gotten married, fill that information on line 4.
  • Write the correct number of allowances you are claiming on line 5. Refer to the top of your form under the heading, “Personal Allowances Worksheet.” This serves as a guide for you as to what number to fill in on line 5. Writing in “0” means you are possibly a tax refund upon filing your income tax at the end of the year. Writing “1” is done if you have no dependents and single. When doing joint filing with your spouse, agree on the correct number to fill in on line 5. If you are a taxpayer with dependents, you can fill in more than “1” according to how many dependents you have and the amount of exemptions your spouse has claimed on the form.
  • Fill in line 6 with the “additional amount you want withheld” from each of your paychecks. More often than not, people fill it in with”0.” Compute a dollar amount to place on line 6 if you expect to owe a considerable amount of taxes, so that you do not owe much money to the IRS at the end of the year.
  • Line 7 will require you to fill in “Exempt” should you have had no tax liability the previous year and are expecting the same circumstances this year. People do not normally fill in this space as only a few are usually exempted from paying taxes.
  • To complete your W-4 form, you will need to affix your signature legibly along with the date. In addition to this, several states do have their own W-4 form to complete, aside from the federal form.

It is essential to complete all required forms when starting a new job. This will avoid unnecessary problems later on. The W-4 form must be accomplished thoroughly if you do not want to face unexpected trouble during the taxing period. Do not hesitate to ask for advice from the HR staff of your new working place when it comes to filling out your form. They will surely be glad to accommodate.


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