How To Fill Out a W-4 Tax Form

The W-4 form is filled out by employees to help them establish the correct amount of withholding income tax that their employer would need to withhold from each of their pay checks, which would cover their tax liabilities. It is necessary for an employee to fill out this form each year to make sure that the federal tax withholding is accurate according to the tax filing done the previous year. The IRS requires this for a person who has acquired a new job or would like to modify the Federal withholding tax amount that is deducted from his salary. More frequently, the employer provides for the W-4 forms but you may also download it from the official website of the IRS. Here is how to properly fill out a W-4 tax form:

  • Secure a W-4 tax form either from your employer or downloaded from the IRS website. If it is downloaded, it comes in PDF format. You may proceed to type in all the information required before getting it printed out.
  • On the first two boxes of Section 1, fill in your first name and middle initial. Your home address will be placed on second line, which should consist of the address number and the name of the street. The zip code, city, and state are placed on the third row. On box number 2, fill in your social security number.
  • Depending on your marital status, check on the appropriate box for whether married or single.
  • Compute the number of withholding allowances to be claimed. Withholding allowances correspond to the sum of tax deductions divided by the personal exemption rate. This may be the same number as the personal exemptions claimed on tax returns for some people. To get a more accurate calculation of withholding allowances, you may use an IRS withholding calculator.
  • If you are currently holding more than one job or has a spouse who is employed, the worksheet on the W-4 form must be used. This worksheet can be utilized for making your calculations on the number of allowances you are claiming as an alternative to depending on your personal exemptions. When holding more than one job, be sure to claim “zero” allowances on the second one. When “zero” is claimed, the most amount of tax is withheld.
  • Your employer may be obligated to send your W-4 form to be reviewed by the IRS should you claim for more than 9 allowances. There is no need to be concerned if this happens as people who earn more than $100,000 and have considerable itemized deductions do make these claims at some point.
  • If you are “exempt” from income tax withholding, do not fill in lines 5 and 6. Proceed to line 7 and place “exempt’ on it. This happens if you earn less than $800 year.
  • Print out your form; affix your signature and place in the date. Submit the form to your employer who will fill out the other lines. Write legibly if you are using your handwriting when filling out your form.

Your W-4 form is a very important document so make sure that you accomplish it properly and do it annually to keep everything in order.


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