How To Fill Out and Submit A W-4 Form to Your Employer

how to fill out a w4 for dummies

If you have non-wage income that won’t be subject to withholding, like interest, dividends or retirement income, you can include it here to incorporate into your withholding adjustments. What I’d like to see on these forms is an option to just withhold a straight percentage. I think that would be the easiest thing to do, but the IRS doesn’t listen to me so we’ll have to work with what we’ve got. CPAs Instantly access HR & payroll data with real-time analytics to guide decision-making. You can avoid debt by completing the W-4 Form annually and revise it whenever your personal or financial situation changes.

how to fill out a w4 for dummies

Failure to comply with these restrictions can result in Internal Revenue Service penalties and fines. Detailed instructions are found under theIRS Publication 519—US Tax Guide for Aliens. Here’s how to fill out this form for an employee. Alternatively, you can ask them to fill the forms using the following steps. Earlier, the W4 form was known as the ‘Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.’ This has now changed.

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There is one final step that employers must fill out once they receive a completed form from an employee. The employer should enter the name of their organization and its address, the employee’s first date of employment, and their employer identification number . Keep in mind, however, depending on your situation, you might need to pay additional taxes at the end of the tax season. For those employees who furnished forms before 2020 and who do not furnish a new one after 2019, you must continue to withhold based on the forms previously furnished. You are not permitted to treat employees as failing to furnish Forms W-4 if they don’t furnish a new Form W-4. Note that special rules apply to Forms W-4 claiming exemption from withholding.

how to fill out a w4 for dummies

That means you can fill out a W-4, give it to your employer and then review your next paycheck to see how much money was withheld. Then you can start estimating how much you’ll have taken out of your paychecks for the full year. If it doesn’t seem like it’ll be enough to cover your whole tax bill, or if it seems like it’ll end up being way too much, you can submit another W-4 and adjust. Completing a W-4 is an essential step in the process of hiring a new employee.

How to use W-4 Tax Forms

Have the lower income spouse claim “married, but withhold at the higher single rate” with 1 allowance. This should protect you in the event that the second income kicks you out of the EIC tax credit range.

If you had no tax liability last year, and expect a full refund this year, you can write “exempt” in box 7. Manage or reduce your tax withholding now via the W-4 and keep your money in the present and throughout the current year. When you do not withhold an optimal amount, you are handing over too much of your own money in your tax withholding to the IRS only to get that same money back again next year via your tax refund. Below are simple to follow considerations when planning your W-4 or tax withholding amounts for your 2022 W-4 Form.

  • Determine your estimated itemized deductions for the year.
  • To change their tax withholding, employees can use the results from the Tax Withholding Estimator to determine if they should complete a new Form W-4 and submit to their employer.
  • Use the table provided to find the number that applies to the lowest paying job and enter that number on line 2.
  • Keep in mind that you can also use the 1040-ES to pay estimated taxes throughout the year if you have additional, non-wage or W-2 income, such as self-employment income.

And this is where you can tell your employer to withhold an additional amount of tax from your paycheck each pay period. You might do this if you want to increase your refund or reduce any amount of tax you may owe when it’s time to file. If you have a side job as an independent contractor (i.e., not an “employee”), you can use the W-4 form to have taxes taken out of your regular job’s paycheck to cover your side job, too. (This would be instead of making estimated tax payments for your second job.) You’ll definitely want to use the IRS’s Tax Withholding Estimator tool for this. You can also pay self-employment taxes through withholding from your regular-job wages. The IRS tool is also a good option if you have privacy concerns — for example, if you don’t want your boss to know you’re working two jobs or have other sources of income.


In most cases, you won’t have to submit estimated tax payments for this income. However, if you start a new job, you’ll have to complete a W-4 form at that time.

  • For the highest paying job’s W-4, fill out steps 2 to 4 of the W-4.
  • CPAs Instantly access HR & payroll data with real-time analytics to guide decision-making.
  • The Pro Tool creates a tax return for you and will then create a W-4 based on your tax return goals.
  • Auto, homeowners, and renters insurance services offered through Karma Insurance Services, LLC (CA resident license # ).
  • Allowances are no longer used for the redesigned Form W-4.

Download our FREE guide to get the scoop on other employment forms, like Form I-9, state tax withholding forms, and more. Don’t forget to sign and date the W-4 before turning it in to your employer. Remember, for if there are multiple jobs, the employee should only fill out Steps 2-4 for the highest paying one and leave those steps blank on the other W-4s. This content is for information purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting, or tax advice, or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation.

Who has to fill out a Form W-4?

We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey. We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. So, here’s a step-by-step how to fill out a w4 for dummies guide to filling out Form W-4 in 2022, including what it is and who’s required to complete it. Your signature tells the IRS that you’ve filled out your W-4 as thoroughly and accurately as possible.

The signature on the new employment tax form guarantees that you are familiar with its contents, were in your right mind when filling it out, and confirm the document’s validity. For it, PDFLiner also has a simple and handy tool. You can electronically sign papers if you have an e-signature, take a photo of it, or sign a file manually using your mouse or touchpad. Also, you can enter your first and last name in the corresponding line, and our platform will automatically turn them into a handwritten signature. For more information on how to sign forms, you can refer to our specific article.

An exemption is also good for only one year — so you have to reclaim it each year. If you were exempt in 2020 and wanted to reclaim your exemption for 2021, you had to submit a new Form W-4 by February 16, 2021. Likewise, if you claim an exemption for 2021, you’ll need to submit another W-4 form by February 15, 2022, to keep it next year. Fill out itemized deductions, if you’re using them.

Check out our step-by-step process below, which will walk you through how to fill out a W-4 form for a job. Once completed, give the signed form to your employer’s human resources or payroll team. If you expect to earn non-job income not subject to withholding, such as income from dividends or retirement accounts, enter the amount in this section. In this section, the IRS asks if you want an additional amount withheld from your paycheck. Check the box in option C if there are only two jobs total for the two of you, and do the same on the W-4 for the other job.

  • If you withhold too little, you could end up owing taxes when you file your federal income tax return.
  • Others might have an aggressive retirement savings plan.
  • If you have two jobs and your spouse does not work, you will also complete line 1.
  • As an employer you’ll submit an electronic copy directly to the IRS usually by January 31 for the previous year.
  • Yes, both of these forms start with the letter ‘w,’ but that’s where the similarities end.
  • H&R Block does not provide audit, attest or public accounting services and therefore is not registered with the board of accountancy of the State in which the tax professional prepares returns.

Now subtract line 5 from line 4 and enter the result in line 6. To continue the example, you would subtract $500 from $2,000. The result is not zero or a negative number, so you would enter the result of $1,500 on line 7. Subtract the amount on line 6 from the amount on line 5 and enter the result on line 7. If the result is zero or a negative number, enter “0.” This worksheet also takes into account other non-wage income you might have, such as dividends and interest. You are considered single if you are unmarried, divorced, or legally separated according to state law.

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The IRS presents some cases in which you aren’t allowed to take the standard deduction, and instead must itemize, or list out your individual deductions line by line. Some people prefer to itemize their deductions, if doing so means they’ll end up with less taxable income. The standard deductions have increased for 2021 and 2022 as shown in the table below. Ensure that the employee signs the form correctly and enters the right date.

In Alabama, employers can’t base withholdings on the W-4. Instead, they must have employees complete Form A-4, the state exemption certificate. Step 3 should help you determine if you qualify for the child tax credit and the credit for other dependents, and if so, how much you might qualify for.

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