How Do I Fill Out A W-4 Form?


If you are switching jobs, you’ll soon find out that the W-4 form that every employee has to fill out in order to determine the amount of taxes that are withheld from each paycheck has changed. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says it has revised the form in order to increase its transparency and the accuracy of the payroll withholding system.

What is A W-4 form?

The W-4 form allows employees to fill out their tax information for both the employer and themselves. However, the IRS cautions that a W-4 form is not designed to be entirely accurate. The W-4 form should only be used for informational purposes and for filling out additional forms, such as your Form 1099-R. The W-4 form contains information about the number of dependents you claim, your personal exemption, and payments that should be withheld. Who is responsible for filling out a W-4? The responsibility for filling out the W-4 falls upon the employee and it is recommended that employees work with their human resources or payroll department to complete the tax withholding form. Some states do require employers to have this form completed by all employees as well, though.

Provide Your Information

The W-4 form you file is unique to you and your tax situation. You need to use your most recent pay stubs to fill out this form. When you file your W-4, you’ll need to be as accurate as possible when estimating your taxes. If you made a change in your name, for instance, you’ll need to adjust the information on your W-4 form. Some taxpayers may need to include their spouse’s wages to determine the correct amount of taxes withheld from their combined paycheck. Filing your W-4 form is not required of anyone but you. Anyone who receives a paycheck from a job that isn’t withheld correctly is required to fill out the form. A few employers are required to fill out the form, but not all.

Indicate Multiple Jobs or a Working Spouse

Employees who have multiple jobs or a spouse who has a job will likely benefit from the new form. This allows the IRS to calculate tax withholding by taking into account all applicable income, as well as any additional withholdings due from your side hustle. As for dependents, the W-4 now reflects an adult child, or another child in the home, who has a dependent, as well as the number of dependent children that are living at home. If you are filing your taxes for the first time or if you’ve recently changed jobs, the new W-4 form will ask you to include a new line for your name. This can be used as a backup name if you forget your Social Security number, or if you have moved and you don’t have a new home address yet.

Add Dependents

Taxpayers can now choose the “above the line” or “below the line” method when filling out a W-4 form. Above the line:  This method requires you to include the number of your dependents (the first 10) on the front of the W-4. Since you don’t have to provide any additional information, all of your dependents will be listed. This method requires you to include the number of your dependents (the first 10) on the front of the W-4. Since you don’t have to provide any additional information, all of your dependents will be listed. Below the line: In this method, you can list additional dependents that aren’t on the front of the W-4. For example, you can list a spouse or dependent children, legal guardians, and a full-time student on the front.

Add Other Adjustments

In order to fill out a W-4 form, you’ll need to add all of the following adjustments: Medical expenses – If you have a health insurance plan that doesn’t provide coverage for all of your medical costs, you’ll need to add this amount. Income taxes withheld – You’ll need to make sure you include the amount of taxes that you’re withholding from your paycheck. Outstanding debts – You’ll also need to add amounts that you owe to creditors in order to receive a write-off. You should also include any overpayment to your mortgage company. You’ll also need to subtract any losses from any income that you’ve earned, or that you’ve not yet been able to claim. This can be applied to the income you’ve paid during the year. You can then claim this as a deduction.

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Sign and Date W-4 Form

The IRS notes that employees can still fill out a previous version of the form and sign it so that if there are changes made, the changes can be properly applied. As for the newly revised form, there are some important rules to keep in mind: Changes to your W-4 should be made when the first paycheck is issued. The old form can be reprinted, but make sure the signatures on it match the name on the pay stub. In the revised form, your employer must include the employer’s name and the amount of withholding they want to do. Some employers have raised the amount withheld on the W-4 form and some have not. In any case, if your employer has increased your withholding, you’ll need to update your tax withholding status with your new employer.

Special Considerations When Filing Form W-4

The new form removes certain personal tax details from the top portion of the form. Instead, the new W-4 form requires employees to list the names of all employers, along with the numbers of hours worked by the business, for the current tax year. An employer may require that this information, along with the number of weeks worked and dates and amounts of overtime worked, be given for any previous tax year. An IRS spokesperson stated that this will make it easier for employers and employees to complete the form, particularly for a small business employee who is working at multiple locations, in order to ensure that withholding is being applied to all possible deductions or credits.

Get comfortable fiddling with your withholdings.

The new forms, known as the W-4, are available as of Jan. 1, 2018, and can be used as of Jan. 1, 2019, but some individuals may get their 2017 forms as early as Jan. 1. While you can use the new W-4 forms as of the start of the tax year, you might need to start looking at your withholdings earlier in order to meet your withholding needs during the first half of the year.

File a new W-4 form when life changes.

If you have kids in school or enrolled in college or if you have changed jobs since the last time you filed the W-4 form, the new form might benefit you. This form comes with different options in order to update personal information with the IRS. For example, let’s say you did not have a dependent who went to college last year but you now have a dependent who is in college. In this case, your parent tax credit is adjusted to account for your student-tax credit. You can request a new W-4 form from the IRS if you changed your name or address or if you went from being a single person to a married person or divorced. Consider filing your W-4 form online. If you do not have access to a computer at home, you can submit a form electronically through the IRS.


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