How to Fill Out a W-4 Form

How you file your W-4 Form, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate highly depends on your how much tax you want it to be withheld from your every paycheck. If you claim zero allowances while you’re single, more taxes will be withheld from your paycheck if you were to claim one allowance.

Although there are no limits to how many allowances you can claim, your filing status plays the majority of the role. If you’re married with two kids, your allowances should be more because you would need more cash flow into your pocket. Each employee is required to file their W-4 on the first day of their job.

When the time comes for filing, you will enter basic information like name, address, SSN, and your filing status. Along with single and married options, you will see another option detailing “Married, but withhold at a higher Single rate”. You should check this box if you’re worried about not withholding enough taxes. It is recommended for married couples who both work.

The fourth box will detail name changes if you’ve recently changed your name or got married. This only goes for if you did not update your Social Security card after the name change. Lastly, you will enter your total allowances. If you can’t decide how many allowances to claim, read below.

How many allowances should you claim?

In most cases, you can determine how many allowances you can claim by looking at the list below.

  • If you’re single and have only one job, married filing jointly but have one job and your spouse doesn’t work, you can throw another allowance there.
  • Four allowances for each child you can claim Child Tax Credit for.
  • If you have dependents, add one allowance for each dependent you have.
    • One allowance for yourself.
    • One allowance if you’re filing jointly.
    • One allowance if you’re filing as head of household.

You should consider your situation and claim allowances the way that you need to. Always remember if you underpay, you are highly likely to be subjected to underpayment penalties which you want to avoid. So make sure you’re withholding enough tax and getting a good amount of tax refund.

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