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How to Fill Out a W-4

How to Fill Out a W-4

In the following WealthHow article, the correct way of filling the W-4 form, before and after marriage, is given. Keep reading...
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A W-4 form is a withholding statement. This form is required to withhold the income tax that you pay from your salary. Every new job that you take, requires you to fill up the W-4. This form allows you to withhold exemptions, from your taxes, of your choice. A withholding allowance or exemption is the amount that you arrive at, when you divide your total tax deductions with your personal exemption rate.

Whatever is the amount that you want to withhold will be calculated by the number of withholding exemptions that you claim in the W-4 form. A copy of this form is to be sent by your employer to the IRS. These forms are made available by your employer, and can also be downloaded from the official website of Internal Revenue Service - IRS.

Furthermore, it is necessary to fill up this form correctly. Let us look into the details of how to fill out a W-4.
  • Ask your employer for the W-4 or download it from the official IRS website. Every employer will make you fill up this form as filling up of this form by you will help him to determine his payroll taxes.
  • Fill out your complete name and your social security number correctly in the boxes 1 and 2, respectively. This will be on the line 4 of the form.
  • In the same line, box 3 is for the marital status. Check the correct box depending on your marital status.
  • Depending on the number of the personal exemptions on tax returns, you can calculate how many withholding allowances you want to claim for.
  • If your spouse works or if you hold more than one job, you will need to use form W-4 page 2 worksheet. This will help you to calculate the number of allowances better than relying on your own exemptions.
  • IRS provides an IRS withholding calculator which can also help you in calculation of the exemption allowances.
  • You will have to write a zero if you hold more than one job. This zero also allows you to withhold the highest amount of income tax.
  • One thing to remember is that those who earn more than $10,000 may be required to claim 9 allowances or more. In such cases, the form goes to the IRS for verification. On the other hand, those earning $800 or less, are exempted from the payment of income tax. These people need to skip the lines 5 and 6 and fill up Exempt on line 7. If you do not fall in this category, leave the space blank.
  • The lines 8, 9 and 10 are filled by the employer.
  • Print the form, put in the correct date and sign it.
How to Fill Out a W-4 After Getting Married

W-4 needs to be filled out carefully after getting married. There are a few things that are needed to be kept in mind and considered before filling up this form. If you are a woman and are married recently, you will need to mention your maiden name on line 4. While writing the correct number of allowances, the couple should consult each other, and then based on the total number of pay checks that they get, they will need to arrive at the correct number of exemptions to be claimed. The number of dependents on the couple will also be needed to taken into account while coming to this number. Also, both the spouses cannot write zero in this line; only one can do so. This will need to be a decision to be taken by both of you, jointly. Ensure that the W-4 is filled up correctly and accurately, else you might end up paying a penalty.

Ensure that you fill it out correctly, so that you do not pay more taxes, and also so that you do not end up paying any tax evasion penalties. Ask for expert advice whenever you are in doubt.