Why is it that you can't allow yourself as an allowance in the NY state form? In my case, I put the number of allowances as 1 in the federal W4 form and 0 in the NY state W4 form. Is this normal? Or should they both be 1?

Here is the NY state W4 form.

2 Answers 2


The general guideline for federal and state W-4 forms is to follow the instructions and use the worksheets provided.

If you follow the steps and you get a number, use it unless you know it doesn't make sense. The allowances don't determine how much tax you pay, they only determine how much is withheld. If you have been in the same tax situation for multiple years and you refund/payment in April is too large, then adjust your allowances by 1.

Assuming a single person, with no dependents, and only one job, who has no plans to itemize and will work all 12 months; then the forms and table are designed so that the person who puts their number of allowances as X, then they will be close to perfect regarding withholding. It doesn't matter if the government designs their forms and tables such that X is 0 or x is 1.

The federal number and the state number don't have to match. Mine haven't for years.


What difference does it make if you can count yourself or not? The state has some formula that your employer is supposed to use to calculate withholding. Whether New York had a person with no dependents feed in "1" for "only myself", or "0" for "no one besides myself", presumably the formula would be constructed to come up with the same number. It's not like they made up the formula without thinking of how allowances would be calculated.

The fact that your number of state allowances is not the same as your federal allowances is not surprising. The state and the feds have different rules. I live in Michigan and mine are different too.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .