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I've paid my taxes as single all year, but now I'm married! With this new filing status, my tax liability has decreased, as my wife has both a lower income and a daughter. By my calculations, our tax liability for the year has been paid already.

Can I falsely claim excessive allowances on my W4 so that I do not pay taxes for the rest of the year, or should I just accrue a large refund? We're a bit skittish about "lying" on the W4 and the possibility of owing a large amount at the end of the year if we have miscalculated. Surely I'm not the first person to run into this!

I live in Texas, so I am only worrying about Federal Income Tax.

Thanks!

  • I would see what the IRS Withholding Calculator says and submit a new W-4 based on that. – Eric Andres Aug 2 at 18:41
  • Submit W4 correctly reflecting your new status and ask if the employer can withhold using 'cumulative wage method' per pub 15A and rp78-8. If so, and your calculation was correct, this will result in zero withholding the rest of this year and automatically resuming correct, or at least near-correct, withholding next year. – dave_thompson_085 Aug 4 at 23:29
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In this case, the IRS cares about:

  1. reasonable tax estimates (that's why they penalize you for underpayment), and
  2. getting paid on time (thus the payroll withholding).

I would crank up the withholding if you're really sure that you've paid all the taxes. (And don't blame an anonymous Internet stranger if you miscalculated!)

  • 1
    Accepting answers so quickly is frowned upon, since it doesn't allow time enough for other, possibly better, answers. – RonJohn Aug 2 at 19:10
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If you claim excessive allowances on your W4, you have to remember to file a new W4 next year with the correct information. If you forget, too little will be withheld and you'll be liable for a large tax bill (and likely penalties) when you file.

If you fill out the W4 with the correct allowance information now, you won't need a new one next year. Do the math on what your withholding would look like for the rest of the year if you filled it out correctly vs if you claimed excessive allowances. Chances are, the difference to your take-home pay isn't significant (ballpark of maybe a few dollars a week, maybe a couple tens of dollars). If you don't absolutely need these dollars now, consider whether getting them now vs getting them in a refund check next year is worth the trouble of filing another new W4 (and the risk outline in the paragraph above if you don't).

Congratulations on your marriage!

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