I've tried finding an answer to this issue both here and elsewhere on the web and haven't been able to so far. My husband got a new job last month with a significant salary increase, and I've been trying to readjust our allowances. My goal is to get as close as I can to our estimated taxes without underpaying or grossly overpaying.

I have tried to use the IRS's helpful calculator, but it works from the current date and thinks I'm trying to plan from now to the end of 2014 rather than plan ahead for next year. As there is not yet a withholding calculator available for 2015, I am using the W-4 worksheet for 2015 which was released a few weeks ago.

According to the worksheet results for a dual-income household like mine (he makes 80,000, I make 25,000), we should have 0 allowances and have an additional $76.92 withheld. What I'm confused about is, which spouse should file this W-4? Should we both fill ours out the same way? Should I even use these numbers or would it be better to wait for the 2015 calculator?

Neither the IRS or any of the tutorials I've found specify who should file this and if not both, what the other spouse should put down. We do not have kids or file Schedule A. I was hoping this would be a bit less complicated and I feel as though I'm close to an answer, but any clarification would be very helpful.

1 Answer 1


Both spouses need to file a W-4 with their employer. How they should be split is discussed on the form.

The directions from the top of the form include this statement:

Two earners or multiple jobs. If you have a working spouse or more than one job, figure the total number of allowances you are entitled to claim on all jobs using worksheets from only one Form W-4. Your withholding usually will be most accurate when all allowances are claimed on the Form W-4 for the highest paying job and zero allowances are claimed on the others. See Pub. 505 for details.

  • Thanks for your reply. I understand the quotation. In my specific case, the form does not recommend ANY allowances. So are you saying the solution is for both spouses to claim 0 allowances and only have the extra $76.92 withheld from the highest paying job? I have read the "two earners of multiple jobs" heading in Pub. 505 and it does not clarify.
    – akbarratt
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 23:00
  • Yes have the extra money withheld on the larger check. It would workout the same but there is more room to subtract the extra funds. Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 23:09
  • Okay, that makes sense. For some reason I was thinking both would have to take out $76.92 but suspected that would lead to overpaying. Thanks for clarifying.
    – akbarratt
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 23:28
  • Hi Akbarratt, so did you end up withholding the extra amount on only one check? And does that mean that you didn't fill in the amounts from the two tables in the W4 with the lower salary? I am in a similar situation, but for me already the extra withholding is happening on both paychecks and I am guessing that we are already overpaying. Thanks for your response.
    – Dienekes
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 0:31

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