I am currently a part time food server in California claiming "2" exemptions on my w4. I am about to start a part time sales position where I'll be earning hourly plus commission. I'll be earning more money at the new sales job than serving.

My question is how many exemptions to claim on each W4 so I don't end up owing money? I was thinking I might change my serving W4 to "0" and have my new sales job at "1".

I would greatly appreciate any advice, thank you!


2 Answers 2


The IRS has a Withholding Calculator on their website. On it, you enter the details of your filing status, number of dependents, and the amounts from your current paychecks, and it will recommend a number of exemptions to claim on the W4.

  • +1. And yet, I couldn't help but notice you first offered an "answer in a comment" above. Really, Ben? :) Jun 5, 2016 at 21:20
  • @JoeTaxpayer D'oh! I was hoping I had deleted it before anyone saw it. :)
    – Ben Miller
    Jun 6, 2016 at 2:24

Ben's answer is correct. As a follow up, I'd suggest that you get through a pay cycle where the new withholding is reflected. Take those paystubs and project out to year end. Then go to an online Tax Calculator, and do a dry run of your 2016 return. If you need to withhold more, just use the line on the W$ to withhold $XXX extra each check.

Keep in mind, since you are starting the job midyear, you might need another adjustment in 2017. Easy to calculate before the end of this year.

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