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I am having a hard time figuring out how to add $145 to each check using my W4 form. My refund is usually pretty decent and I could really use half of that amount during the year instead, about $3500. Problem: I do not know how many dependents/exemptions to claim. I usually claim 10 and I'm HOH, 2 children that qualify for child tax, no money withheld, make $1000 twice/month gross. How do I translate the amount I want to add to each check into a number of exemptions?

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  • Are you asking how to calculate the number of exemptions to claim if you want $145 less deducted from each check, or are you asking how to have an extra $145 taken from each check? If it's the latter, line 6 of the W-4 lets you specify an additional amount you want withheld from your checks. If you're trying to figure out how many exemptions to claim in order to not have $145 withheld then you haven't given enough information, because that's going to depend on your income. Nov 1 '16 at 20:43
  • @DanielAnderson Yes, I need to figure out how to calculate the number of exemptions to claim in order to get $145 less deducted from each paycheck. I just learned that I could do this using my W-4 but, I do not feel like I'm getting a clear explanation or formula from anywhere. Nov 1 '16 at 21:38
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    It looks like you've said that you already have no money withheld from your paycheck. Do I understand that correctly? If so, where do you expect the extra money to come from? Nov 2 '16 at 13:09
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Generally the advice is that each allowance on the W-4 represents a personal exemption amount. In 2016 that number is $4,050.

A person that takes the standard deduction and exemptions for themselves and their spouse will have approximately the correct amount withheld. If they have enough deductions to itemize, or they have kids that get tax credits, or other items such as college tuition, they can claim more allowances on the W-4 to reduce the size of their refund. If they have multiple jobs they may have to have additional funds withheld or use artificially low allowances to make sure enough money is withheld.

If a person wants to reduce the size of their refund they increase the number of allowances to reduce the withholding for each check. The formula depends on their marginal tax rate:

10% bracket  each allowance is worth 10% of $4,050 or 16.88 per check for 24 checks per year.
15% bracket  each allowance is worth 15% of $4,050 or 25.31 per check for 24 checks per year.
25% bracket  each allowance is worth 25% of $4,050 or 42.19 per check for 24 checks per year.

Now onto your situation.

I usually claim 10 and I'm HOH, 2 children that qualify for child tax, no money withheld, make $1000 twice/month gross. How do I translate the amount I want to add to each check into a number of exemptions?

The fact that your gross is about $24,000 a year and you are getting a refund that large means that you are in a situation that you want to have $0 tax withheld from each check. The 10 allowances you are putting on the W4 appear to be doing that already.

Unfortunately I know of no other way to move forward your refund amount so that you will have access to funds throughout the year.

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    To expand on this. When I plug in $24k 2 kids into tax software, I see $7000 credit due the taxpayer. This is a credit that's "refundable", meaning it not only offsets potential tax due, but will be sent at tax time as a check to the individual. Unfortunately, withholding no tax at all is the limit. This refundable money has to wait till tax time. Nov 2 '16 at 23:50

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