61 votes
Accepted

I claim one and my wife claimed zero on our W-4s, but we still owe...why?

The W-4 functions best when there is a single earner with a single job. When there are multiple earners and/or multiple jobs per earner, it doesn't function quite as well (without additional ...
Derek's user avatar
  • 841
39 votes
Accepted

Does owing taxes or getting a tax refund imply my paycheck is off?

The withholding is not that accurate. Look at the personal allowances worksheet (PDF). A single allowance could be You, filing. You, filing married; spouse not working. You, filing Head of ...
Brythan's user avatar
  • 21k
38 votes
Accepted

Mistakenly claimed to be exempt from federal taxes: do I need to proactively pay back the taxes that did not get withheld?

If your total tax due (above what was withheld or otherwise paid through estimated tax payments or similar) for 2017 is less than $1000, you won't owe any penalties. However, if you owe more than $...
Joe's user avatar
  • 35.8k
30 votes
Accepted

How do you know how much to withold on your W-4?

My father says that if I need more money, I can withold less on my W2 (which won't result in the same oh here's $3,000 come tax return time), but will give us access to more money. He's right. So ...
RonJohn's user avatar
  • 50.7k
24 votes
Accepted

In the US, how do we make tax withholding less if we lost our job for a few months?

You can submit a new W4 to your employer any time you need to make changes. You can reduce federal income tax withholding by adding deductions to line 4(b): To know how much to enter in the ...
Hart CO's user avatar
  • 70.5k
22 votes
Accepted

Why do some employees fill out a W-4 and some don't?

This is functionally the same as submitting a W4 claiming 0. The employee is defaulted to the highest withholding for taxes. Some people like the quasi-forced-savings aspect of excess withholdings ...
quid's user avatar
  • 49k
21 votes

Does owing taxes or getting a tax refund imply my paycheck is off?

This stems from the (possibly incorrect) assumption that my work is withdrawing taxes from each paycheck correctly. I think this stems rather from an ambiguity in the use of the word "correctly". I ...
user4556274's user avatar
  • 1,997
20 votes
Accepted

What does "Spouse Works" mean in W-4 form?

"Spouse Works" is not a term. It is an incomplete sentence. The complete sentence would be "Your spouse works." or "My spouse works." This means, "your/my husband or wife (spouse) has a job (works)". ...
Philip's user avatar
  • 448
15 votes
Accepted

What has happened to the W4 form for 2020 - paying a lot LESS federal taxes?

What happened was Tax Reform, implemented in 2018. The new tax code pushed through a new withholding table contained within Publication 15. Payroll departments withheld according to the new table and ...
JTP - Apologise to Monica's user avatar
15 votes

How do you know how much to withold on your W-4?

The goal of withholding is to get as close to the actual amount of tax you will owe by the end of the year as possible. So ideally, you should have no refund and owe no tax when you file your tax ...
user102008's user avatar
  • 17.2k
15 votes
Accepted

Can I use the "Other Income" section of my W4 in lieu of paying quarterly taxes on 1099-NEC income?

The IRS doesn't care which pocket you take the money out to pay them. If you have both a salaried (W2, as you say) job and a side contractor gig, you can most definitely adjust your salary withholding ...
littleadv's user avatar
  • 174k
12 votes

Does owing taxes or getting a tax refund imply my paycheck is off?

Two things I can think of: You might have changes to your AGI that the payroll system doesn't know about. Extra income like dividends or a side job, for example. You filled out your W-4 incorrectly, ...
RonJohn's user avatar
  • 50.7k
12 votes

Why do some employees fill out a W-4 and some don't?

There's two cases to consider where co-workers aren't really employees of the company: Self-employed These workers are independent contractors paid via a 1099. As self employed, they pay tax ...
user71659's user avatar
  • 3,443
11 votes
Accepted

Can you be penalized for setting an arbitrarily high number of allowances on your W-4?

You may have to pay a penalty of $500 if both of the following apply. What the IRS really cares about is you not withholding enough, so that you send them a big check (EDIT: during tax season). https:...
RonJohn's user avatar
  • 50.7k
10 votes
Accepted

Need advice on filling out w-4 form. Is it always good to withhold my income from taxes?

Neither of you are exactly right (if you've interpreted your friend's theory correctly). Depending on the number of allowances you claim, a portion of your paycheck will be withheld each period for ...
D Stanley's user avatar
  • 135k
9 votes
Accepted

Can I calculate next year's exemptions based on this year's refund/amount owed?

Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, aka, Pub 15, contains the tables that payroll uses. Go to the page with your income level, and confirm that your 10 allowances match to the column for withholding per ...
JTP - Apologise to Monica's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What is the best way to get back overpaid taxes generated after baby was born in the middle of the year?

Yes it is legal and appropriate. You use the exemptions on the w-4 to try and make the amount you owe, or the the refund you will get to be near zero. It isn't an exact science because in some ...
mhoran_psprep's user avatar
8 votes

Does owing taxes or getting a tax refund imply my paycheck is off?

If you work an hourly job with even a slight variation of hours per week, withholding calculations tend to be less accurate. The payroll system doesn't know what your final income for the year will ...
JPhi1618's user avatar
  • 1,212
7 votes

How do I calculate my W-4 deductions when I want to keep $145 more of each paycheck?

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 ...
mhoran_psprep's user avatar
7 votes

W-4 Second Job Question

Should I consider it a second job or file it as my only job? Unless you will end up working two jobs at the same time. I would consider this new as your only job. If in a normal year a person ...
mhoran_psprep's user avatar
7 votes

What does "Spouse Works" mean in W-4 form?

This block is to determine whether taxes should be withheld as if the job for which you are filling out the W-4 is your only household income, or whether there are multiple jobs contributing to ...
user4556274's user avatar
  • 1,997
7 votes
Accepted

Should everyone who receives dividend income fill out a W-4 form reporting it to their employer?

You certainly can use the W-4 to have more money withheld. This would be appropriate if you had regular income that was beyond that of your employment - for example, if you have $250k invested in a ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 35.8k
6 votes

I claim one and my wife claimed zero on our W-4s, but we still owe...why?

Don't use the guide on the W-4 itself to calculate your exemptions. It's often wildly inaccurate. Instead, use a Payroll Deduction Calculator like this one. Adjust the number of exemptions until ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
6 votes

Tax questions and understanding my paystub

I will handle your questions point-by-point: Plus reported tips $239 (I have never reported any) If you are working in a position that you collect tips, some of the tips you receive are from ...
mhoran_psprep's user avatar
6 votes

On Form W-4, can you fill out line 6 instead of line 5?

No, you need to specify a number of allowances, and the additional amount. Line 6 is extra beyond what the amount from the allowances is. The correct way to have a particular amount withheld from ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 35.8k
6 votes

Can I calculate next year's exemptions based on this year's refund/amount owed?

If you want your employer to withhold more, you don't want to increase what you are calling "exemptions". (They are officially called "allowances.") If you increased them, your ...
Doug Deden's user avatar
  • 1,343
6 votes
Accepted

Can I hire a CPA after already filing and paying my taxes if I want to see if there were any mistakes?

To claim a refund, you typically have up to three years from the time you filed your original return, or within two years from the date you paid the tax — whichever is later — to go back and amend it. ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

On the 2021 W-4, does the deduction amount entered include the standard deduction?

On Line 4(b) of the new Form W-4, it says, Deductions. If you expect to claim deductions other than the standard deduction and want to reduce your withholding, use the Deductions Worksheet on page ...
Ben Miller's user avatar
  • 116k
6 votes

How to fill out W4 for second job

There are instruction on the W-4 regarding how to complete the form if you have more than one job. They also have an online tool: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-withholding-estimator The general ...
mhoran_psprep's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Make punctual contributions to IRS based on earnings

I will answer this question broadly for various jurisdictions, and also specifically for the US, given the OP's tax home: Generally, for any tax jurisdiction If your tax system relies on periodic ...
Grade 'Eh' Bacon's user avatar

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