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W-4 Form

What is a 'W-4 Form'

An employee completes an IRS W-4 form, or an Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, to indicate his tax situation to the employer. The W-4 form tells the employer the correct amount of tax to withhold from an employee's paycheck based on the employee's marital status, number of exemptions and dependents and other factors.

Explaining 'W-4 Form'

The employee fills out seven lines of the W-4 form. The first few lines include the taxpayer's name, address and Social Security number. The worksheet above the form lets the taxpayer estimate the amount of allowances on his tax withholding. Increasing the amount of allowances reduces the amount of money withheld from the paycheck. A person can claim an exemption from withholding any money if he did not have a tax liability during the previous year and expects to have zero tax liability in the next year.

Calculating Allowances

The worksheet starts by letting the taxpayer add one allowance if he cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's income tax return. The employee can take another allowance if he's single and has just one job, is married with one job and the spouse doesn't work, or has wages from a second job within the family totaling less than $1,500. He can take another allowance if his spouse doesn't work.

Dependents and Child Care

The employee adds the number of dependents into the withholding amount. Dependents are children, adult relatives who don't work or elderly people living with the taxpayer. The worker can take an allowance for filing as head of household if he is unmarried and makes more than 50 percent of the household's income.

What the Employer Does

The employer then calculates how much to withhold from a paycheck based on the allowances calculated on Form W-4. The money withheld goes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after each paycheck.


Further Reading


The US wage Phillips curve across frequencies and over time
onlinelibrary.wiley.com [PDF]
… during a merger bid: the value of the merger as an investment and the decision by the bidder on how to finance this investment. The results also … 1 Merger Returns and the Form of Financing 1. Introduction … have been a mainstay of the financial economics literature for almost two …

Microwave‐Assisted Synthesis of Calix <span style=[4] resorcinarene Hydroxamic Acids' src='/thumbnails/?img=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tandfonline.com%2Fdoi%2Ffull%2F10.1080%2F00397910500498895' />Microwave‐Assisted Synthesis of Calix [4] resorcinarene Hydroxamic Acids
www.tandfonline.com [[4] resorcinarene Hydroxamic Acids' href='https:/api.miniature.io/pdf?url=www.tandfonline.com%2Fdoi%2Ffull%2F10.1080%2F00397910500498895'>PDF]
… during a merger bid: the value of the merger as an investment and the decision by the bidder on how to finance this investment. The results also … 1 Merger Returns and the Form of Financing 1. Introduction … have been a mainstay of the financial economics literature for almost two …

On the calculation of marginal effects in the bivariate probit modelOn the calculation of marginal effects in the bivariate probit model
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… during a merger bid: the value of the merger as an investment and the decision by the bidder on how to finance this investment. The results also … 1 Merger Returns and the Form of Financing 1. Introduction … have been a mainstay of the financial economics literature for almost two …



Q&A About W-4 Form


If someone has wages from a second job within his family totaling less than $1,500 , what allowance should he or she claim in line 6d of Form W - 4 ?

One additional allowance .

If someone is single with one job and has no dependents, what allowance should they claim in line 6b of Form W-4 ?

One allowance .

What does the worksheet above the Form W-4 let you do?

It lets you estimate how many allowances you should claim on your tax withholding.

How can you reduce the amount withheld from your paycheck by claiming more allowances?

By increasing the amount of allowances claimed, less money will be withheld from each paycheck.

If someone is married with one job and their spouse doesn't work , what allowance should they claim in line 6c of Form W - 4 ?

One allowance .

How many lines does a W-4 form have?

Seven lines.

What information must be included on a W-4 form?

Name, address and Social Security number.

If someone's spouse doesn't work , what additional allowances can he or she take in line 6e of Form W - 4 ?

Two additional allowances .

If someone cannot be claimed as a dependent on anyone else's income tax return, what allowance should they claim in line 6a of Form W-4?

One allowance.

What is the purpose of the W-4 form?

The purpose of the W-4 form is to indicate an employee's tax situation to their employer.