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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 …


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