Tax Resources

How to Fill Out a W-4?

The W-4 form is quite straight forward to fill out. Below is an instruction of how to fill out a W-4 form. On the W-4 form itself, there are also instructions and guidelines on how to fill it out.

Instructions on filling out a W-4 form

If you are not exempt, complete the Personal Allowances Worksheet on the W-4 form page 1 top part which you should keep for your record. Then you must fill out the worksheets on page 2 of the W-4 form to adjust your withholding allowances based on:

  • itemized deductions,
  • certain credits,
  • adjustments to income, or
  • two-earner/multiple job situations.

All persons need to complete all worksheets on the W-4 form that apply. However, taxpayers may claim fewer (or zero) allowances. Each allowance reduced the amount withheld. So, if a taxpayer puts 0 for any of the allowance boxes, then the taxpayer will have the most taxes withheld.

Personal Allowance worksheet (page 1 of Form W-4)

If no one else can claim you as a dependent, then enter 1 for line A. Use the dependent definition for exemptions for dependent, not for earned income credit or child tax credit. Most line items on the W-4 worksheet for personal allowance is straight forward and self explanatory. However taxpayers need to know certain things about their situations for tax purposes such as:

  • if they qualify to file their tax returns as head of household
  • the number of dependents they can claim on their tax returns
  • if they can claim child and dependent care credits
  • if they can claim child tax credits or additional child tax credits
  • similar information for itemized deductions

On line C of the personal allowance worksheet (page 1 of W-4 form)

The instruction on the W-4 is:

Enter “1” for your spouse. But, you may choose to enter “-0-” if you are married and have either a working spouse or more than one job. (Entering “-0-” may help you avoid having too little tax withheld.)

If the taxpayer enters 0 then the taxpayer is opting for having the maximum amount of tax withheld from his or her paycheck. A taxpayer can choose to enter 1 or 0 according to how much tax he or she wants withheld from his or her pay. Most people put 1 here so that they can get the most out of their pay and they prefer to file for federal income tax return once a year with the IRS.

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