how to fill out a w4 for dummies

If you’re filling out a Form W-4, you probably just started a new job. The W-4, also called the Employee’s Withholding Certificate, tells your employer how much federal income tax to withhold from your paycheck. The form was redesigned for 2020, which is why it looks different if you’ve filled one out before then. The biggest Top Bookkeeping Services for Nonprofit Companies change is that it no longer talks about “allowances,” which many people found confusing. Instead, if you want an additional amount withheld, you simply state the amount per pay period. If you’re not required to have federal income tax withheld from your paycheck, you can skip ahead to Step 5 (where you sign the W-4 form).

Even though they were paying less in total annual income taxes, these people ended up with a big tax bill when they filed in 2018. The current W-4 does not ask employees to indicate personal exemptions or dependency exemptions, which are no longer relevant. It also asks whether you wish to increase or decrease your withholding amount based on certain factors like a second job or your eligibility for itemized deductions. You’ll also need to know how much you claimed in deductions on your last tax return. If you claimed the standard deduction, you don’t need to fill this out. If you claimed more than the standard amount, this worksheet will help you calculate how much more.

More Tax Resources for Employees

You can also use Step 4 to request withholding additional money to help cover taxes from other types of income, such as self-employment or side gigs. Form W-4 takes you through 5 quick steps that gather the information needed to estimate more accurate withholding. This form is for your employer, to make sure you are withholding income correctly to pay your taxes.

how to fill out a w4 for dummies

However, these investments need to pay interest first, such as government bonds. There are several ways that you can save on property income tax. If you are a homeowner who opts for an itemized deduction then you can reduce your tax bill by deducting your property taxes. Last year, this deduction saved millions of homeowners of $6 billion in income tax (the OTA estimates). According to Investopedia, for 2021 and 2022, there’s a $6,000 limit on taxable contributions to retirement plans. In the eyes of the IRS, your contribution to a traditional IRA reduces your taxable income by that amount, and it thus reduces the amount you owe in taxes.

Step 1: Personal information

The IRS video portal contains video and audio presentations on topics of interest to

employers, individuals and tax professionals. Some of the video clips are archived versions of live webinars. Multiply the number of qualifying children under age 17 by $2,000 and the number of other dependents by $500. Luckily, if you’re not changing jobs and have no reason to redo your W-4, you don’t have to fill out a new one. Your employer can continue to use the one you have on file. This is not an offer to buy or sell any security or interest.

But by staying organized, knowledgeable, and using this article as a guide, you can ensure that your taxes won’t be as daunting in 2022. We’ve covered how to fill out a W-4 above, but it’s perfectly natural to still have some questions about the intricacies of this particular tax form. Keep reading to have some of the most common questions about the W-4 answered. Tax forms can be difficult to fully comprehend, even for the most seasoned business owners. If you want to understand your taxes better and learn how to fill out a federal W-4, keep reading for a comprehensive explanation. As mentioned in the steps above, couples should account for all jobs in their household when they fill out their W-4s.

Understanding the New W-4 Form

That will result in $10,200 ($35,000 in itemized deductions, less $24,800 for the standard deduction) being entered on Line 3 of the worksheet above. We’ll also assume both you and your spouse will make traditional IRA contributions totaling $12,000. Each section shows you the basics of how to fill out the tax form, and ensure that you have the proper amount of money taken from your hard-earned paycheck every month. Step 4 has three parts that allow you to withhold any additional tax if necessary. Each step asks you about different types of income or tax deductions, so that you can determine how much your employer should withhold for each item. Everyone has to fill out steps 1 and 5 of the W-4, but you only need to fill out 2 through 4 if they apply to you.