How to Fill Out a W-4 Correctly

How to Fill Out a W-4 Correctly

How you fill out your W-4 will determine how much tax is withheld from your pay

Filling out a Form W-4 [Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate] is one of the first things you have to do when you get a new job. This form is essential to filing your taxes correctly because it determines how much tax will be withheld from your pay.

The first half of the form is pretty easy. You just have to fill in your name, address, and marital status.

Then you have to figure out how many allowances to claim. This number will determine the amount of your withholding.

Generally the number of allowances you should claim will correspond to the number of personal and dependency exemptions you can claim on your tax return, but this is not always the case. Claiming zero allowances will result in the maximum amount of tax withheld. Every additional allowance you claim on top of that means that a little less tax is withheld.

So if you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, should claim zero allowances. When you’re a dependent, the person who claims you gets the benefit of your personal exemption and you yourself will end up owing slightly more in taxes. Hence, tax should be withheld at the maximum rate of zero allowances.

For single people with one job the allowances to exemptions ration doesn’t exactly hold true. Most single people claim one allowance, however, this is likely to result in a refund. Claiming two allowances would probably get them closer to your exact tax liability, but may actually result in some tax due. Essentially you can choose whether to claim one or two, depending on the rest of your tax situation, but it’s probably safer to claim one.

If you are married you should claim two allowances, if you are married with one child you should claim three allowances, if you are married with two children you should claim four allowances, etc.

If you’re confused about how many allowances you should claim, the IRS provides a Personal Allowances Worksheet right on the first page of the W-4.

Things get a little more complicated if you have multiple jobs, your spouse works, or you intend to itemize your deductions. In these cases you should turn your attention to page two of the W-4 for the Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet and the Two-Earners/Multiple Jobs Worksheet. The IRS also has a withholding calculator on their website that can give you the most accurate information on how many allowances to claim.

The last thing you need to do is figure out if you are exempt from withholding. Most people are not exempt from withholding. Essentially you are only exempt from withholding if you aren’t a dependent, you had the right to a refund of all income tax withheld last year, and you aren’t required to file a return this year. If you are exempt, you can write exempt in line seven.

Now you’re done! All you have to do now is sign the form.

Even if you’ve been at your job for a while, it’s a good idea to check and if necessary update your W-4 every year, especially if there’s been a major event in your life such as a marriage or the birth of a child.

The goal is to get your refund or tax due as close to $0 as possible. Getting a big refund when you file taxes is a great feeling, but that can also mean that your withholding needs to be adjusted. The reality is that you could be enjoying that money throughout the whole year.

Photo via 401(K) 2013 on Flickr. 

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 1st, 2013 at 1:25 pm and is filed under Tax Tips.

334 Responses to “How to Fill Out a W-4 Correctly”

  1. Megan Prewitt says:

    If you claim now will you still get money back at the end of the year.

  2. Lilly says:

    I work a full time job and just got hired for a second job. Should I enter zero -0- for total number of allowance?
    If I am understanding this correctly, even though I got married (husband works) this year & will be filing jointly for the first time during Tax season this will not matter when calculating total number of allowances I am claiming.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Lilly,
      You should enter zero if you want to maximize the amount withheld from your paycheck and to be sure sure that you have enough tax withheld to cover your tax liability.

      It depends on what works best for you and your husband. This link on the IRS website will help you; it’s a calculator. You will be able to see what is the best option for you and your husband based on this calculator. http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator

  3. Val says:

    I graduated in May and started my new job November 11. My husband also works. We have no kids. Is the number of allowances 1 or2? We will file jointly.

    Also on Deductions and Adjustments, I don’t know what an estimate would be for 2013 itemized deductions. We have a mortgage, and I paid only about 1500 for school this year. How should I get this estimate?

  4. Jules says:

    Hi. I just went back to work after 9 years and need to fill out a W-4. I’m married and have 4 children. I’d like to get as much of my earnings now rather than wait for a large return. What do I do? We file jointly. Thank you.

  5. Thomas Ray says:

    I just started a new job on 9/30/2013,and my wife is unemployed and draws unemployment benefits while going back to school in the TRA program,my question is can I claim her on my payroll check.thanks.

  6. Rosemary says:

    Hi, I am a single mom and this is my first time working, how do I fill out the W-4 if I only have 1 child and can not be claimed. I don’t want to owe and I need my money, but would like a refund at the end of the year. What would you suggest for lines A-G?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Rosemary,
      If you have one child and you will be claiming your child on your tax return, then you should fill out your W-4 for 2. If it is just you (no child on your tax return), then I would suggest claiming one.

  7. Rae says:

    My husband and I just started new jobs. I claimed him and myself (2) and now we’re trying to fill out his W4. If I claimed him already does he claim me (2) or just himself (1)? Thank you.

  8. jennifer says:

    Hi, I just started a part time job, and there were no deductions from federal tax. I put married filing jointly and claim 0. Should I put 2? I have no kids. Just my husband and I. I don’t want to pay IRS, later on.
    Thanks

  9. shenell smith says:

    Hello I just recently changed my w4 because my job had me as s
    Single taking out way to much taxes but I have 3 small kids so I put 3 but now they take out no federal taxes will I owe taxes?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Shenell,
      If there are no federal taxes taken out, then you might end up paying come tax season. It all depends on how much you are making, if you are making “a lot”, then you will end up paying more in taxes. Also, it’s important to remember the your three children will most likely count as credits on your tax return, which means more of a refund. Overall, it will most likely balance out.

  10. Rina says:

    I started working in Nov of 2012 and I made a mistake on my w4s by putting a 6 instead of a 2 for allowences. I didn’t really check until this year when I found out there were 6 instead of 2. I only have 1 child. Will I owe come tax time?

  11. Cristina Mitchell says:

    I just started a new job but last year I was on unemployment during my pregnancy and worked for a few months but owed the IRS $500.00 and that was the first time. I need help filling out the 2013 W4. I am single with one child, will I get any money back??? Do I mark 1 in box 1 and 2 since I am single with one job and do I mark 1 for having a child…because that is 3.

    How can I get money back where I am not paying…please help me…

    • Tax Advisor says:

      The lower the number, the less taxes you will pay come tax season (and the more likely you will be to receive a tax refund). If you want to be more confident that you won’t have to pay come tax season, I would suggest claiming 2 (or even 1) on your W-4. It’s important to remember that although you will possibly receive a refund at tax season, the lower the number you claim on your W-4, the more taxes are taken out each pay check (meaning your pay check will be smaller).

  12. Kristine says:

    I would like to know which should I file tax myself or married joint so i can earn tax refund more money We are married with one child

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kristine,
      We actually have an article posting about this exact subject titled “Is There an Advantage to Filing Taxes Jointly” The link is

      The article will probably answer most of your questions regarding if should file jointly or not. For most couples, it’s best to file jointly because of the tax breaks. If you are wondering how to fill out your W-4,if you want to receive a refund, I suggest claiming 1.

      Best of luck!

  13. mike says:

    I just got marry with one child my wife doesn’t work I have one job, how much would I claim on my W4 form in line #5

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Mike,
      You can claim three on your W-4 form. You also are free to claim less than three, although in your case, I would claim at least two. The more you claim, the less likely you are to receive a refund when filing your taxes and the less you claim, the more likely you are to receive a refund (and more taxes are taken out each pay period).
      We actually have an updated article post about how many to claim if you would like to read further on the subject. Here’s the link; http://www.rapidtax.com/blog/breakdown-w-4-allowances/

  14. Kathleen says:

    My husband and I both started a new job making 31500 annually each for the same company for a combined 63,000. We are strugging with our W4s. Everyone is telling us to do 0 allowances for 2014 and saying we’ll get a huge return.

    We have 1 dependent (our 3 year old son) and pay around 6000 a year in child care. We are not sure what we had at our previous employer only that we did not owe but we made 45,000 combined so a lot less.

    I do pay student loans each month but not sure what the amount will be for interest. We do file jointly. We rent rather than own a home.

    According to the irs calculator if we do more than 1 allowance each we owe but the amount of money taken out with zero allowances is a lot of money each month and we really wouldn’t get a huge return. I’m not so concerned about the amount we’d get back rather than I do not want to owe money.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kathleen,
      You most likely won’t have to pay at the end of the year if you each claim 1 allowance. If you do, it will be a small amount. If you claim more than one, then you are much more likely to definitely have to pay. Claiming one will allow you to have less taxes taken out every pay period (compared to claiming 0), while still being safe come tax season.

  15. Brescha Parker says:

    Hi i just recently got married and i have no clue really what all of this means. Should we file jointly or separately? Whats the legal way to do it? I just want to make sure that i fill out my paperwork correctly so that i wont end up in jail or owing money.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Brescha,
      It’s up to you and your spouse if you want to file jointly or file separately. If you are married, chances are it will be best for you and your spouse to file jointly. As long as you file your taxes before, you’ll be okay :)

  16. shanika nelson says:

    im a single parent claiming head of household some one told me to claim 8 is this correct i have 3 small children?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      That is not correct. You can claim three or four. The lower the number you claim, the less likely you’ll have to pay any taxes when filing your taxes. That means, the higher number you claim (if you claimed 8), the much higher your chances are for owing a big amount in taxes when tax season comes.

  17. Shawna says:

    I just recently got married and have two daughters (not by my husband) On my W-4′s I claimed 5 and head of the house hold which Federal doesn’t take out a lot of taxes. I was just told since I got married before the end of the year they consider me being married for the whole year! Is this true because I have a feeling that I will be owing a lot of money at tax time. I also need to know what I need to change on my W4′s, my husband claims 1 and I was planning on changing my to 3.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Shawna,
      Yes, you will be considered married for the whole year if, on or before the last day of the tax year you were married. If you change your W-4 to 3, that will be best, you will probably break even when filing your taxes.

  18. jessica thayer says:

    I am a single mother of one child and I want the most taxes taken out of my pay and the most back at tax return time. Do I claim all -0-?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Yes, the lower amount you claim, the higher your tax refund and the more taxes taken out of your paycheck. That means, if you claim 1 (because you have a child), it will most likely be best for your situation.

  19. Christina says:

    I am not working and my husband has only one job. We have one child. We would rather have the money every month than wait for a tax refund. How many exemptions should we claim?

  20. derek says:

    I work and my wife works she gets paid 900 a month I have 2 kids our income together at the end of the year basicly will be only 55k I don’t really care for a tax return so should I claim 4 or 6 to be on the safe side or 3 that would be for state and fed with holdings ?????

    • Tax Advisor says:

      You should claim two and she should claim two or you should claim one and she should claim three. The total the two of you should claim combined is four, so if you you split it, she would claim two and you would as well.

  21. Ahsha says:

    Hi. I filled out a W-4 form for my new job yesterday. Now I believe I may have done it incorrectly. I am single and have 2 small children. For line G, I put 2, should I have put 4?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ahsha,
      Two is fine, it just means you will most likely receive a bigger refund come tax season (and you’ll have more taxes taken out of your paycheck each pay period).

  22. chris montgomery says:

    hello I just moved my family from TN to PA to be closer to her family. I am working and she stays home with our 2 boys, when I filled out my tax form I put 2 down should I have put 4 ? I don’t want to pay at the end of the year but I need as much in my check as I can get. what should I do ? thanks for the help

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Chris,
      IF you want as much as possible from your paycheck and don’t want to pay during tax season, you should probably change it to 3 or 4. If you put down 2, that means more taxes will be withheld each pay period and you will most likely receive a refund.

  23. martha says:

    Hello, so I’m married and have two kids, it would be on4 section H on my w-4? But when I turn main to my boss it was 7? MAYBE IT IS WRONG? HELP, THANKS

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Martha,
      The total number you should claim W-4 should not be 7. You and your husband should claim a combined total of 4. That means you should claim 2 and he should claim 2 or in a different scenario, he claims 3 and you claim 1, etc.

      The higher number you claim, the less taxes are taken out from each paycheck, but the more you could end up paying when filing your taxes. The lower number you claim, means more taxes taken out from each paycheck, but the more likely you are to receive a tax refund when filing your taxes. If you and your husband claim a combined total of 4, you should be fine.

      • Mary says:

        Hello, i am reading your respond to Martha question… but what do you put on line A-H to add up to 4??

        • Tax Advisor says:

          Hi Mary,

          The response to Martha was referring to splitting the amount of allowances claimed between her and her husband. Basically, she would claim one on line A for herself and claim one on line D for a dependent. Her husband would also complete his W-4 the same way. They are essentially splitting the dependents(children) between themselves and each claiming two to add up to four allowances.

  24. ieisha says:

    hello, I was told that I can file 3 on my w4 1 for myself 1for my child and 1 or head of house hold and that’s what I did.i do not make a lot. I made 9,000 this year will I owe or will I be ok???? my friend file 2 and they tok the same amount from her that they took from me

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ieisha,
      You can claim 3 on your W-4 if you meet the requirements of being head of household. They are as follows;
      1. You are unmarried
      2. Have paid more than half the costs of keeping up a home for the tax year
      3. Have a qualifying person who lived with the head in the home for more than half of the tax year. (in your case, that would be your child)
      If you meet these head of household requirements you can claim 3 on your W4 (as long as no one else is claiming your child).
      It’s good to remember when filling out a W-4, the higher number you claim, the less taxes are taken out (and you could end up paying when filing) and the lower the number you claim, the more taxes are taken out and you are more likely to receive a refund when filing your taxes. In your case, you can claim 3 if you meet the requirements.
      Best of luck!

  25. Donnah says:

    Hello Tax Advisor, I need help understanding this.. I have 3 kids and I live with my boyfriend (which is the father of my kids). I’m currently claiming “Single” plus my 3 dependents. I make more money & I put more money on the table, so I should change my status to Head of household correct? & still claim 3 (kids). When it’s asking for Total Exemptions does that mean my total is 4? since I will be claiming HOH plus 3 so equals 4? Is that right? Or just total 3? I need as much money as I can get every pay check since I worked hard for it. Will I owe money to Uncle Sam when the following tax time comes? Please help. Thank you.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Donnah,
      You can claim head of household if you meet the following;
      1. You are unmarried (yes you meet this one)
      2. Have paid more than half the costs of keeping up a home for the tax year
      3. Have a qualifying person who lived with the head in the home for more than half of the tax year. (Yes, you do)

      If you meet all these than you can file as head of household and claim 3. The means you would be entitled to a larger standard tax deduction.

      On your W-4 you can claim 4 and will receive more each pay period.

  26. Donnah says:

    Hello again. I’m sorry I didn’t add this to my previous question. My boyfriend has a job, can he claim “0″ or exempt & I claim him? Is that possible? Or we have to be married to do that? Thank you again.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi again Donnah,
      Yes, you can claim your boyfriend as a dependent according to the following requirements;
      1. You provide more than 50% of his support.
      2. If he lives in your home.
      3. If he makes less than $3,650 during the tax year.

  27. lilly says:

    I claim head of house hold and I have 2small children should I put 3 ,4 or higher. I want more money in my paycheck as possible but I don’t want to owe..I made 24,000 this year..If I put a 4 will I still get the child earn income credit when I file?

  28. Veronica says:

    I just started working full time a couple months ago and didn’t think to check my pay stub until this pay period. I’m married, my husband’s check is well more than mine so he claims myself and 3 children when we do our returns. I claimed my children along with putting I was married on my form, I’m now being told because of that my cheeks are not high enough to withhold federal taxes. This sounds completely wrong to me and I don’t want to have issues when we do our claim.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Veronica,
      Totally understandable… W-4s are often confusing! I’ll break it down for you; First, the higher number you claim on your W-4, means the lower amount of taxes taken out of each paycheck. Also, the lower number you claim, the more taxes will be taken out, and the higher your refund will be when filing your taxes. That means, you have to be mindful to not claim too high of a number (or you will end up paying a lot come tax season) while still claiming enough so you aren’t paying an excess of taxes each pay period. It’s also good to note, if someone else is claiming you, you can not claim yourself and will need to claim 0.

      Second, when it comes to children, you and your husband can jointly claim your children. Meaning, both of you can’t claim all of your children. You can split it. For example, you can claim a total of 2 of your children, so with yourself you would claim 3 while your husband would claim 1 of your children, with himself he would claim 2. Or in a totally different situation, your husband could claim all three children (like he did), so he would claim 4 with himself and you would claim 1. As you can see, in both situation the numbers claimed adds up to 5 (because there are five people in your household). If your husband claims you and your children, you will claim 0 on your W-4.

      It sounds like you both claimed your children. You (and/or your husband) should ask your employer to change your W-4 as soon as you can. If not, you will probably end up paying higher taxes when filing (considering you claimed too many). Good luck!

  29. Donnah says:

    Tax advisor, thank you. So I’ll go ahead and change my status on my W4 when I get to work. I do claim 4 already as it is but my status is single. I won’t be owing next tax year correct by changing my status? && yes, I do provide more than 50% between me and my boyfriend. So when I change my status, when I get my pay check that means they take less taxes & I get more money on my checks correct? Thank you again!

  30. ashley says:

    Hi i just started working this December 13 will i beable to file taxes and claim my 2 babies. I claim 0 on my w-4

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Yes, as long as there isn’t anyone else claiming them. If you want to receive a large check each pay period, you can claim a larger amount, considering you have two children. You can claim 1, 2 or even 3. The higher number you claim, the larger your tax will be and less likely that you receive a refund when filing your taxes. The lower the number you claim on your W-4, means the smaller your check each pay period because more are taken out in taxes and the more likely you are to receive a larger tax refund when filing your taxes.

  31. Aquilia says:

    So I’m a Little Confused. My husband is in the military and we have 3 children. My husband claims HOH, myself, and our 3 children since we’ve been married. I just started a new job and I put 1 for allowances and I’m confused as to how to fill this form out correctly.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi, You can only qualify for head of household if you are unmarried and file separate tax return. When filling out your W-4, claiming 1 allowance is fine. Basically, your husband and yourself can claim a total of 5 on your W-4s. That means, you can claim 3 and he can claim 2, or you can claim 1 and he can claim 4, etc.

  32. Debra says:

    Hi,

    My Husband and I had a child in 2013 and thought we needed to change our W-4. Currently my husband (larger wage earner) claims 2 and I claim 0 plus an additional amount based on the income calculations.

    When I went to reassess our W-4 I just can’t figure out what we should put. We end up with a 4 in line H (1 for myself, 1 for my husband, 1 for my child, and 1 for childcare). So should we change it to my husband claims 4 and I claim 0 plus the additional amount? I thought you should never claim higher than the number of people in your situation.

    Part of the reason we are so confused is because when we went to the withholding calculator it said that my husband should claim 0 and I should claim 1. This seems REALLY wrong.

    Please help!
    Thank you!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Debra,
      Based off of the total number of people in your family, is the total number you and your husband should claim combined. In your case, the number is three. That means on your W-4, you can claim 1 and he can claim two or you can claim 0 and he can claim 3, etc.

      If you leave your W-4 the way it was (your husband claiming 2 and you claiming 0), you will just receive a larger refund when filing your taxes while your paychecks will be less since more taxes are being taken out. In the big picture you should know that the higher the number you claim means the less taxes are taken out each pay period and lower chances to receive a refund when filing. The lower the number you claim means the more taxes taken out each pay period and the more likely you are to receive a larger tax refund when filing. The key is to find a balance.

  33. chris says:

    Hi, i am putting 2 for my allowances. I am single with one job and no one can claim me as a dependent. Will i still receive a refund? I don’t want to owe back taxes. My income is roughly $30k. Thank you

    • Tax Advisor says:

      If you don’t want to owe tax back when filing, I would suggest claiming 1 allowance. Claiming two allowances will put you on the border of possibly having to owe taxes.

      • chris says:

        If I change my allowance to 1 right now will it help or will it be too late and only apply when i file taxes next year?

  34. Lisa says:

    Hi. I just started a part time job. My husband has a full time job and makes about $100,000 and we always get a refund. He probably has 2 allowances, but not sure. If I put 4 allowances will we still get a refund?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      You should definitely put 4 allowances (unless you have 3 or 4 children). If you put 4 allowances on your W-4, you will end up paying taxes and not receive a refund. Based off of the total number of people in your family, is the total number you and your husband should claim combined. If it’s just you and your husband, you should claim a total of 2 allowances. That means he can claim 2 and you claim 0 or in a different case, you can claim 1 and he can claim 1. If you have children, the total number between the two of you will increase by 1 per child.

      In the big picture you should know that the higher the number you claim means the less taxes are taken out each pay period and lower chances to receive a refund when filing. The lower the number you claim means the more taxes taken out each pay period and the more likely you are to receive a larger tax refund when filing. The key is to find a balance.

  35. Josh says:

    I am married with 2 kids my wife works but my check is larger. We currently receive a large refund at the end of each year but would like to receive a smaller refund or break even. We do not want to pay taxes at the end of the year. I currently claim single with no dependants as I have not changed my form since I started working which was before kids and marriage. Thank you for your advice.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Josh,
      The total number you and your wife combined should claim on your W-4 forms is 4 (claim one for each person). That means, you should claim 2 and she should claim 2. If you claimed 1 when you initially filled out your W-4 (before you had children and a wife), you don’t have to change it and your wife can claim 3 (or less) on her W-4.

      The higher number you claim, means fewer taxes are taken out from your paycheck (which means a bigger paycheck). The lower number you claim means more taxes are taken out from your paycheck but the higher your chances for a larger refund when filing your taxes. It’s all about finding a balance. If you want to receive a refund at the end of the year, you and your wife combined should definitely not claim a total more than 4. With that said, claiming anything under 4 is fine too and will most likely result in a tax refund when filing.

      Best of luck!

  36. bekah says:

    hi i dont really know wat to do my mom said i should claim zero but i have one kid shes 2 and myself and one other that lives in the house but i dont pay for there stuff just mine and my daughters while im confused cuz i have zero rite now and they r pulling tons outta my check i work one full time job and my mom says its good have good tax refund so for me to have a big tax refund and not get messed up wat should i put

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Bekah,
      You should definitely claim more than zero if you are claiming your child on your tax return, as your dependent. If you are, I would suggest claiming two, that way you receive larger checks each pay period and still may receive a small refund.

      Basically, the higher number you claim, means fewer taxes are taken out from your paycheck (which means a bigger paycheck). The lower number you claim means more taxes are taken out from your paycheck but the higher your chances for a larger refund when filing your taxes. It’s all about finding a balance.

      You can claim the others living with you if they are qualifying relatives to claim as dependents. In this case, they would have to live with you, make less than $3900, and you must pay more than half of their financial support (and no one else can claim them).

  37. Am says:

    Hi im confused about filling out this w-4..my husband is the only one that works in the household and we have 4 children do you know how many we can claim, and should my husband put head of household or married filling jointly.. we want as little taxes taken out as possible each paycheck.. thank you

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi, since you are married, your husband can not claim head of household, so the answer is Married filing jointly.

      Your husband should claim 6 on his W-4. This will take as little taxes out as possible but still not end up in high taxes due when filing your taxes.

  38. janice says:

    For thr year 2013, I claimed myself & two kids on my W4, the father of my kids claimed just himself on his W4. Now, can he claim both our children when it comes time to file this year or do I have to? Or can we each claim one child each?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      If you claimed your two kids on your W-4, and the two of your are filing separate returns, it will be best if your claim your children. If the father of the kids does, that’s fine, but you’ll probably have to end up paying in taxes, since you already claimed them on your W-4.

      You can each claim one, but once again you may end up paying some taxes due (it depends if you claimed 2 or 3 on your W-4).

  39. Am says:

    I ended up claiming 8 is that too much? My husband won’t make more than 65, 000 so we should have the child tax credit too right?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Claiming 8 seems a bit high, unless you have 5 or more children. You and your husband should claim a combined total of how many people live in your household. For example, if you have 2 children, you would probably want to claim a total of 4, meaning you would claim 2 on your W-4, and he would claim 4 on his W-4.

  40. Deanna says:

    Hello, I just moved to Delaware from Jersey, & i got a job working as a cashier, I have a child but I do not wish to claim him as a dependent because I want the most money taken out of my paychecks. I put -0- but I received my first paycheck which was for 63.60 before taxes, and my gross pay was 58.74… I was wondering if they took enough money in taxes because my boyfriends father said that they did not take enough & is trying to make me have them take an additional 20.00 from each paycheck.
    PLEASE HELP ME!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Deanna,
      If you claimed 0 on your W-4, then you should be fine. It sounds correct. You can always double check with your employer to make sure they know your W-4 says 0.

  41. trent says:

    I did not work last year and I have 1 child and no one can claim me on their taxes. Can I claim exempt? If so can I have any allowances? If not, my personal allowence s came out to 7, does that sound right?

  42. Tiffany says:

    I just started a new job the beginning of the year. I’m single with no dependents. No one else can claim me. I would like more money back from my paycheck and still get a refund without owing. Should I claim 0 or 1?

  43. Marianne Q says:

    I just got hired for a second job in 2014 but have not gotten paid yet. I expect to earn more on this second job this year compared to what I earned from my first job in 2013. I’m single, filing as head of household with 1 child.

    I expect to earn 4800 this 2014 on my first job.
    I expect to earn 36000 this 2014 on my 2nd job.

    I need help filling out my Two-earners worksheet and need to know if I need to make any changes on my first job’s W-4. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Marianne,
      I would suggest claiming a total of 3 (or maybe 4) on your W-4. If you claim 3, it would be best to claim 2 on one job’s W-4, and claim 1 on your other job’s W-4, or claim the maximum at one job (so claim 0), and claim 3 at the other job.

      • Marianne Q says:

        The line H on my 2nd job’s w-4 came to a 6 (2 (for eligible child) + 1 (for me) +1 (# of dependents) + 1 (HOH) +1 child tax credit).

  44. Robin says:

    I got married at the end of December and am looking at changing my w-4. I have tried to use the worksheet including with the form but want to verify I’m doing it right.

    We both work and have no children (that we can claim.)

    I was previously filing as single and claiming “1″ – each year I got a refund.

    Now I need to change to filing as married but can I still claim “1″ and expect a refund? Neither of us make over $65k a year but, per the worksheet, it is telling me to claim “0″ AND have an additional amount taken out each month. Does that sound right?

    I’m curious to know if getting married really does make me make less money! (“0″ would be more tax withheld + extra $$ withheld on top of that.)

  45. cintya says:

    Im still not getting how to fill out the w4 form, I work and so does my spouse but in 2013 both of us got new jobs I quit one job from texas in february moved back to WI and started one at the end of february, then quit that one in august and by end of august i worked for a school till now, my husband started one job as a temp in WI in march, then was unemployed and a week later was hired as a temp and round october he was hired in as nontemp. How do I file that? I had a child in november and we have a 7 year old as well. will I still need to do the back of the w4 form?? I believe we both make a rough estimate of 30,000.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Cintya,
      Wow, what a year! If you have two child, your husband and yourself will claim a total of 4 on your W-4s. That means, you can claim 2 and your husband can claim 2 (or the opposite).
      When filing you will report all income received, throughout the year of 2013. If your husband received unemployment income, he will also report that on his taxes.
      Our return application (which is available now, to start filling out) will walk you through all of this. Also, while filling it out, you can contact our team of tax experts, by live chat, phone or e-mail to help you with any questions you may have.
      Happy filing!

  46. christan Williams says:

    Hello I am a single 24 year old woman, I had three jobs last year and claimed 0 for each. However I only made about 27,000 and paid over 7,000 in taxes through tout the year. Will I see any of that money back come tax season? And if so will it even be enough to be worth claiming 0 vs 1?

  47. Jessica says:

    I just started a new job at the end of October, had been claiming Single/3 all year long at my prior job and had state/fed taxes being taken out. On my most recent pay stub from my new job i realised there wasnt any taxed taken out for federal or state and i had my manager look into it and make sure something wasnt entered wrong when i started. She made some phone calls and according to Quickbooks i dont make enough $ to have fed/state taxes taken out when claiming single/3, can someone please help me? That just doesnt seem right? Ive always claimed that and had both fed/state taxes taken out???

  48. May25 says:

    Hi,I don’t had a work for pass a year to take cared our 3yr old daughter.My question is,Can my husband claim me & my daughter even if on 2012 I claim my daughter in we filled separately?Thank you & godbless:)

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi,
      For the 2013 taxes (filed this year), your husband can claim both you and your daughter (regardless of you claiming her last year). He should change his W-4 from claiming 0 to claiming 2 or 3 (as long as you won’t be working).

  49. May25 says:

    And also his status is Married & he claim 0

  50. Justin Barnes says:

    I have ready received 2 paychecks from my new employer however I feel that I may have filled out my W4 wrong and would appreciate if someone can email me and help me out with my current dilema. I am married with no children and my wife is in the US Navy. I claim myself as 1 and in years past we have filed separately, HR Block will do all of her information and then she will do mine. I wrote Exempt on my W4 and that is the part I am confused with though when I have held other jobs I feel like I have wrote exempt. Can someone please email me at jsbarnes11 @gmail.com. I would greatly appreciate someone’s advice so I can get everything cleared up if I did do something wrong before my next paycheck comes out to me on Wednesday. I hope to hear from someone as soon as possible. Thanks again in advance.

    Justin

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Justin,
      I would suggest changing your W-4 to 1. According to the IRS, you can not claim exempt on your W-4 if; you cannot claim exemption from withholding if; (1) your income exceeds a certain dollar threshold and includes more than a certain dollar amount of unearned income (e.g., interest and dividends) and (2) another person can claim you as a dependent on their tax return. Please refer to the current year Form W-4 Instructions for these dollar amounts.
      Best of luck!

  51. Suzanne says:

    My 15 year old son made $1100 last year. He did not claim EXEMPT on his W-4. Can he re-do his W-4 and make it effective for 2013, or does it matter at this point? Should he claim exempt for 2014 since he probably will not make more than $5950. I’m hearing that he should get all of his state and federal taxes back, but it’s not working out that way when I fill out the 1040EZ and MI-1040. Also, what happens if he claims exempt for 2014 and does end up making more than $5950?
    Thanks,
    Suzanne

    • Tax Advisor says:

      He should change his W-4 and claim exempt for 2014.
      Even if he didn’t claim exempt on his W-4, you can still claim your son as a dependent (as long as you provide more than 50% of his financial needs, and he lives with you for at least half the year).
      If he makes more than the standard deduction amount for 2014, he will simply be taxed on the income over that amount.

  52. Shea says:

    Hi, my husband works and this year I do not. We have been claiming 2 on our W-4, but I am wondering if we should claim 3 now that I am not working. We have no children.
    Thanks!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Shea,
      It’s up to you and your husband. Basically, the lower the amount you claim, means the higher your chances for getting a refund (while more taxes will be taken out of each paycheck). The higher the amount you claim, means the more likely you are to pay tax due when filing your taxes (while less taxes are taken out from each paycheck).

      If your husband keeps his W-4 at two, you will probably get a tax refund (or a larger one) when filing your taxes. If he changes it to three, the refund will be less. It’s depends on what you (and your husband) prefer.

  53. Tinia says:

    Hi, i have two jobs, one as a server and a salary job. with the salary job I was going to receive a hefty refund but when i entered my w2 information from my server I do not really get much of a refund and I owe a lot of money. In order to owe less on my taxes for my server job should I put 1 or 0 on my W-4′s for both jobs?

  54. J. Z. says:

    Hi, I am a second-year university student, and I recently started what may or may not be considered a job. Last week, I started working as a notes provider for my campus’s Disability Service Center, meaning that I am responsible for taking notes not only for myself but for a student with some disability in one of my classes. I chose to be compensated with a $100 stipend at the end of the quarter, and I am required to fill out the W-4 form for a hiring session for this notes provider position. I have never held a job before, not even part-time, and I have yet to be required to file a tax return. I will be filed as dependent on my parents’ tax return though. Based on this information, on the W-4 form, should I claim 0 allowances or claim exemption from tax withholding?

  55. shawanda says:

    Hi i just got my w2 forms back and realized that they didn’t take out any federal income tax .i have three small kids and i worked so hard this year even though .its a part time job .will i be able to file and will i owe. or will i get a refund back .

  56. shawanda says:

    O I KNOW WHAT I DID WRONG I PUT DOWN EXEMPT SO THIS HOLE TIME I BEEN WORKING.THEY HAVE NOT BEEN TAKING OUT ANY FEDERAL INCOME TAX .SO THIS MEAN I CAN FILE AND IF I DO EVEN THOUGH I HAVE THREE SMALL KIDS I WON’T GET GET ANYTHING BACK .OR I MIGHT IN UP OWE THE THE IRS .MY WAGES WAS. AND TIPS WAS ONLY 7,069.59

  57. Diamond says:

    Hi, two things. I only worked til February 8th last year and nomore the whole year but I claimed one cause I have one child. Will tht be worth filing? And also I started a new job this year and she told me to claim zero but I have a child is that correct I would like to balance it out to see a lil more a week and be alright at tax time. Please help and Thanks in advance!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      You should file this year, that way you can claim your child and get any possible tax refund.

      For the job you just started, you should claim one or two (considering you have a child). If you claim zero, too many taxes will be withdrawn from each paycheck (although, you will end up with a bigger refund when filing your taxes).

  58. Diamond says:

    Sorry one more thing I’m also head of household

  59. Donnah says:

    Hi Tax Advisor.

    I started doing my taxes today. I had 2 jobs last year. I had 2 jobs in the year 2013. One for 10 month & of course the other one for 2 months. As I was doing my taxes, when I put in 2 jobs I was getting less back than what I would be getting if I had one job. There is a $1,200 difference. I really need that extra $1,200 on hand. Is it okay if I don’t add the job I started in November of last year? Only 2 months worth of pay or work & it’s affecting that much. Will I end up owing next tax year? So again my question is, Is it okay if I just put down on my Taxes that I only had 1 job last year (which means only putting 1 W2) instead of 2? Having 2 jobs on my taxes lowered the $$ I’m getting back.

  60. Irene says:

    Hello I’m a single mother with 2 children. I don’t think I qualify for head of household and I don’t think anyone can claim me. Should I put 2 or 3 on my W4 form?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Irene,
      If you are unmarried (or divorced/legally separated), you provide more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the year and you are claiming at-least one qualifying child (so if your two children are qualifying dependents) then you can claim Head of Household. This is important to know because filing as head of household allows you to benefit from a higher standard deduction than filing as single would.
      On your W-4 I would claim 3. That way you still receive a tax refund when filing your taxes.

  61. crystal says:

    Hello my boyfriend needs to redo his w4 because hes had no federal taxes taken out. Since we arent married on line c of the personal allowences worksheet would he list me as spouse or only as a dependent on line d? We have one child together and I have one child from a prior relationship that he will also claim. As of now his w4 has him claiming 8 allowences. Is this correct or does he need to change it?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Cystal,
      Since you aren’t married, he will not list you as a spouse. He can list you as a dependent if you lived with him all year, you make less than $3,900/year, and he provides more than half of your support.
      He should not be claiming 8 allowances on his W-4. That is too high. He should claim 3 or 4. If he can list you as a dependent, he should change the W-4 to 4. If not, he should change it to 3. This will impact his taxes filed next year.

  62. maryury says:

    istarted to work two months ago and I have notice that on may check federal withholdng its not taking money. I dont know if I filled ot the W-4 wrong or I’m claiming too many people.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi there,
      If there are not taxes being withheld for federal, you should probably change your W-4. The number you listed is probably too high. If you are just claiming yourself, I would suggest changing your W-4 to 1.

  63. ben28 says:

    Hi good day! Im confused about filing up w4.. im a us citizen, married but my wife and daughter is not here in the us yet.. ive got offered a job, salary will be 65k, what should i put in allowance? Should i put single in status? Since its said that check single if spouse is nonresident…

  64. Max says:

    Hello
    I am single and have just 1 job. How many exemptions should i claim on my W4. I had claimed 2 last year based on the below:
    A – Enter “1” for yourself if no one else can claim you as a dependent – 1
    B – Enter “1” if:
    • You are single and have only one job; or – 1
    • You are married, have only one job, and your spouse does not work; or …
    • Your wages from a second job or your spouse’s wages (or the total of both) are $1,500 or less.
    What should i claim on my W4. Should it be 1 or 2 and what exactly is the difference? Thanks in advance!!!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Max,
      Basically, the lower number you claim on your W-4, means the higher your chances for a tax refund when filing your taxes, but the more taxes taken out from each paycheck. The reverse is also true, the higher number you claim, means the lower your chances for a refund (and higher chances to have tax due), but less taxes are taken out from your paycheck.
      Claiming 2 is fine, if you want to receive a refund when filing your taxes, I would suggest changing it to 1. Once you file your 2013 taxes and see your tax refund or tax due, I would suggest deciding then. If you have tax due, then definitely change it to 1.

  65. Nanii says:

    Hi I am having hard time what number should I put down on w-4 form? Since I am currently working full time & my husband works full time as well and We have a child. Much appreciated for your time & hope to hear from u soon.

  66. Stan says:

    Hello

    I am married filing jointly and have one job and my wife is not working. We have two children and my yearly income is approximately 40k. I followed the calculator mentioned above and the number it came up with was 9. That seems like way too many. I would like to claim the correct amount so that I can break even or have just a very small tax return. I was thinking about 4 would be the correct number. What do you think?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Stan,
      Your number(4) seems more accurate. You should claim one for each person in your family whom does not work. Meaning, between your wife, you and your two kids, you should claim 4.

  67. Diandra says:

    I am a single mother. I took a year off of work to take care of my baby and I am going to be starting a new job soon. I’ve never understood the whole allowances part on the W-4. How many allowances should I claim??

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Diandra,
      Basically, the lower number you claim on your W-4, means the higher your chances for a tax refund when filing your taxes, but the more taxes taken out from each paycheck. The reverse is also true, the higher number you claim, means the lower your chances for a refund (and higher chances to have tax due), but less taxes are taken out from your paycheck. You want to claim the number closest to the number of people in your family, that you’ll be including on your tax return. If you are filing jointly, you and your spouse would split this number.

      In your situation, if you only have one child, claiming 2 is fine (as long as no one else is claiming your child). If you want to receive a refund when filing your taxes next year, I would suggest claiming no more than 2.

      • Diandra says:

        I am not filing this year because I didn’t work last year so my spouse is claiming our son this year. Would it still be okay to claim 2 for next year? I am starting a new job and have to fill out the paperwork and I just want to make sure it’s ok to put 2 if my spouse claimed him this year. Thanks again.

  68. JJ says:

    My husband and I are starting new jobs. We are a little confused on how to fill out our w4s. We have 3 children and would like to avoid paying back. Preferably we would like to receive a refund. Any advice?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi JJ,

      You and your husband should split the number you are are claiming. Considering you have 3 children, the two of you should claim a total of 5. That means you should claim 2 and he should claim 3, or the reverse.

  69. sab says:

    Hi good day!i just wanna know what should i put on w4.. i just got hired and my salary will be 66k.. i live in ny…only got 1 job and im single.. should i claim 1 allowance or 0?? Thank you…

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sab,
      Either is fine. Basically, if you claim 0, you’ll have more taxes taken out each pay period, but will receive a larger refund when filing your taxes. If you claim 1, you will have less taxes taken out of each paycheck, but probably won’t get a refund.

  70. Erica says:

    I am married, and we have no children. We both work full time now and I am a full time student as of May of 2013. Last year when we filed our taxes we ended up owing because of my tax information, I only worked part time. In May of 2013 I was promoted to full time. I have my federal set at “0″ so that the most will come out of my check. My husband has his exemption at “1″. When I filed our taxes for 2013 we were getting a refund until I put in my w-2. We owed almost $1000 between federal and state. Once I entered my school information, we got a refund. I don’t understand how I could still owe. How should we have our w-4′s filled out? Do I need to change anything or just have extra taken out for taxes?

    Thanks so much!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Erica,
      Hmm, a main reason why people owe when filing their taxes is because they claimed a high number on their W-4. Are you sure you and your husband claimed 0 and 1 on your W-4? Also, you are filing as married filing jointly? If so, you should be saving money. If there are other reasons you are being taxed, it also would explain it (if you have other forms of income, like rentals, etc).
      If not, I would double check with your employers to make sure you both are claiming 1 on your W-4s (or zero).

      • Erica says:

        I checked on both of our w-4s and yes, I claim 0 and he claims 1. We have no other reasons to be taxed. We both only have one full time job each, and no rentals or anything like that. :( It’s very frustrating, and I can’t seem to figure it out.

  71. Ryan says:

    I have a quick question about one of my wife’s w-2 forms we received. My wife claims 0 and made just over $9k for the year at this job. The employer only took out $42 for federal withholdings. When contacting the employer, they confirmed that 0 is claimed on the w-4. If claiming 0, why would they only withhold $42 and not more?

  72. Mandy says:

    I am filling out my W-4 form for a part time job I started last month. I am single with one child. Do I write 1 on line 5? And write exempt on line 7? I want the most I can get for a refund. Thank you!

  73. Veronica says:

    In 2013 I worked part-time from Oct to Dec, had taxes taken out of my unemployment and I am currently a college student. I put a 3 under exemption for my W-4. I only have 1 dependent and myself (no one can claim me). I will not be claiming head of household. Will I owe any taxes?

  74. kelly c says:

    hello I am married and claim 1. my husband claims zero . the last few years we have owed a couple thousand dollars. I am just starting a new job and am completing my W4. would I mark EXEMPT? I do itemized due to medical expensrs and home ownership please help.thank you

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kelly,
      Do you have any other sources of income other than those reported on a W-2? If not, are you and your husband subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)? If you are answering yes to either question, it could explain why you have tax due.

      On your new W-4, it would be best to claim 0 (or 1). If you claim exempt on your W-4, the employer won’t withhold anything for federal taxes and state taxes. Legally, you are only allowed to claim exempt if you have the right to have all your taxes refunded.

  75. HJ says:

    Hello. I am so confused about this w4 form. My husband and I got married on March of 2013. We had one child before marriage that he claimed for 2012 taxes. I had a business that was sold on Nov of 2013. We also had another child on December of 2013. My question is: do we file joint tax returns for 2013 and he needs to submit new w4 for the 2014 tax year…does he claim all 4 of us since I don’t plan on working again until later on this year and then we should split the exemption when I fill out the w4 with a new job? Also, my 60 year old mother lives with us. Do we have to claim her as well? We would like to not owe any taxes at the end of the year!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi there,
      Yes, you can file jointly for 2013 (because you were married in 2013). Also, claiming 4 is correct, and just like you stated you will split the exemptions on your W-4 when you start a new job.
      Regarding your mother, you and your husband can claim her as a qualifying relative dependent if the following requirements are met;
      -She earns less than the personal exemption amount during the year. For 2013, this means she earned less than $3,900.
      -You and your husband provides more than half of the dependent’s total support during the year.
      -If your mother is married, she cannot file a joint return with her spouse.
      -Your mother must be a citizen or resident alien of the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

  76. Nancy says:

    Hello, I’ve just moved to US in December, from Europe, with my husband, and the whole tax system is pretty confusing for us. I got a part time job, and filling W4 was the challenge as I didn’t know should I put 1 or 2. What would be your suggestion?

    My husband is not employed (yet), but he has home based business and monthly income. He will be filling 1099, but we are not sure should he do it this year, or in 2015, as in december he had less than $2000 in income.

    Thanks for your advice.
    Nancy

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Regarding your W-4, you should claim 1.

      Regarding filing taxes, basically all the income earned in 2013 should be reported on your tax return that is filed in 2014 (right now). That means, next year (in 2015), you will report all income earned in 2014 on your tax return.

  77. Sue says:

    I work a summer job and make $2000
    What do I put down as my allowance on the w-4 so I get thd least amount taken out of my check
    I am a college student. My younger sister had a part time job during the summer and also wants to know what she should put down so she had the least amount of taxes taken out. She will make less than $1000.
    Thank you

  78. Jessie Miller says:

    I wanted to know exactly how to update my W-4. Im filing as an independant, I rent a house, work 1 full time job and have 1 child. How many allowances should I have? Not sure if i am doing it correctly

  79. Jessica Rodriguez says:

    I am starting my first job and I have trouble filling out my W4. I am 18, live with my patents and have a 2 year old daughter. My mom claims me and my daughter as dependents. Do I just put 0? And it asks how many eligible children do I have, so should I put 0 since my mom is claiming her?

  80. Ron Lopez says:

    I am maried, both me and my wife work. I have my daughter who will most likely work this year, she is 18. I currently have married plus 2 on my w-4. My wife has married + 1 on hers. What should they be? I owe too much this year 1529.00 in taxes due. What should mine and my wife’s w-4 be?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ron,
      The number you and your wife claim should be a combined total of no more than 3. Saying that, you can claim 2 and she can claim 1. Also, you can always claim a number lower than your “combined number”, to be safe. The lower number you claim on your W-4 means the higher your refund will be (instead of paying tax due when filing). In this case, I would have both you and your wife claim 1 and you should be fine.

  81. sharon testa says:

    This is so confusing, I am 58 work part time make $15,000 and put all zeros on my w-4 form, BUT my disabled 46 year brother lives with me,gives me $200 a month,and I claim him when filing my taxes I also file as head of household,so should I leave it at zero I want the max taken out each paycheck as I receive a nice refund in March, Please let me know if I am doing this correctlyThank-You!!.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sharon,
      Sounds like you know what you are doing. If you want the maximum taken out in order to receive a large refund, I suggest leaving your W-4 at zero. Considering you claim your brother and head of household, you can change it to one or two. However, if you do change it to one or two your refund will not be as large.

  82. Clara Ramirez says:

    Hi im single I have to kids I started to work on November 2013 on my w-4i put 1 but I gave birth to my second child on dec 21 2013 can I claim my taxes for 2013 and can I claim my two children even if my youngest was barely born and can I.can I put myself as head of household im the only one who is working bringing money to children. Also this my first time ever trying to do my tax so im not sure what to or have with me when I go do my taxes. thank you I hope to have an answer from you tax advisor

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Clara,
      Regarding your questions. Your child was born in 2013, therefore you can claim both of your children for 2013 taxes. From what you have said, it sounds like you qualify to claim head of household. The requirements to claim head of household are as follows;

      •You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year and file a separate tax return.
      •A spouse did not live in the home during the last 6 months of the year.
      •You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
      •The child or dependent lived with you

      If you are unsure on how to file your taxes, no problem at all. That’s why we are here. To get started, simply go to our Create an Account page, and create an account. You can get started filling in your information immediately. It’s very straightforward and designed to be easy for those filing their taxes for the firs time. When you are filling in your information, if you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out to us via phone (e-mail or live chat). Our tax experts are standing by to help you.

      Hope that helps! :)

  83. Chuck says:

    Hello I am recently single, own a new house(2nd year living here), and have one child. I am about to start a new job. Is claiming 3 the correct number on the w4? I am planning on on filing as head of household next year as well, does this sound ok? Will i possibly get a return at the end of the year?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Chuck,
      You can claim 3 if you are filing as head of household and probably still get a refund. If you claim 2, you will get a larger tax refund when filing your taxes, but more tax will be withheld from your paychecks.
      Also, you can claim head of household if you meet the following requirements;
      • You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year and file a separate tax return.
      • A spouse did not live in the home during the last 6 months of the year.
      • You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
      • The child or dependent lived with you

  84. Jackie says:

    Hi,

    I’m 19 and I have a part time job. My parents don’t claim me as a dependent anymore and I only have one job. However, I still live with them. So on my W4 how many allowance should I have? I’m very confused because people tell me many different answers.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jackie,
      Filling out a W-4 can be confusing. I would suggest claiming 0 or 1. If you claim 0, you will have more taxes taken out each pay period but when filing your taxes, you will receive a larger tax refund. IF you claim 1, you will have less taxes taken out each pay period, but will receive a a smaller refund when filing your taxes (or no refund at all).

      Best of luck!

  85. Caroline says:

    Hello Tax Advisor,

    What is the correct amount of dependents a married couple(filing jointly), no kids, and both working should put on their W2 each?

    We have always done our taxes with both claiming 1 on each w2 and we haven’t been told differently until this years when we did our taxes, saying our total dependents should both be 0. I wasn’t sure that was completely true.

  86. Janeth says:

    Hello,
    I made a mistake when filling out my W4 when I first got hired. Somehow I put 4 dependents. Now when i was filling my W2 my refund is not as previous years. I am a single mother of one which I claim. How can I fill out my W4 that I dont make the same mistake all over again? Also, is there anyting I can do about my mistake? as far as filling out a form stating that 4 dependents was a mistake?
    Thank you so much.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Janeth,
      Since you accidentally claimed four, that means you had less in taxes taken out each week, which ultimately means your refund is lower when filing your taxes. There is nothing you can do to fix it other than change your W-4 as soon as possible. I would ask your employer to change your W-4 to one or two.
      If you are claiming your child, claiming one or two will still result in a refund. The best option is to probably claim two.

  87. Keeley McNabb says:

    I’ve been wondering on my w2 I claimed 3 ( me and two kids) come to find out their dad claimed them, now will I owe cause I will not be claiming them?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Keeley,
      If you are eligible to claim the children, you should, regardless. If you aren’t eligible to claim them, you might have tax due because you over claimed exemptions on your W-4.
      In this situation, to avoid tax due, as this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.
      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.
      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependent.

  88. Chris Taylor says:

    What should i be claiming on my W-4′s. Currently i claim Single with 1 allowance and my wife claims 0. and we received a large tax return this year but i want to receive a larger paycheck instead of a large return without paying in. We also have 3 children.

    thanks,

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Chris,
      Basically, the lower number you claim on your W-4 means a higher tax refund when filing your taxes and opposite is true for the higher number you claim. It’s good to know however, the lower number you claim does also mean the higher amount in taxes that will be taken out each pay period while claiming a higher number means less taxes being taken out each pay period.

      If you have 3 children that you claim, you can claim 4 on your W-4 and you should be fine when filing your taxes.

  89. Elissa says:

    Hi, my husband and I have our taxes done by someone else and were just told we owe $2100.
    We are shocked. We want to change our withholdings so we don’t owe at end of year.

    We file jointly
    No kids
    Both have a 401k
    2 employers for me
    1 employer for him, HOH
    Together for 2014 we should net 150,000

    Should I have filled out the “multiple earners” worksheet? And if so do I fill out two(one for each employer)? Are they filled out identically?

    Should I have checked box for “married, at higher single rate” instead of “married”?

    I keep reading that regardless of the number of jobs I have I should fill out one w-4. So why is
    each employer asking for one?

    Thanks in advance, E

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Elissa,
      You should each claim 1 on your W-4. For your second job, you should claim 0. With these changes, you will be having close to the maximum amount withheld from your pay and ultimately, you will not owe in tax year next year when filing and might even receive a refund.

  90. Mishelle says:

    Hi,
    I just started working in May of last year, I am a single mother of 1 child under the age of 3 (doesn’t attend school yet) I worked 2 jobs until this past February, made a little over 22,000 but less than 23,000 with both jobs combined, I put A)1, D)1, E)1, F)1, and G)2. to a total of 6 on letter H, I have not done my taxes yet, but from this so far, will I be getting anything back at all?????

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Mischelle,
      I suggest claiming two exemptions. Six is too large of a number and could result in you having tax due rather than a tax refund when filing your taxes.

  91. Carlos says:

    Hello Tax Advisor,

    I’m married with two children and so my allowances have been 4 in previous years. My wife just started her first job and was given a w-4 to fill. I read online that I should leave my w-4 as is and select on her “Married but withhold at higher single rate, zero allowances”. Is this good advice?

    Thank you

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Carlos,
      Yes, that is correct. Basically, the combined total of allowances on both you and your wife’s W-4 forms should total 4. In other words, you can claim 4 (as you currently have on your W-4) and your wife 0 or in other case, you each claim 2. As long as your combined total equals 4.

  92. Nadia Kinakh says:

    We both works,Im self employ,husband have salary, we make about 95.000 a year, married, two children, 14 and 15 years old. what number we need to claim to avoid own taxes? we have 5 kids ,but three of them works and doing their own taxes. Should we claim 0, or 1?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nadia,
      If you are claiming two kids, then the total of exemptions between you and your husband is 4 (one per person). I suggest you claiming two and your husband claiming two. You can however, claim less, so each of you can claim one or zero and you will have lower tax liability and a larger refund.

  93. Vanessa says:

    I am confused as to what to fill out on my w4 for line g I have 3 kids and will be making less than than 65,000 on letter d I put 3 so should line g b 5?

  94. Jnece says:

    Last year my my grandmother filled out my W 2. She told me I would get no money back. I had worked quite a few hours and thought it was weird but sent it in anyway. Later we began to suspect her of having dementia. I work the same job now and am getting a bit back. Is there any way to get money that was withheld from me last year.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jnece,
      I am not sure of your exact situation, but if you are saying you thought your grandmother filled out your tax return, but in reality, she didn’t, then you can still file your taxes (and should). You have up to 3 years from the tax deadline for that tax return to receive your tax refund. However, it’s best to file your taxes from that year sooner rather than later.

      To do so, simply go to our “Create an Account” page and select from the “tax year” drop down menu whichever year you need to file for (Sounds like you will need to select Prior Year 2012). Then, you can simply report your tax information. When finished, be sure to submit. After it’s reviewed, you will be able to download the return, print, sign and mail it to the IRS (you can not e-file prior year returns), so you will have to mail it in. They will then process it (which will take a month to two months) and deposit your refund in your checking account or send you a check (whichever you select).

  95. Maritza says:

    Hello. I have a very important question. So i am not married with two kids which i do not plan on claiming because i owe thousands in taxes so therefore the father claims them. Now what do i fill out on my w4 form? Do i put two even though i will not be claiming them during tax season?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Maritza,
      No, if you are not claiming them, then you shouldn’t count them when filling our your W-4 exemptions. Instead, you should claim 0 or 1 on your W-4.

  96. Zina says:

    Hello!

    I’m hoping you can shed some light on filling out a W-4 Form.

    I am a single mom with 1 child and working full time with my current job where I am claiming S-1. I recently got hired for a per-diem job where I work every other weekend. Right now my W-4 form for my 2nd job is S-0. Should I leave the S-0 as is or should I change that to S-1 or something else. I am so confused. I read that claiming S-0 will take out the maximum amt of tax withheld so I wouldn’t owe at the end of the year which is fine with me. But I just want to be sure and double check..so S-1 at my FT job and S-0 at my part time job?

    Please help :-)

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Zina,
      Yes, you can leave your W-4 the way it is. You are very (very) likely to get a refund when filing your taxes, since you are having the maximum tax withheld.

  97. Raxit says:

    Hi,
    I have a question. We have two twin girls that were born on Dec 2013. My wife has just returned back to work today full time and I work full time. My question is, how much withheld/allowance we both should do at our work? I also support and claim my mom as a dependent every year, so please count that in as well. Please let me know. Thank you!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Raxit,
      I would suggest your wife claiming two and you claiming three, or the opposite, the total number of allowances between you and your wife should be 5. You can however, claim a lower number. The lower the number, means the more tax withheld which ultimately means a larger tax refund when filing your taxes.

  98. Rippu says:

    Hi. I am married and currently a student. I am starting my job in July. My employer send me a W4. I have tution till June 2014 and then in July I start getting paid. My spouse is not working. I don’t want alot of tax to be withheld, neither do I want to owe at the year end. I have filled in the following in my W4:

    A enter 1 if no one claims you as a dependent – 1
    B enter 2 if you are married and if your spouse has no income or expects to earn less than 1000$ – 2

    SO in point 4 Total Number of allowances you are claiming I entered 3.

    Do I need to change it. Did i make a mistake.

    Kindly help! Would highy appreciate your response.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hello,
      I would suggest reporting 2 on your W-4. 3 allowances might result in tax due, while 2 will most likely result in a tax refund while still not taking out the maximum tax from your paychecks.

  99. Chris says:

    I claim 1 allowance and my wife claims 0 allowances. We both work full time (me $160k and her $62k) and have one small child. For the past three years we’ve owed about $3-4K in taxes. I’m not subject to AMT and have no other sizable income. I was going to claim 0 allowances to lower my tax impact, but before I do so, I have a question. I was wondering if it makes more sense to up my 401k a few %’s to lower my taxable income a few thousand dollars or to just claim 0 allowances instead? Don’t they essentially have the same impact?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Chris,
      Yes, that does make sense. Your contributions to your 401K will lower your taxable income, just be sure to report this when filing your taxes. To be super safe, you can do both- lower your allowances and contribute more to your 401K. Then, you would be more likely to receive a tax refund when filing your taxes. Also, if your wife is claiming too many exemptions, it might also explain why your tax due is so high. So it might be smart to have her check how many W-4 exemptions she is also claiming- The total between the two of you should be three (or less).

  100. Andrea says:

    Hi. I am working a part-time job and my boyfriend lives with me he is currently unemployed so I take care of all the bills. I don’t know how to fill out the W-4, should I file as single or reporting 2….Ineed hhelp please.

  101. Lomad says:

    I am starting a new job and trying to figure out the W-4. I am married with two kids but my husband works as a 1099 employee so we will have to pay his taxes quarterly. I’ve also received 4 months of unemployment with no taxes withheld. Should I claim 0 to be sure we do not owe (or owe less) at the end of the year? And, in box 3 would I check married or married, but withhold at higher single rate? We’ve always claimed 0 and received $4-$6k back in refunds but this year we just want to break even.

    Thanks!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Lomad,
      To be on the safe side, I would claim 0 and mark married but withhold at a higher single rate, that way you have the maximum tax withheld.

      Best of luck!

  102. Chris N says:

    Hello,
    I am single, no children and I claim 2 on my w-4. My salary $55,000. Would like to know if there is anything I can do on my W-4 to maximize my amount of take home pay. Am I eligible to take advantage of any of the tax exemptions ($6200/$3900).

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Chris,
      The larger number you claim on your W-4, means less tax withheld from your pay. Although, considering you do not have children or dependents, I wouldn’t claim any more than you already are.

  103. Jay says:

    Tax Advisor,
    I’m Married, file jointly, both work, each contribute to 401k, we claim 1 college loan interest, 1 mortgage interest and have no kids. Total income is about 96 thousand before taxes. (She makes 56, I make 40)
    Should we both claim 1 allowance on our W-4 to break even? Is that the best way to go?

  104. Ang says:

    from previous….Also, do we put 0 on every other line to ensure the most held out

  105. Julianne Rice says:

    My husband works fulltime and I am unemployed. we are expecting our first child in a little less than 3 months. so how should my husband do his tax forms for his job? Like the federal and state allowances, etc. taxes are just so confusing sometimes, and we don’t want to make a mistake on them.

    Thank you.

  106. Kel says:

    I’m single with 1 child. I now have 2 jobs. One civilian job and air force reserve job. Am I correct by filing single and 2?

  107. Silva says:

    I’m married ,no children, I work par time and just found a second job par time ,my husband work 35 hours for week.My husband and I claim 0 allowance .But now that I have the second job do I have to claim 0 allowance again .I don’t now .Please help.

    Silva

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Silva,
      It’s up to you. Claiming 0 simply means you are having the maximum tax withheld, which means you can expect a tax refund when filing your taxes. If you want less tax withheld, I suggest claiming 1 or 2 on your second job’s W-4. Although, you can claim 0 on the W-4.

  108. boxing says:

    I just got married. no child. My wife has no job. how many dependents should I put?

  109. mourel says:

    Im a single parent I have 1 child and a stepson wat should I pit on my w4s

  110. Laura Preciado says:

    i have a couple questions, i just started a job and my goal is to get the most taken out of my check now so that when tax season comes around i get a bigger refund, what should i do? i am legally married in mexico(if that makes a difference) and my husband is here on a visa so he doesn’t work hes usually here 6months and gone a couple.

    1. can i just claim my self (1) so i get the most at the end of the year?
    2. can i even claim my husband since hes on a visa while im a usa citizcen?

    3.what should i do so i can get the most taken out of my check and get more at tax season?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Laura,
      To get the most tax taken out and receive the largest refund possible when you go to file your taxes, I would suggest claiming 0 or 1. If you are claiming 0 your tax will be withheld at the maximum rate, meaning your refund will be larger than if you claimed 1.

  111. Emily says:

    My fiancé can claim my son, our daughter, and I on his income taxes.

    Can he claim my son on his W-4 as well?

  112. Mike says:

    I just took a new job and have all the HR paperwork including W4 …

    My wife is leaving her job this month and will not have a job for a few months, she may actually decide not to work again. since she worked this year should i claim 1 on my W4 or should I claim 2 since she may not work the rest of the year / work again

  113. Eddie says:

    I filled out my W2 form for only 1 dependent, when I redid my W2 a few weeks later for 3, they are still taking out the same amount. I was wondering what may have happened?

  114. Crystal says:

    I justarted a new job May 5th of this year. I am married with two children. Nothing is being taken out for Federal because I claimed 8. I would like a refund back at the end of this year. How can I correct this to get the maximum refund possible? And will I even get one because I went 5 months without taxes being taken out?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hello Crystal,

      You are able to change the number of allowances claimed on your W-4 at any time. This will only affect the amount withheld from each paycheck from the time you change it on (not anything before that).

      Also, keep in mind that the more allowances that you claim on your W-4, the less amount that will be withheld from each paycheck. This means that your refund at the end of the tax year will be smaller (or there is a higher chance of owing money). You are claiming 8 on your W-4 which may be why no tax is being withheld from your paychecks.

  115. Josh says:

    I am a 20 year old college student living at home for the summer. I just started an internship where I will be making around $6000 this summer before taxes and when I am back at school I work part time making approx. $1500 total over both semesters. My parents still claim me as a dependent. Upon starting working the internship I filled out a W-4 and claimed 0, but now I am wondering if I should have put down exempt since I am a student and a dependent?

    • Josh says:

      In addition… I work in CT but live in MA for the summer, and go to school in PA and work there during the school year. Should I be putting exempt for the resident forms as well as both non-resident forms, or should I be putting zero for all of these forms, or 1? Very confusing situation.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Josh,

      With any new life event (ie: attending college, marriage, etc.), I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. This will only take a few minutes to complete and will provide you with the most appropriate number of allowances to claim based on your answers to specific questions that they ask. This application will also take into account that you are being claimed as a dependent on your parents’ tax returns.

  116. Aaron says:

    Hi,

    Last yr 2013, I claimed 1 married and found out I owe $600 to the irs. I had a divorces in OCT and I going to change my W-4 for this yr. my ex clammed my daughter for 2013 and I will clam her on my taxes this yr. should I change to 1 single? Would I get more taxes taken out compared to when I had it to 1 married. I was just shocked I owed taxes from 2013. I make about 38,000 a yr.

    Thanks

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Aaron,

      The ideal goal for claiming allowances is to claim just enough to receive a small refund or only owe a small amount at the end of the tax year. I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator to help you to achieve this goal. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will help you with your specific situation. Keep in mind, the more allowances you claim, the more money you will see each paycheck because they aren’t withholding the maximum amount. However, with more allowances comes a smaller refund (or possibly the chance of even owing money).

  117. Kirstina Egbert says:

    My husband and I have been separated for well over a year do I claim single or married still?

  118. Josh says:

    Hi,
    I am a college student living at home for the summer. I just started an internship where I will be making around $6000 this summer before taxes and when I am back at school I work part time making approx. $1500 total over both semesters. My parents still claim me as a dependent. Upon starting working the internship I filled out a W-4 and claimed 0, but now I am wondering if I should have put down exempt since I am a student and a dependent? In addition… I work in CT but live in MA for the summer. Should I be putting exempt for the resident form as well as both non-resident forms, or should I be putting zero or 1?

    Thanks,
    Josh

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Josh,

      For your specific situation, I would suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It is a great reference point for you to see how many allowances (if any) you should claim. After answering several specific questions, it will provide you with your best option as well as an explanation as to why you should claim that amount.

  119. kristen green says:

    ok on my paystub it says +1 next to federal taxes and they are taking extra money outta my check every 2 weeks at first i claimed 1 but then changed it to 0 and its still happening i dont know what this means or what to claim i work full time im 20 and have no kids.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kristen,

      I would contact your employer or someone in the payroll department as soon as possible to ask why they are entering a +1 on your federal taxes.

      Do keep in mind though that by claiming zero allowances, the maximum amount allowable is being withheld from each of your paychecks. However this does mean a higher refund at the end of the financial year.

  120. Mike S says:

    Hi, I will make close to $90k this year, am married and have 2 small kids. My wife does not work. When I fill out the allowances worksheet it comes out to 7. This seems high. Do you know how many I should use? Thanks.

  121. Ana says:

    Hello,

    I am a single mother of two, should I claim 3 on my w2 or 2?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ana,

      In your situation, you can claim 3. The more allowances you claim, the more money you will see in each paycheck. However, your refund at the end of the tax year may be smaller. There is another article on our blog that may help you further understand why.

  122. Tiffany H says:

    Hello!

    I am currently in school but off for the summer and work two jobs, retail part time job and an internship. The complicated factor is I am in another state for my internship and it also asks for exemption for that state as well as my home state. I was advised to put exempt from withholdings on my W-4 for my internship but I don’t think my mother will claim me (I have been independent for a while) so should I still put allowances? Also for my part time job, I did put allowances. I’m just afraid that I will get penalized when I file for taxes.

    Thanks a lot! I greatly appreciate it!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      If you are single and work more than one job, you can claim one allowance at each job or two allowances at one job and zero at the other (assuming that you are getting paid for the internship). Also, if you are earning an income at the internship, you will need to file a nonresident return as well. Here is another article on our blog that will help you understand this rule.

  123. Michelle says:

    Hi!! Quick question!! I just filled out our W-4 to get more money in our checks and I wanted to see if it correct. My husband works full time and I am a stay home mom with 2 kids and one due in November. We file jointly and he is head of household. And we are about to buy our house this year. According to the paper work it says . . . 1 for him, 1 for married, have only one job, and your spouse dose not work, 1 for spouse, 2 for number of dependents, 1 for head of household and 3 for the child tax credit. We came up with 9. I do not want to end up paying taxes. Is that correct? Thank you!!

  124. kasey says:

    hello. I am single and work one job full time (contract). I just recently got a part time job and need to file W4. How do i fill that out? Should i claim 2 for each job. I am single with no kids and live alone in apartment. i already claim myself for full time job so total amount of allowance is 2. Should i do the same for second job since its a part time?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kasey,

      If you are single, claiming two allowances will get you close to your tax liability but may result in tax due when filing your taxes. If you are single and have one job, by claiming one allowance will most likely result in a refund when you file your taxes.

  125. TIna says:

    Hi,
    I ended up paying a lot of tax this yr at yr end. I am a mother of 1 (Child age:2yrs) and file jointly with my husband (making over a lil more than 100K) so totalling both our salaries around 160 k.

    How should fill the number of allowances in order to not end up payin a lumpsone at the end of the yr.

    Thanks,
    Tina

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tina,

      Keep in mind that the higher the amount of allowances you claim, the less money that is withheld from each paycheck, however a smaller refund at the end of the tax year (and possibly a higher chance of owing money). For your specific situation, I suggest referring to the IRS Withholding Calculator. After answering several specific questions, it will provide you with amount of allowances and how you should file that would be the most beneficial to your situation.

  126. Vernon says:

    Just started a new job, married and my wife doesn’t work. How should I fill out my w-4. Currently it says single on my pay stub with zero allowances. thanks

  127. Mark says:

    I am a teacher and in the summer I work at a summer camp for a month where I have to fill out a W4. I am married (we filed jointly last year), we have one kid and another on the way within the next four weeks. My wife does not work at the moment but plans to work after the baby is born assuming she finds a job in her field. What should I claim on my W4 for this summer job?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Mark,

      I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. This only takes a few minutes to complete and asks you several specific questions that will help you claim the most accurate amount of allowances on your W-4 so that you aren’t owing money at the end of the tax year or having too much money withheld from each paycheck.

  128. Teresa says:

    I am single now and just started work , I filed single claiming 2 dependents, I didn’t want alot of taxes taken out of my paycheck but I also do not want to have to pay at the end of year either, Will I be ok??

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Teresa,

      Keep in mind that the more allowances you claim, the less money is withheld from each paycheck and the smaller your refund will be at the end of the tax year (with a higher chance of even owing money). I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. This only takes a few minutes and will calculate the best amount of allowances to withhold based on your situation.

  129. Josh says:

    So the last two w4s that I have filled out. I have put married, claiming 1. Neither job has had any withholdings come out for the state of maine. At the last job I just decided to pay in an extra 25$ a check to both fed and state. I’m just not sure if I am filling it out correctly. We have had to pay in the last two years and to be honest I am kind of tired of it. Can you help. At the first job they said that I didn’t make enough for the state to withhold. Which I though was rather dumb. I was an ed tech. Taxes should come out no matter what. And now at the new job. I make a little more than I did as a tech but no much and on my first check nothing for state. I’m tired of this. I have never has this problem until the last two years and…

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Josh,

      I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim based on your current circumstances in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

  130. Kim says:

    hi i am just starting my first official job and I live with my brother (my parents are living out of the country so i live with him), he has me as a dependent. I am 17 now but will turn 18 in 2 weeks..I am going to be working part time and will be making 8.50/hr and I am filling out the form online. Only 3 questions, I put I am single also. SHould I put down zero for the number of allowancesI am claiming or put down 1 for myself?… I guess will also putting down zero for `additional amount you want withheld`? plz help also should i answer yes or no to “I claim exemption from withholding”

  131. charnae says:

    Hi I wanted to know what to do there not taking out state or federal.or local taxes I don’t know what to put on my w4 for and I have 2 kids and head of house hold single and I don’t wanna end up owing what should I do

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Charnae,

      I suggest contacting your employer if they are not withholding any taxes from your paychecks.

      Also, take a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim based on your current circumstances.

  132. Jimmy says:

    I am married with two children and pay property tax for my house.What do you think I should put in my W4 claim? Currently I claim 4 and my wife is unenmployed.

  133. Melissa says:

    My daughter is 18 and working her very first job since July 7,2014. She still lives at home. What amount does she need to make to have to file a tax return? I believe she will not make enough. If she claims 1 dependent (herself) on her w4 form and she does not make enough to file a return can my husband and I then claim her on our tax return?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Melissa,

      I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give your daughter the most appropriate amount of allowances to claim based on her income and several other factors. According to the information you’ve provided above, it sounds like you will still be supporting your daughter financially for the most part and she will still be living with you. If this is accurate then you would most likely claim her on your return.

  134. Babu says:

    Hi,
    Recently I moved to USA and started working and my wife does not work and we have 1 kid. They will be joining me in a month from home country.

    I mentioned my W-4 like below -
    A). 1
    B). 1
    C). Blank
    D). 1
    G). 2
    H).5 (Total)

    Is that OK? did miss any thing or did I claim more?

    Please advise..

  135. Lue says:

    How can I fill out a w4 a way where I am only paying for taxes and keeping the normal refund in my take home pay?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Lue,

      The general rule for claiming allowances is that the more allowances you claim, the more money you will see each paycheck but the less of a refund you will see at the end of the tax year (and vice versa).

      I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. This will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim based on your current circumstances.

  136. Keishla says:

    I am 24 years old and I will be claiming my fiance( he currently does not work so he wont be filing a w4) and our 5 year old son.
    How many dependents do i claim? is it 3 or 4?

  137. Suvajit says:

    I’m a resident alient and only working member of my family. I’m married and have a kid as well but they still live in the my home country. I have to support them as dependent through remittance. What should I be filling on my W4?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Suvajit,

      I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you an accurate amount of allowances to claim based on your current circumstances.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

  138. Jon says:

    Hi Tax Advisor:

    Need some help please. We are a two income family. We have a full time 20 year old student that we claim. We both claim M-2 but I am concerned. The IRS Withholding Calculator tells me I am fine at M-2 but a friend of mine who is an accountant tells me I am in trouble and will owe at the end of the year because my wife’s work is only taking out her M-2 deductions based on her 48,000 salary, but when combined with my 125,000 salary we are in a higher tax bracket that they are not taking into acount. Is this possible? If so, what do you suggest. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jon,

      When using the IRS Withholding Calculator, some taxes that are withheld along with additional factors (ie: M-2 deductions) may not be taken into consideration. On the main page of the withholding calculator, it says to reference Publication 505 on the IRS website. If you look at section 1, you may get a better estimate based on your circumstances.

  139. estela says:

    I’m starting my first job and don’t know how to fill out my w4 I’m married with 3 kids I’m only gonna be working 3.5 hour at 9 an hour for I guess half a year it’s a school job my husband claims himself and our kids can I put 1 on a even if I’m married nd zero on everything else or 1 on a claim 1 dependent and 2 for the child tax credit making total of 4 or what should I put? Also the ca de4 is hard to fill out

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Estela,

      I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. This will only take a few minutes to complete and will give the you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim based on the information you provide in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  140. Andrei says:

    I just bought a house and my wife is not working and we expecting our first baby in couple of months. My question is what would be a reasonable withhelding for my w-4 to change to?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Andrei,

      Congratulations on the new additions!

      I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim based on the information you provide.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

  141. fcool says:

    I just got married and both my husband and I work full time. We have a 19 year old son who lives with us full time and he works as well.
    What is the best way to file? I don’t want to owe at the end of the year.
    Can we still claim my son? Or will that mess up his tax return.

    Thank you

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Fcool,

      I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      Also, have your son take a look at the IRS Filing Requirements. This will help him figure out how to file based on several factors. He will most likely be claiming 0 or 1 allowance on his W4. However, the IRS Withholding Calculator will be another good reference point for him as well.

  142. Pedro says:

    Hi

    I’ve been unemployed all year, but will begin a new job next month. I am single, with no kids, and a homeowner and I am looking for the best way to pay back the taxes owed on the unemployment and also what I should probably be claiming on my W4.

    Thanks for any insight.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Pedro,

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  143. Mary says:

    I am Married- I have two kids..

    What do i put on my W-4?? I have two jobs!!! one job is $450 bi-weekly and the other is $600. how do i fill out the W-4 for each employer??

    PLEASE HELP!!

  144. Ashleigh says:

    I recently got married and my husband is unemployed but looking for work. We would like to keep more money now and have less of a refund. How many allowances should I claim? Will I have to change it if my husband finds work? Thank you!!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ashleigh,

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible. However, if you prefer to see more money with each paycheck, claiming a higher number of allowances is the way to go. Keep in mind that you will heighten your chances of owing money at the end of the tax year also by claiming more allowances.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  145. Micah says:

    My boyfriend and I are not married, but we have a son. We live together in Texas, but I have been a stay-at-home-mom for the past two years. My boyfriend claims me and our son and files as the Head of Household; however, I start a new job full-time on Monday.

    Since my boyfriend has been claiming HOH, should I claim 0 or 1 on my W4?

    I claimed 0 today at our orientation, but I can change it.

    Also, who typically gets more back from claiming dependents? My boyfriend makes 4 times as much as I do, and right now he claims our son and has our son on his insurance. Is it more typical for me to get more money back than he would if I claimed our son on my taxes? Can he still put our son on his insurance if he doesn’t claim him on taxes?

    Thank you for the help! I don’t know why the w4 always confuses me, haha.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Micah,

      Typically, the partner making a higher income will claim all allowances on their W4. If he is still eligible to claim you, then I suggest you still claim zero allowances.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator as another reference point. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  146. Alex says:

    I Just updated my w-4 today but I’ve been married since February 2014 and had my first child in March 2014. Made the changes to my w-4 as married and claiming 3 allowances. Now what Happens to the money that had been taken from my checks from the previous months? Do I get reimburse at the end of the year? Or is there a way to backtrack pay from previous months via my employer? I know I should have made the changes sooner but totally forgot about it. Please advice.
    -Thanks Alex

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Alex,

      Unfortunately, when you change the amount of allowances you’re claiming, it takes effect from that pay period onward. It does not have an effect on previous pay periods. However, since you were probably claiming less than three allowances prior to the update, you will most likely receive a refund after filing your taxes for this financial year.

  147. Dominique says:

    Hello I am newly married and have to fill out a new w4 form I make 45000 yearly and my husband makes 35000 yearly and we have no kids. I have no clue how I should fill this out because I want to file jointly and I do not want a lot of taxes taken out of my pay check…..Please help

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Dominique,

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  148. Laci says:

    I really need help understanding my W4. I’m a single mom with 1 child, 1 job. My mom keeps saying “file single and 1″ but idk what she even means. I followed my w4 and I end up with like 5 as my number at the bottom and because of that my job isnt holding enough taxes out and i dont want it to affect me at the end of the year. is there anyone that can help me understand how to do this please.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Laci,

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number (such as 5), you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  149. samantha says:

    Ok im in a pickel. my husband had a job and claim no one at work. we filed jointly and then claim our daughter. now i am working with the lower income and i claim my daughter at my work but he dont did we do it wrong will this get us in trouble. how do we file jointly at tax time or are we ok

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Samantha,

      Typically the spouse with the higher income will claim the majority or all of the allowances on their W4. It just ends up being more beneficial. However you should still be alright when it comes to filing your return. Also,you can still file jointly.

  150. Bonnie says:

    Hello, I’m a single mother with one child. I work full time and I put 6 on my w-4. I only make 24,000 a year, so will I owe come tax time?? If I don’t, will I still receive the child tax credit?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Bonnie,

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  151. Robert Horning says:

    I’m married but can i clain as single with no dependents to have more taxes taken out?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Robert,

      You can still get the single withholding rate if you are married. The W-4 has a checkbox labeled “Married, but withhold at higher Single rate.” By making this selection you get the single withholding rate even though you are married. This box is located on the bottom half of the first page of the W4 (option #3).

  152. Dave Lee says:

    I just started a new job recently. I’m married with 1 child but my wife is pregnant and due in 3 months. I would like to receive a refund and not have too much taken out my paycheck. What should I put on my w4? My wife owns a business and will be filing tax at the end of the year. Are we suppose to file jointly or separate? She will likely pay and that’s ok but I would like a refund. Please help! Thanks

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Dave,

      Congratulations on the new addition!

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  153. Tiffany says:

    Hi I’m a single mom I only have one child and I’m a dependent I only work one job. what do I put down on lines A-H and what lines do I put the numbers on I’m very confused

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      Since you are a dependent and someone is claiming you, you would claim zero allowances. If you are claiming your child then you would claim one or two allowances. If someone else is claiming your child, you can stick with claiming zero allowances.

      For your situation, I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  154. Bianca says:

    Dear Tax Advisor, your article was helpful its sooo embarrassing I don’t understand this. This is my second real job. My recent check I worked 30.5 hours making $11 an hour and got paid $252. This is my last week at that temp job but I still want to update my w-4.

    On the personal Allowance worksheet I claimed 1 on line A, On B I claimed 1 because Im single and don’t claim anyone, on C I put 0, D I put 0, E I put 1, F I put 0, G I put 0, and H I put 2.

    On the Employee Withholding Certificate I put 0 on everything and line 7 I put Exempt.

    On the Deductions and Adjustments worksheet page 2 I apparently left that blank. I have my form in front of me that’s what I’m reading from. I just really don’t get what I did wrong. But I need to figure it out lol before I start a job somewhere else.

    If you can assist me Id be so grateful, its the weekend so not sure how soon you will see this..So in conclusion, I’m Single, no kids, in Ohio, no one claims me, I don’t own any real estate, please help because they are taking way to much out of my check.

    Thanks so much, sorry for the long paragraph. I hope I made sense

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Bianca,

      No need to apologize as this can get confusing!

      If I am understanding correctly, you claimed two allowances but also claimed Exempt. However, on the Employee Withholding Allowance Certificate, you would want to put two on line #5 (since that is just a summary of lines A-H). Therefore, you cannot claim Exempt as well. I suggest sticking with the two allowances and updating your W4 as not Exempt.

  155. Dom says:

    I just started working part time. I file jointly with my husband and we have 3 kids. What do I claim on my w4?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Dom,

      Typically, it is more beneficial for the spouse with the higher income to claim the bulk of the allowances on their W4.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  156. Eddie Barber says:

    I’m head of household with 2 dependents and 1 job but when I add everything up, w-4 says I should have 6 allowances…is that right?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Eddie,

      Six would be the maximum amount of allowances to claim. However, as stated on the W4, you can always claim less.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  157. Jason says:

    Hi my name is Jason I just started working my job 8-26-14 would I be able to claim my 2 kids on my w-4 taxes?

  158. Nicole M. says:

    Hi,

    I am a single independent worker (no one can claim me on taxes but me) & I just started a new job the beginning of August. I got my first check & it says “FED (S/2)”. My coworker advises that I change it to 1. I have no children & no husband. The W4 form is so foreign to me & I just wanna make sure I filled it out correctly. On the W4 I put 1 in line A & 1 in line B which resulted in 2 in line H. Did I fill that out correctly? Also, come tax season will I have to file for my last job as well? I worked there from Jan 2014 to April 2014.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nicole,

      I suggest claiming one allowance.

      When following instructions on the W4, you are calculating the maximum amount of allowances you can claim. However, you can always claim less allowances so that more is withheld from each paycheck.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

  159. Andy says:

    Hi,

    My 20 year old son was a part time college student during the spring and summer semesters. He is not attending school during the fall semester. To date his income is zero, but he is currently interviewing for jobs. Assuming he gets a job for the rest of the 2014, how many allowances(if any) should he claim on the W4?

    Thanks!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Andy,

      I suggest that your son claim zero or one allowance.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  160. Clynt says:

    My wife and I both work full time, and we have one 5 year old, probably making around 60-70k a year together.

    How many exemptions should each of us claim?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Clynt,

      Typically it is more beneficial for the spouse with the higher income to claim more allowances. The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  161. Brian says:

    I am recently married and am trying to complete new W-4′s for my wife and I. After completing the Deductions and Adjustments worksheet along with the Multiple Jobs Worksheet, it was suggested that I take 0 allowances and also have a small withholding to cover my tax obligation. My question is this: does this additional withholding found on line 9 of the Multiple Jobs Worksheet represent the total amount to be withheld between my wife and I or just what I should withhold (meaning she would also have the same amount withheld)?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Brian,

      You both will be filling out your own individual W4 and giving it to your pay roll department. Line 9 on your W4 will represent your own withheld amount per paycheck. The same goes for your wife.

  162. john says:

    If you have more than one income in the family and especially if you have real estate income and expenses what I do is claim the maximum 9 dependents. This lets me use more of my money for the year and at the end I pay a little or get back a little. Why does anyone want the IRS use their money during the year?
    When we file at the end we take our standard deductions and reconsile with what we are owed or owe. The IRS wants only what is due them legally after you file . I cant understand why people get so excitedabout getting money back at the end since its their money they are getting back!!

  163. Ed Nunez says:

    I just recently got married in July and my wife is studying and does Not work. Prior to the marriage I was claiming: single and 1.
    income 70K

    Now should I change it to ?

    status: Married
    allowances: 2

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ed,

      I would look into if you are able to claim your wife as a dependent. If you are then I suggest claiming two allowances.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  164. Isa says:

    My boyfriend and i live together with our 2year old daughter we are not married. I recently started working how many allowances should i claim? how should our taxes be done? together? seperately etc? Whos head of household? Who claims our daughter? he makes more than i do and expenses are divided we both contribute to pay our bills and our daughters needs. I do go to school also and receive financial aid how does that affect my taxes and how to file them? Im sorry for the bunch of questions im new to this. Any other things that i need to know please do let me know i dont want to be lost when it comes time to file taxes and i definitely dont want to owe any money.

    thank you

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Isa,

      No need to apologize; taxes get a bit confusing.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      Assuming that you and your boyfriend will be filing separately, I suggest first deciding who will be claiming your daughter. Typically, it is more beneficial for the partner who is earning the higher income to claim the majority of allowances. In your case, I would suggest your boyfriend claim your daughter and himself. You can then claim yourself with one allowance.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

  165. max says:

    Me and my girlfriend live together .we have two kids and and her eighteen year old cousin that goes to college how should i fill out my w4..right now i have single with 2

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Max,

      First, I suggest determining if you will be claiming your girlfriend as a dependent or not. If not and you both are filling out a W4, you will need to determine who will be claiming each dependent. Once you have figured out the maximum amount of allowances you can claim, I suggest keeping in mind that you can always claim fewer to save yourself the possible aggravation of owing money at the end of the tax year.

      The general rule is that the more allowances you claim, the less withholding you’ll have taken out of your paycheck. If you claim zero, you’ll have the maximum amount taken out. If you claim a large number, you’ll have less taken out. The absolute ideal scenario is to have your tax liability (or refund) at the end of the year be as close to zero as possible.

      I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Withholding Calculator. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you the most accurate amount of allowances to claim in order to reach that break-even point at the end of the tax year.

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