What is Form W-4?
Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, is used by your employer to withhold the correct federal income tax from your pay. If too little is withheld, employees will generally owe tax when they file their tax returns and may incur penalties. On the other hand, if too much is withheld, employees normally may be due a refund.
How to fill out Form W-4?
Employees can download and print a PDF copy of Form W-4 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website that they can manually complete. They can also fill out Form W-4 electronically on PDFRun.
To fill out Form W-4, you must provide the following information:
Step 1. Enter Personal Information
Enter your full legal name and address.
Enter your legal first name.
Enter your middle initial.
Enter your legal last name.
Enter your residential address.
City or Town
Enter your city or town.
Enter your state.
Enter your ZIP code.
Social Security Number (SSN)
Enter your social security number (SSN).
Mark the appropriate box which corresponds to how you are filing this application. You may select:
- Single or married filing separately
- Married filing jointly or qualifying widow or widower
- Head of household - You must only check this box if you are unmarried and pay more than half of the costs of keeping up a home for yourself and a qualifying individual.
Step 2. Multiple Jobs or Spouse Works
Complete this section if you either hold more than one job at a time or are married filing jointly and your spouse also works. You must only complete Steps 2 to 4 if it applies to you, otherwise, skip to step 5.
The correct amount of withholding depends on the income you have earned from all of these jobs. You may only do one of the following:
- Use the estimator at www.irs.gov/W4App for the most accurate withholding for this step along with Steps 3 to 4
- Use the Multiple Jobs Worksheet on page 3 and enter the result in Step 4 below for roughly accurate withholding
- If there are only two jobs in total, you may check this box. Do the same on Form W-4 for the other job. This option is accurate for jobs with similar pay; otherwise, more tax than necessary may be withheld.
Step 3. Claim Dependents
Complete this section for only one of the jobs you have identified. You may only complete this section if your total income will be $200,000.00 or less or $400,000.00 or less if you are married and filing jointly.
Multiply the number of qualifying children under the age of 17 by the amount of $2,000.00. Then, enter the total sum in U.S. dollars.
Multiply the number of other dependents by the amount of $500.00. Then, enter the total sum in U.S. dollars.
Add the amounts you have multiplied above and enter the total sum in U.S. dollars.
Step 4. Other Adjustments
Line A. Other Income
Enter the amount of other income in U.S. dollars if you would like your tax to be withheld for other income you expect this year that will not have any withholding. This may include interests, dividends, and retirement income.
Line B. Deductions
Enter the result you have calculated on the Deductions Worksheet on page 3 in U.S. dollars if you expect to claim deductions other than the standard deduction and you would like to reduce your withholding.
Line C. Extra Withholding
Enter any additional tax you would like to pay and have withheld each pay period in U.S. dollars.
Step 5. Sign Here
Under the penalties of perjury, you must declare that this IRS Form W4 is true, correct, and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief.
Affix your signature.
Enter the current date of signing.
Have your employer enter his full legal name.
Have your employer enter his or her residential address.
First Date of Employment
Have your employer enter your first date of employment.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Have your employer enter his or her employer identification number (EIN).
Step 2B. Multiple Jobs Worksheet
Complete this section if you have chosen option “b” on Step 2 on the W-4 Form. This worksheet will be able to calculate the total extra tax for all of the jobs you have identified.
Line 1. Two Jobs
Find the amount from the appropriate table on page 4 if you have two jobs or you are married filing jointly and you ate your spouse each have one job. Then, enter the value you have seen at the intersection of the two household salaries using the “Higher Paying Job” row and “Lower Paying Job” column in U.S. dollars.
Line 2. Three Jobs
Complete lines 2a, 2b, and 2c below if you and your spouse have three jobs at the same time; otherwise, skip to line 3.
Find the amount from the appropriate table on page 4 using the annual wages from the highest paying job in the “Higher Paying Job” row and the annual wages for your next highest paying job in the “Lower Paying Job” column. Then, enter the value you have seen at the intersection of the said row and column in U.S. dollars
Add the annual wages of the two highest paying jobs from line 2a together and use the total as the wages in the “Higher Paying Job” row and use the annual ages for your third job in the “Lower Paying Job” column to find the amount from the appropriate table on page 4. Then, enter the final amount in U.S. dollars.
Add the amounts from lines 2a and 2b and enter the total amount in U.S. dollars.
Enter the number of pay periods per year for the highest paying job in U.S. dollars.
Divide the annual amount on line 1 or line 2c by the number of pay periods on line 3. Then, enter the amount in U.S. dollars.
Step 4b. Deductions Worksheet
Enter an estimate of your 2021 itemized deductions in U.S. dollars.
Enter one of the following amounts depending on your application. You may select:
- $25,100 - Married filing jointly or qualifying widower
- $18,800 - Head of household
- $12,550 - Single or married filing separately
Subtract line 2 from line 2 if line 1 is greater than line 2. Then, enter the amount in U.S. dollars.
Enter an estimate of your student loan interest, deductible contributions, and certain other adjustments.
Add lines 3 and 4. Then, enter the amount in U.S. dollars.