What is Form W-4?

Learn more about IRS form W-4. Includes a quick how-to section, and frequently asked questions.

Updated on July 5th, 2019

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Form W-4 is an IRS tax form that employers use to determine the amount of tax that they will withhold from an employee's paycheck to submit to the government. New employees are usually asked to fill out Form W-4 so that the IRS is aware of where they are working and how much they are being paid.

Employers should always have copies of Form W-4 on hand for their employees since both parties have an obligation to report to the Internal Revenue Service.

How to Fill Out Form W-4:

1. Use the worksheets to calculate your deductions.

You can use the worksheet on page four of the instructions for the W-4 form to determine your withholding tax if you have multiple jobs or live in a household with multiple incomes. The numbers that you calculate can be used on the form.

2. Enter your personal information on lines 1-4.

The first four lines of the form are for your name, address, social security number, and filing status. This information is critical to identify you to the IRS.

3. Specify extra withholding tax on line 6.

If you would like to have extra taxes withheld from your paycheck so that you get a refund or don't have to pay extra at the end of the year, you can specify an amount on line 6.

4. Determine your status on line 7.

If your earnings are below the earning threshold, or you do not owe any taxes, you can write "exempt" on line seven of the form.

5. Sign the form.

Before submitting the form, you must sign it. The form is not valid or legal without your signature.

FAQs:

What's a W 4 tax form?

Form W-4 is an IRS tax form that employers use to determine how much tax to withhold from an employee's paycheck.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

How do you properly fill out a W4?

  1. Use the worksheets to calculate your deductions.
  2. Enter your personal information on lines 1-4.
  3. Specify extra withholding tax on line 6.
  4. Determine your status on line 7.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

What is the difference between a W 2 and W 4?

A W-4 tells the company's payroll department how much tax to withhold from an employee's income. Form W-2 reports yearly earnings and deductions.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

What is the purpose of Form W 4 quizlet?

The worksheets and tables attached to an employee's W-4 Form are used to help determine the amount of tax to be withheld from each paycheck by the employer.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

Is there a new W 4 for 2019?

Yes. The new form has been changed in a number of ways, but the older versions of the W-4 Form are still valid for use.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

What is an exemption as it relates to a Form W 4?

If you had no tax liability for the previous year and you expect to have no tax liability for the current year, you are exempt from income tax being withheld from your income.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

What does an employer do with Form W 4?

An employer must keep an employee's W-4 on record for at least four years.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

How often can an employee change W 4?

There is no limit.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

How often do you need to fill out a W 4 form?

  1. When hired.
  2. When there have been changes to their withholding status or the number of allowances.
  3. When claiming an exemption.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

Do rehires need to fill out a new W 4?

While employers are expected to keep an employee's W-4 on record for four years, it is advisable that a rehire fill in a new W-4 to ensure that the information is up-to-date.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

What happens if you don't fill out a W4?

If you don't fill out a W-4 your employer will have to withhold taxes at the highest rate.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

Can you get paid without filling out a W4?

Yes, Form W-4 is a document that sets how much tax you want to be withheld from your income.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

Who has to fill out a W 4?

New employees are usually asked to fill out Form W-4 so that the IRS is aware of where they are working and how much they are being paid.

Learn How to Fill Out Form W-4.

Can I fill out a W 4 form for my employee?

No, it is illegal.

Where can I find an updated version of Form W-4?

You can access the 2019 W-4 form in a printable version on the IRS website here. You can print this PDF document and fill it out with a pen or pencil.

Is there a special W-4 Form for Illinois employers?

The W-4 is a federal form, so it is the same for all states. However, Illinois does have a State tax form called the IL-W-4 that is used for withholding State taxes.

Does the W-4 change every year?

The form is sometimes updated or modified, but it generally looks the same from one year to the next. Still, you should use the W-4 2019 Form because it is the most up to date. Check out our article on the draft form W-4 recently released by the IRS.