Where is My Refund?   |   October 15 Deadline   |   Why eFile?

2021 Paycheck Tax Withholding Calculator Instructions

Paycheck Tax Withholding

At the end of the PAYucator, you will see detailed instructions on how to change the W-4 or increase or decrease your Tax Withholding per paycheck.

Each calculator section will indicate if and how it corresponds to the W-4 form. Open the W-4 and follow these simple steps with the PAYucator. Keep in mind that the W-4 form is a planning tool; a tax return is not. Thus you can use the W-4 to adjust your IRS Tax Withholding (e.g. use dependents even if you don't have any).

Paycheck Withholding Help

The PAYucator tool will provide you with your actual paycheck Federal or IRS Tax Withholding amount per selected pay period during Tax Year 2021. The new 2021 W-4 Tax Withholding Form no longer lets you enter Allowances. As of January 1, 2021, you determine your 2021 IRS paycheck tax withholding by tax return filing status, pay period paycheck income, and, most importantly, by the estimated number of dependents and estimated tax return based deductions, extra tax withholding, etc.

Many taxpayers are at a loss as to how to complete the new W-4. Completing a W-4 or planning for paycheck Tax Withholding should also include estimating your 2021 Tax Return. At eFile.com, we get IT! That is why we have created three unique tools to help you create a W-4. The free eFile W-4 generator tools help you fill out a W-4 without having to know what each line item on the form is. Simply answer questions regarding your tax situation and the tool will generate a W-4 based on your entries. Let us do the hard work for you! For more information regarding W-4s and paychecks, read more below.


First, make yourself familiar with your pay period paycheck. Here is what a sample paycheck looks like. The W-4 form is nothing but a planning tool that helps you achieve the per pay period IRS Tax Withholding amount. The W-4 is not as legally binding as a tax return, thus use it as a planning tool.

Since the W-4 Form does not give you the actual IRS Tax Withholding amount, the PAYucator does based on what you enter on the W-4 form. It not only will provide you the estimated IRS tax withholding amount, it assists you in completing your W-4 as well by changing the entered values (e.g. Dependents, Deductions, etc.).

In essence, Step 3 - Dependents - and Step 4 line item 4(b) - Deductions - of the new W-4 have become the new Allowances as you might know them from older W-4 Forms. For example, if you estimate and increase the Dependents and/or Deductions on the W-4, you will decrease your tax withholding amount on your next paycheck.

Keep in mind that a tax refund with your 2021 Tax Return in 2022 is nothing more than getting your hard earned tax withholding money back again after you handed it interest free to the IRS or State Agency throughout the year due to overestimated Tax Withholding amounts. Let the eFile.com Taxometer help you define your 2021 tax return goals and tax withholding amounts as a basis to complete the new 2021 W-4 Form.

Important: While you use the PAYucator, have a copy of your paycheck
and the new W-4 Form open.

Start the PAYucator Now

Taxercise your Paycheck and 2021 Tax Refund Now

After you have completed your PAYucator calculation, continue your 2021 tax planning with the 2021 Tax Return Estimator. The 2021 Tax Return results will enable you to further adjust your W-4 or Tax Withholding so you can meet your personal Tax Return goals for 2021.

We at eFile.com realize this might be a challenging task for some taxpayers. If you need further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us now so one of our Taxperts can guide you though this tax withholding maze.