How to Adjust Your W4 IRS Paycheck Tax Withholding 

adjust your paycheck withholding

At, we cover anything you want to know about federal paycheck withholding and W-4 forms on these pages:

  1. Form W-4: What's that?
  2. Why you need a W-4 form to adjust your tax withholding
  3. How to adjust your paycheck tax withholding (this page)
  4. Free W-4 Tax Withholding Assessment Tool

Tired of waiting for your tax refund to arrive? Read on to learn how to adjust your paycheck withholding with Form W-4.

How to Adjust Your Paycheck Withholding

You can adjust your paycheck withholding in two easy steps:

Use our free W-4 Tax Withholding Assessment Tool below to find out what your paycheck withholding allowances should be:

Start FREE W4 Tax Withholding Assessment Tool!

Use the results to fill out a new Form W-4 with the right number of allowances, then give it to your employer.

What is the W-4 Tax Withholding Assessment Tool?

The W-4 Tax Withholding Assessment Tool will help you determine whether you want to get a big refund, owe taxes, or be balanced on your taxes when you file your federal tax return by Tax Day.

If your employer withholds taxes from your paycheck, you want to make sure they are withholding the right amount. You can use our Tax Withholding Assessment Tool to find out whether or not you need to adjust your paycheck tax withholding. Then, use the results to complete a new Form W-4 and submit it to your employer, who will adjust your paycheck withholding accordingly.

How to Use the Tax Withholding Assessment Tool

Follow these steps to our our free W-4 tax tool: 

1. Before you start the calculator, you may want to have these items ready:

  • Your last few pay stubs
  • Your most recent tax return
  • An estimate of child care expenses
  • An estimate of mortgage expenses

2. Be sure to fill an as much information as possible. The more accurate the information entered, the more accurate the results will be.

3. If you do not have exact figures, go ahead and estimate, but remember that the results are only as accurate as the information entered.

4. You may want to take a screenshot or print the summary screen for your tax records.

Most people pay their income taxes through paycheck withholding. If you have taxes withheld from your pay, then a percentage of every paycheck is sent by your employer to the IRS to be credited against your tax bill for the year. If you end up with a tax refund, it might be because you had too much tax withheld. A tax bill means you had too little tax withheld.

Start the Free Tax Withholding Assessment Tool Now!

Why You Should Adjust Your Paycheck Withholding

A tax refund is a good thing when the money comes from tax credits and tax deductions, but not as good when it comes from having too much tax withheld from your pay (unless you want to make an interest-free loan to the government).

  • If you have too little tax withheld from your pay, you could end up owing taxes when you file your return.
  • If you have too much tax withheld from pay, you will have to wait for your tax refund to get your hands on money that is already yours.

Review other reasons why to update your paycheck withholding with Form W-4.

To make sure you have the right amount of tax withheld from your paycheck, you can update your allowances (withholdings). Allowances help you determine your tax refund or taxes owed on your tax return. In addition, it can help you determine whether or not you qualify for tax credits or deductions.

When to Adjust Your Paycheck Withholding

There are certain times when it is a good idea to use a withholding calculator to see if you need to adjust your federal tax withholding. Major life events can affect the number of allowances you decide to claim on your W-4. Some examples:

  • New job
  • Pay raise
  • Marriage (or divorce)
  • Birth of a child
  • Home purchase
  • Major financial gain
  • If you have never used a withholding calculator

Whatever your life situation, offers a safe, easy way to prepare and efile your taxes.