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How to Balance Your Paycheck Tax Withholding in 2018

What to do with my W-4?

Give Your Paycheck A Tax Withholding Taxercise Workout!

Do you know the difference between dependents and allowances? A taxpayer claims one or more dependents on their annual federal and/or state tax return.  A taxpayer adjusts paycheck withholdings by either increasing or decreasing the number of allowances on a W-4 form. Deductions and allowances are not the same. The number of deductions - among other factors - affects the number of allowances you enter on your W-4.  The number of allowances is also determined by the number of income sources, tax deductions, etc. and is entered on a W-4. A W-4 form is only submitted to the employer and not to the IRS.  The employer uses the W-4 as a source for federal and state tax withholdings from your paycheck. (Note: Due to the 2018 Tax Reform, the IRS will release a new W-4 Form for Tax Year 2019. Here is a glimpse of the 2019 W-4 Form draft - please do not use this form in 2018).

The tax refund money you receive with your tax return is your money that you give to the IRS interest free and is a result of too few allowances entered on your W-4. You can have or keep your future refund money now by simply increasing your allowances and your W-4 and by submitting it to your employer(s). You can submit W-4's as often as you wish. 

Before you change the number of allowances on your W-4, please review or shape your personal paycheck Tax Withholding assessment or strategy. 

Do you want a bigger paycheck now by balancing your tax withholding?

Let's See... Did you get a tax refund with your last year's tax return?

Are you sure? So, no tax refund, no tax payments for you, last year?

Which means you gave the IRS and State too much of your money in the form of tax withholding each pay period. Are you cool with giving your money to the government, interest free, only to get it back later as a refund?

It means you did not withhold enough tax from your paycheck each pay period. Do you still want to owe taxes next year?

W-4 Form, Paycheck Withholding Facts

What is a W-4?  A form you use to report how much federal tax you want taken out from your paycheck. You submit the form your employer(s) and not the IRS. More W-4 Details.

Why Do I Need to Complete a W-4 Form?  Based on the number of allowances you enter on your W-4 your employer calculates the amount of tax withholdings per paycheck. If you withhold too many taxes you will receive the money back in the form of a tax refund via your next tax return. 

How Do I Adjust My Form W-4, Paycheck Withholding? Decrease or increase the amount of your allowances. Ask yourself this question, how do you know the effects of changing the number of allowances on your W-4 on your next tax return? and have created a tool that will estimate for you how a change of allowances will impact your next tax return either in a higher or lower refund, higher or lower taxes owed, or neither. If you need to submit a new or changed W-4 to your employer, you can click one of the buttons below.

Integrated Tax Withholding W-4 Form and Tax Return Estimator
Start Taxometer

W-4 Withholding Form
The W-4EZ Form

W-4 Worksheet, Withholding Form
The Original W-4 Form

Where Do I Submit a W-4? Once you completed, signed and printed the W-4 form you submit it to your current employer. You can have different allowances on different W-4 forms for different employers. 

How Often Can I Submit a W-4? There is no limit. Once you have completed and submitted a W-4 between that meets your tax withholding strategy, change it only when life changing or income changing events occur. 

How Many Allowances Should I Claim on My W-4? Use the free Tax Withholding Assessment Tool developed by and The tool is unique since it estimates the effects of allowances not only on your tax withholdings, but also on your next tax return.   

Where Can I Find the State Tax Withholding Forms? Visit our state income tax page to find your state's tax withholding form. Generally, we recommend to enter the same number of allowances your entered on the Federal W-4 on the state tax withholding form(s).

What If I Have More Questions? Contact an Taxpert!