W-4 FORM – Understanding and Filling out your W4 form

In order to receive payments from a company you work for, they will require you to fill out a tax form known as a W-4.
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This allows the company to submit the proper tax information, to the government, showing that you are employed with them so the proper tax schedule can be assessed, and the right amount in taxes, are withheld.

The form must be filled out correctly in order for the right amount in taxes, is withheld. If it isn’t filled out correctly, you could have more or less in your paycheck, than you thought and intended.

The company may be notified that the form needs to be revised, and resubmitted, if there is an obvious mistake that needs to be corrected in order to process it. When an employee is earning a salary, or wage, it is up to the employer to deduct, and to withhold a portion of the employee’s salary, or income for tax purposes.

This portion is then sent to the IRS ahead of the yearly, tax date deadline, which is typically, April 15. Companies are also required to keep a signed W-4 form in a file, for each employee. This form lets the company know how much income should be withheld from each employee, by the employer.w4 form

You can go to the government site at www.irs.gov to pull-up, and download the W-4 form. Once you have downloaded it, you’ll be able to type your answers into the correct spaces, for each question. The first questions, on the first page; you will answer questions regarding your personal information, such as name, address, and social security number. These questions are followed by the Allowances Worksheet. After the Allowances Worksheet, you will find the actual W-4 form that will be given to your employer. So what are allowances? Allowances are claiming dependants you are legally responsible for. The more dependants you claim, including yourself as head of household, your spouse and your children, the less taxes will be withheld from your paycheck. With each dependant, the more the money you will see coming back to you, and the less that will be withheld. These are typically the allowances most people will file for. Now that you have your withholdings in place, you may want to check them to make sure you have the number and withholdings correct. To calculate: Simply plug in your numbers. You can follow the instructions available online for calculating the allowances from the withholdings you’ve listed. Things you will need to check the withholdings are:

  • Recent paystub, or paperwork from work with withholding data.
  • A payroll Calculator – you can use this online payroll calculator:


When you have that figure, multiply it by the remaining pay periods that are left for the year, then add-in how much federal income tax is going to be withheld by using the withholding allowances you just calculated. Once you have done that, you will want to multiply the number by how many pay periods remain for the year. Then add how much federal tax was withheld for the year, which you will do by looking at the year-to-date, section. You will want to double-check everything you have done so far, at this point, making sure all your numbers are correct and represent the right sections. Be sure, too, that you enter the withholdings into the correct box on the W-4 form. Then, cross-reference and check everything that you have done thus far. Make sure you have the correct number chosen, and get the amount you want and expect with your exemptions. You will be able to figure out if your withholdings will be more or less, than your tax liability. At this point, you can adjust your withholdings either up or down to make sure your refund or the balance you will owe, is correct and acceptable. When filling out your W-4, it is about figuring out what you get paid as compared to what your taxes will be. It’s about figuring out what amount, if any, should be coming back to you. You can get an idea, ahead of time, of what to expect at tax time. It just requires plugging in the right numbers, into the right sequence. If you don’t, it can totally mess your tax figures up, and you won’t know what you are getting back, if anything.