Get Help Filling Out a W-4 Form and Get the Refund You Want
Filling out a W-4 form? If you’ve had to fill out a new one anytime since 2020, you’ve seen how confusing and complicated it’s become. And filling it out a W-4 correctly is crucial to whether you get a big refund or a big tax bill. But there is hope! And there is help. From the IRS, of all places!
What is a W-4?
The W-4 form is the form you give your employer to tell them how much money to withhold from your wages or salary to pay your federal income tax at the end of the year. The IRS wants you to pay as you go, too. Skipping having anything withheld from your paycheck and waiting until you file your taxes to pay isn’t a good option. Because the IRS penalizes you (i.e., charges you extra) if you don’t have most of your tax bill already paid.
Why Do You Need Help Filling One Out?
Congress changed a number of tax laws in 2017. Those changes included doing away with personal exemptions (including kids’), increasing the standard deduction, and making more taxpayers eligible for the Child Tax Credit. The changes shocked a lot of taxpayers the first time they filed after the new tax laws took effect. That’s because a lot of people who’d always gotten a tax refund suddenly had to pay.
So, in 2020, the IRS devised a new W-4 to help taxpayers avoid wallet shock come April. But the new form – now a whopping four pages – proved more confusing than helpful for many workers.
So Where Do I Get Help?
The IRS website has a special calculator to help you figure out exactly what you want to withhold from your paycheck. You get to decide if you want a big refund, or maybe come out owing close to zero. The Tax Withholding Calculator [https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-withholding-estimator] leads you through a series of questions. The questions include whether your and/or your spouse has more than one job, what tax credits you might expect, IRA contributions, and more. The answers you give will tell you how much of a refund (or tax bill) you can expect with your current withholding. If you want to change the amount you want back or will owe at the end of the year, the calculator will tell you how. And by how much.
Filling Out a W-4 Form Isn’t Just for a New Job
You’re not stuck with the W-4 you turned in when you started your job. In fact, changes in your life make it a good idea to fill out a new W-4. Things like a new marriage (or divorce), a new baby, a new side gig, etc., can have a big impact on your tax bill. And fortunately, the law lets you submit a new W-4 to your employer anytime.
You can download a PDF of the latest W-4 form to print and fill out.
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