Form W-4 and Form W-4 Instructions

Form W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate is the IRS tax form used by your employer to withhold the correct amount of federal income tax from your paycheck. Employees generally complete Form W-4 before receiving their first paycheck. Form W-4 can be resubmitted to your employer to increase or reduce withholding allowances as necessary to better match your federal tax withholding with your year end tax return. If you receive a large income tax refund from the IRS, for example, you may wish to reduce the federal tax withholding amount so that less money is taken out of your paycheck each week.

Form W-4

Form W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate

Exemption From Withholding

Line 7 on Form W-4 is for those who meet the exemption conditions in which no federal tax should be withheld. In the past this was confusing, however, the IRS has made Line 7 much clearer now. Both of the following conditions must be met for you to claim exemption (no federal taxes withheld from your paycheck).

  • Last year I had a right to a refund of all federal income tax withheld because I had no tax liability, and
  • This year I expect a refund of all federal income tax withheld because I expect to have not tax liability.

To decide if you meet the conditions to be exempt from federal tax withholding, you can review last years income tax return and your W-2 statement from last years tax return. Those exempt from withholding need only complete lines 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 and sign the form. Exempt employees do not need to complete the Personal Allowances Worksheet.

Personal Allowances Worksheet

All those who are not exempt must complete the Personal Allowances Worksheet. The Personal Allowances Worksheet and the instructions are included with the printable Form W-4 below. Remember that a withholding allowance is not the same thing as the number of dependents you claim on your tax return. It is a separate calculation that is done only on Form W-4. The purpose of the Personal Allowances Worksheet is to better match your expected income with the amount of federal tax to be withheld.

Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet and the Two-Earners/Multiple Jobs Worksheet along with Table 1 and Table 2 are also part of the printable Form W-4 below.

Form W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate

  • Form W-4
  • Form W-4 Instructions (on the form)

More printable income tax forms can be found on our site.

Filed Under: income tax