What Is the W4 Form and How Do You Fill It Out? Simple Guide

how to fill out a w4 for dummies

We want to help you make personal finance decisions with confidence by providing you with free interactive tools, helpful data points, and by publishing original and objective content. The final step – Step 5 – will require you to sign and date the form. Your employer will complete the employer information required at the bottom of the form. On Line 4, you’ll divide the amount on Line  1 ($9,320) by Line 3 (26 pay periods).


These are the standard deduction amounts for 2020 taxes (which you’ll file in 2021). This article was fact-checked by our editors and Christina Taylor, MBA, senior manager of tax operations for Credit Karma. Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That’s why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Do I need to update my W-4 every year?

They’ll help make sense of your personal tax situation and guide you toward getting your W-4 right on the money (literally) so you can keep the most cash in your paycheck on payday. Every employee is asked to fill out a W-4, usually on the first day of the job. Failure to do so could result in you paying too much or too Navigating Financial Growth: Leveraging Bookkeeping and Accounting Services for Startups little taxes. You’ll need to enter the number of pay periods in a year at the highest-paying job on line 3 of the Multiple Jobs Worksheet—for example, 12 for monthly, 26 for biweekly, or 52 for weekly. Divide the annual amount on line 1 (for two jobs) or line 2c (for three or more jobs) by the number of pay periods.

Other important information about the W-4 form

The official title of Form W-4 is Employee’s Withholding Certificate. When you complete the W-4 correctly, it informs your employer of how much money to withhold from your paycheck for federal income taxes. Because of this, you need to fill out a new copy of the form anytime you start a new job. As noted earlier, you should also fill out a new W-4 if you get married or divorced, have a child, start a side hustle or paid too little or too much in taxes. The IRS actually recommends filling out a new W-4 each calendar year to ensure that you’re paying the right amount in taxes.

how to fill out a w4 for dummies

Taxes are incredibly complex, so we may not have been able to answer your question in the article. Get $30 off a tax consultation with a licensed CPA or EA, and we’ll be sure to provide you with https://thecoloradodigest.com/navigating-financial-growth-leveraging-bookkeeping-and-accounting-services-for-startups/ a robust, bespoke answer to whatever tax problems you may have. In this article, you will learn about the 2024 W-4 for dummies and unlock the power to take control of your financial destiny.

Enter your personal information

how to fill out a w4 for dummies

Step 2: Complete if you have multiple jobs or two earners in your household

  • If you had to pay a large tax bill or got a big refund this year, that might be a sign to review your W-4.
  • Keep your W-4 up to date with all those sweet credits and deductions and bring that bacon home on payday.
  • The way that you fill out Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, determines how much tax your employer will withhold from your paycheck.
  • This form summarizes your earnings—how much money you made—and how much you paid in taxes throughout the year.

How many allowances can be claimed on a W-4 form?

how to fill out a w4 for dummies

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