How to fill out W-4 for the first time
If you’re looking for a job in the USA, you’re more than likely will have to fill out this form. It’s created by the IRS to determine the amount of taxes that they’ll need to withhold from you. Filing this form may be quite difficult, especially if you’ve never done this before.
Therefore, we present to you a complete guide that will help you deal with this problem. Unfortunately for some of us, this step is unavoidable. However, remember that you’ll get certain instructions before filling out this document.
What is W-4?
As we’ve already mentioned, this form is made by the IRS. It’s then passed to employers. The latter should give it to employees in order to determine the amount of taxes. In this form, you fill out all the details concerning you. In addition, the information concerning your family members is also required.
After you’ll start working, your employer will withhold a certain amount of money from your paycheck. This amount will be passed to the IRS. You’ll learn how much taxes you’ve paid by looking at your paycheck. Also, keep in mind that you can change W-4 any time you think it’s necessary.
Why filling out W-4 is so important?
First of all, you do this in order to make your tax life nice and easy. Moreover, you make your employer’s life easier as well. If all the taxes are paid on time and as needed, there will be no questions from the IRS. All that is done by following certain instructions given to your employer.
By the end of the year, you’ll get a W-2 showing how much taxes you’ve paid. It’s possible to get some of them back if you overpaid by filling out other documents. If you know how to fill out W-4 correctly, it’ll allow you to live in accordance with your tax liability. Besides, this is something that most employees are required to fill out.
Filling out the form correctly
As you already know, W-4 is needed every time you get a new job. At the same time, you should remember that you’re allowed to make any changes any time you wish. If you feel like you want to do this, take the following steps:
- Visit the IRS website.
- Download a newly updated form (if there is any).
- Fill it out according to the instructions given.
- Send it to your employer or payroll team.
Down below, we present to you how W-4 looks when blank. This is the form made by the IRS for the year 2020. It has some updates in comparison with the previous versions, but we’ll get to them later on.
On the first page, all the basic information should be given. Here, you write down your full name, home address, marital status, and other details. However, other pages should be filled out in certain cases as well. Now, let’s talk about some pitfalls that a new W-4 form has:
- In a new version of W-4, you no longer can choose a number of allowances. This option is now substituted with another system. You should provide certain dollar estimates for the payroll system to use it accordingly.
- Particular rules are applied if you want to have several jobs. Besides, you need to know about some specifics if you’re married or want to file a form together with your spouse. You’ll learn about them, as you read the instructions before filling out your form.
- You can be legally allowed not to pay taxes if you have certain reasons for that. They’re stated in a blank itself, and you can learn more about them before filing a document.
- If you’re unmarried, live alone, and have to pay more than half of your money to have a house, you can file this document as the head of the household.
What you should pay attention to concerning W-4
You have two important points that are worth your special attention:
- By the end of the year, you’ll get your tax bill where you can notice that the amount of taxes is bigger than you’ve expected. If it happens so, try to fill out the form again paying close attention to every detail to owe less next time.
- The same situation can happen the other way around. If you pay more than you need, but your tax bill says the other thing, it’s time to fill the form again. It will help you pay less taxes, meaning you can save more money for yourself instead of waiting for a tax return.
FAQs about W-4
Is it legal if I don’t pay taxes?
It’s called to be exempt, and this is absolutely legal if you have certain reasons for that. However, you need to refill the form every year to prove that you still don’t have to pay taxes. Besides, you still need to pay other forms of taxes.
What form is used to show how much taxes I’ve paid?
This document is called W-2. It’s given to you at the end of every year. It looks the following way when blank.
Why I should fill out the form when any changes happen?
It’s necessary since it influences the amount of taxes you pay. Remember that you should fill the form again if you get married or divorced. Having a newborn baby is another case. Everything matters, and this is why you should file this document every time any changes occur.
How does this form help pay taxes accurately?
If you fill out all the information correctly, this is the best tool to avoid overpaying or underpaying federal income taxes. A lot of factors can change the situation when you’ll have to pay more or less. First of all, it depends on your marital status and how you live in general. Of course, your salary matters a lot as well.
Do I need to fill out the form again if it gets updated?
No, you don’t need to do this. However, if some changes take place in your life, you should do this. You can ask your employer about all the particular details.