W-4 Form: How to Fill It Out in 2022

In 2020, major changes were made to Form W-4, the form every employee has to fill out to determine the sum of taxes that are withheld from each paycheck. The Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) said it revised the phase to increase its transparency and the accuracy of the payroll withholding system .

fortunately, if you have n’t changed jobs and have no argue to redo your Form W-4, you don ’ t have to fill out a modern one. Your employer can continue to use the one that you have on file .

The fresh Form W-4 does not ask employees to indicate personal exemptions or dependence exemptions, which are no longer relevant. It does, however, ask how many dependents you can claim. It besides asks whether you wish to increase or decrease your withholding come based on certain factors like a irregular job or your eligibility for itemize deductions .

The new adaptation of the Form W-4 has been effective since the 2020 tax year .

Key Takeaways

  • Your entries on Form W-4, the Employee’s Withholding Certificate, determine how much tax your employer will deduct from your paycheck.
  • The more accurately you fill it out, the less you will owe (or be owed) when you file your annual income taxes.
  • The new Form W-4 lets you adjust your withholding based on certain personal circumstances, such as a second job.

The Updated Form W-4

The Form W-4 had a complete makeover in 2020 and now has fewer lines to fill out. The way that you fill out Form W-4, the Employee ’ s Withholding Certificate, determines how much tax your employer will withhold from your paycheck. Your employer sends the money that it withholds from your paycheck to the IRS, along with your mention and Social Security phone number .

Your withholding counts toward paying the annual income tax placard that you calculate when you file your tax render for the year. That ’ mho why the Form W-4 asks for identifying data, such as your identify, address, and Social Security count .

What Changed on the W-4 ?

The modern version of the Form W-4 eliminates the choice to claim personal allowances. previously, a W-4 came with a personal Allowances Worksheet to help you figure out how many allowances to claim. The more allowances you claimed, the less an employer would withhold from your paycheck ; the fewer allowances you claimed, the more your employer would withhold .

previously, allowances were broadly tied to personal and dependent exemptions claimed on your tax form. The standard deduction was then doubled as a leave of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( TCJA ), while personal and pendent exemptions were eliminated .

The modern form asks you to record the number of dependents in your family, in step 3 .

It besides asks whether your circumstances warrant a larger or smaller sum of withhold. It allows you to indicate whether you have income from a second job or expect to have deductions that you will itemize in your tax return .

The Five Steps of the Updated W-4 : A summary

The newly W-4 has five steps. lone steps 1 and 5 are required for all workers :

Step 1 : This is the common personal information that identifies you and indicates whether you plan to file your taxes as a single person, a married person, or a head of family .

Step 2 : This separate is for people whose circumstances indicate that they should withhold more or less than the standard measure. A spouse ’ s income, a second job, or freelance income are all factors that can be recorded hera .

Step 3 : This segment is where you indicate the number of your children or other dependents .

Step 4 : This optional section allows you to indicate early reasons to withhold more or less from your paycheck. passive voice income from investments, for example, may increase your annual income and the sum of taxes that you owe. Itemizing deductions may lower the sum of taxes that you owe. These may be reasons to adjust your withholding on the W-4 .

Step 5 : Your touch .

Why You Might Want to Revise Your W-4

When the new W-4 was released for the 2020 tax year, it was the first major vamp of the form since the TCJA was signed into law in December 2017. That law made major changes to withholding for employees .

In fact, the W-4 revamp and the tax changes since the TCJA may be a argue to look again at the W-4 you filed back when you first came to your employer to see if you need to make changes .

You besides have a beneficial argue to revise your W-4 based on your holocene tax returns, if you discovered that you either owed a fortune of money because you underpaid throughout the year or were owed a fortune of money because you overpaid .

It is besides a good theme to update your W-4 anytime you experience a big life change—such as the birth of a child, a marriage or divorce, or a new freelance speculate on the side .

IRS Form W-4 2022

How to Complete the New Form W-4

If you are individual or are married to a spouse who doesn ’ metric ton ferment, you don ’ t have dependents, you lone have one job, and you aren ’ triiodothyronine claiming tax credits or deductions ( other than the standard deduction ), then filling out a W-4 is square. All you have to do is fill in your appoint, address, Social Security act, and filing status, then sign and date the form .

conversely, if you have dependents, a spouse with earnings, or plan to claim any tax credits or deductions, then your tax situation is more building complex and you ’ ll have to provide more data .

here ’ s a bit-by-bit spirit at how to complete the mannequin .

step 1 : Provide Your data

Provide your name, address, filing condition, and Social Security number. Your employer needs your Social Security number so that when it sends the money that it withheld from your paycheck to the IRS, the requital is appropriately enforce toward your annual income tax bill .

After completing this step, unmarried filers with a simple tax situation, as described above, only need to sign and date the form, and they are done .

Everyone else has to take a few more steps .

Say that your tax situation is dim-witted : You have one caper, no spouse, no children, and you don ’ thymine itemize deductions. Just fill out step 1 and sign the form. You ’ re done .

step 2 : Indicate Multiple Jobs or a make spouse

Proceed to step 2 if you have more than one job or your filing condition is married filing jointly and your spouse works. If this applies to you, then you have one of the postdate three options to choose from :

Option A

Use the IRS ’ s on-line Tax Withholding Estimator and include the calculate in footfall 4 ( explained below ) when applicable .

Option B

Fill out the Multiple Jobs Worksheet, which is provided on page 3 of Form W-4, and enter the consequence in step 4 ( vitamin c ), as explained below .

The IRS advises that the worksheet should be completed by only one of a marry match, the one with the higher-paying job, to end up with the most accurate withholding tax .

W-4 Worksheet
W-4 Multiple Jobs Worksheet .
When filling out the Multiple Jobs Worksheet, the first thing you will need to differentiate is whether you have two jobs ( including both you and your spouse ), or three, or more. If you and your spouse each have one subcontract, then you ’ ll complete line 1 on the worksheet. If you have two jobs and your spouse does not work, you will besides complete occupation 1 .

To accurately fill in line 1, you ’ ll need to use the graph provided on page 4 of Form W-4. These graphs are separated out by filing status, so you ’ ll indigence to select the correct graph based on how you file your taxes. The left-hand column lists dollar amounts for the higher-earning spouse, and the exceed row lists dollar amounts for the lower-earning spouse .

For model, let ’ s count at a person who is married filing jointly. Assuming Spouse A makes $ 80,000 per year and Spouse B makes $ 50,000 per year, Spouse A would need to select $ 8,120 ( the intersection of the $ 80,000– $ 99,999 row from the left column and the $ 50,000– $ 59,999 column from the top quarrel ) to fill in line 1 on the Multiple Jobs Worksheet .

2022 Form W-4 Married Filing Jointly Income Tax Table
2022 Form W-4 Married Filing Jointly Income Tax Table .
If you have three or more jobs combined between yourself and your spouse, then you will need to fill out the second part of the Multiple Jobs Worksheet. First, select your highest-paying job and second-highest-paying occupation. Use the graph on page 4 to figure the amount to add to line 2a on foliate 3. This step is the lapp as the model above, except you ’ re using the second-highest-paying caper as the “ lower paying job. ”

following, you ’ ll need to add the wages from your two highest-paying jobs together. Use that figure for the “ higher paying job ” on the graph from page 4, while using the wages from the third gear job as the “ lower paying job. ” Enter the amount from the graph to note 2b on page 3, and add lines 2a and 2b together to complete line 2c .

For example, let ’ s assume Spouse A has two jobs making $ 50,000 and $ 15,000, while Spouse B has one caper making $ 40,000. Spouse A would enter $ 3,520 on course 2a ( the intersection of the $ 50,000– $ 59,999 row from the left-hand column and the $ 40,000– $ 49,999 column from the top row ). Adding $ 50,000 and $ 40,000 in concert for a full of $ 90,000, Spouse A would enter $ 2,820 on line 2c ( the intersection of the $ 80,000– $ 99,999 rowing from the left column and the $ 10,000– $ 19,999 column from the top rowing ). Adding these two amounts in concert results in $ 6,340 for production line 2c .

You ’ ll need to enter the number of pay up periods in a year at the highest-paying problem on cable 3 of the Multiple Jobs Worksheet—for exemplar, 12 for monthly, 26 for semiweekly, or 52 for weekly. Divide the annual sum on line 1 ( for two jobs ) or wrinkle 2c ( for three or more jobs ) by the number of yield periods. Enter this figure on line 4 of the Multiple Jobs Worksheet and telephone line 4c of the Form W-4 .

Option C

Check the box in choice C if there are only two jobs entire for the two of you, and do the same on the W-4 for the early subcontract. Choosing this option makes sense if both earn about the same. otherwise, more tax may be withheld than necessary .

dance step 3 : add Dependents

If you have dependents, fill out dance step 3 to determine your eligibility for the Child Tax Credit and credit for other dependents. Single taxpayers who make less than $ 200,000—or those married charge jointly who make less than $ 400,000—are eligible for the Child Tax Credit .

technically, the IRS definition of a dependant is pretty byzantine ( see IRS Publication 501 for details ), but the short answer is that a dependent is a qualifying child or a passing proportional who lives with you and is supported by you financially .

Multiply the number of qualifying children under age 17 by $ 2,000 and the count of early dependents by $ 500. Add the dollar sum of the two to trace 3 .

The Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments ( which ended with the December 2021 payment ) are not taxable and consequently are not relevant to the data on your W-4 form .

step 4 : Add other Adjustments

In this section, the IRS asks if you want an extra come withheld from your paycheck .

“ Of course not, ” you say. “ You ’ rhenium taking adequate of my money already. ”

But the information that you ’ ve provided in the former sections might result in your employer withholding besides little tax over the course of the year. That could land you with a big tax bill and possibly underpayment penalties and interest in April .

How do you know if this might happen ? One probably cause is if you receive significant income reported on form 1099, which is used for interest, dividends, or self-employment income on which you have not yet paid taxes. Or, you may be hush working but receiving pension benefits from a previous occupation or Social Security retirement benefits .

step 4 of a W-4 allows you to have extra amounts withheld by filling out one or more of the play along three sections :


If you expect to earn “ non-job ” income not capable to withholding, such as income from dividends or retirement accounts, enter the total in this section .


Fill out this section if you expect to itemize your deductions and want to reduce your withholding tax. To estimate your deductions, use the Deductions Worksheet provided on page 3 of the W-4 form .

2022 Form W-4 Deductions Worksheet

This part allows you to have any extra tax that you want withheld from your give each pay period—including any amounts from the Multiple Jobs Worksheet, as described above, if this applies to you .

step 5 : sign and Date Form W-4

The class international relations and security network ’ t valid until you sign it .

Remember, you entirely have to fill out the modern Form W-4 if you either start a fresh occupation or want to make changes to the come withheld from your pay .

You can change your withholding at any time by submitting a new Form W-4 to your employer.

limited Considerations When Filing Form W-4

If you start a job in the in-between of the year and were not employed earlier that class, here ’ s a tax wrinkle that can save you money : If you will be employed no more than 245 days for the class, request in writing that your employer use the part-year method to compute your withholding .

The standard withholding convention assumes full-year use, therefore without using the part-year method acting, you ’ ll have besides a lot withhold and will have to wait until tax time to get the money back .

What Is Form W-4 Used For?

Form W-4 is an Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) human body that you complete to let your employer know how much money to withhold from your paycheck for union taxes .

Who Has to Fill Out a Form W-4?

Every employee is asked to fill out a W-4 form, normally on the first day of the job. failure to do so could result in you paying excessively much or excessively small tax .

Do W-4 Forms Need to Be Filled Out Every Year?

No. The form generally alone requires refiling if the employee switches jobs or has experienced a switch in circumstances that warrants modifying how much money is withheld from their paycheck for taxes .

The Bottom Line

It ’ second authoritative to fill out a Form W-4 correctly because the IRS requires people to pay taxes on their income gradually throughout the year .

If you have besides little tax withhold, then you could owe a surprisingly bombastic summarize to the IRS in April, plus matter to and penalties for underpaying your taxes during the year .

however, if you have besides much tax withhold, then your monthly budget will be tighter than it needs to be. besides, you ’ ll be giving the government an interest-free loanword when you could be saving or investing that money. You won ’ thyroxine get your overpay taxes back until the postdate year when you file your tax return and get a refund .

At that point, the money may feel like a windfall, and you might use it less wisely than you would have if it had come in gradually with each paycheck .

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