IRS Form W-4 Questions and Answers

It’s your first day on the job, you sit down and complete your W-4 as part of the hiring process and then most of us never think about it again until income tax time or a life event occurs (marriage, having a baby, etc.)

During these life events many questions will surface.  In addition, now that the new 2017 IRS Form W-4 is available, we thought it would be appropriate to provide some answers to questions we commonly see raised when completing this.

Can I change my W-4 after starting a new job?

Yes, you can.  Unlike your insurance and other benefit open enrollment items, you can change your withholding as much as you would like.

How many W-4 allowances should I claim?

This depends on a variety of factors that are based on your unique situation.  We recommend reading the instructions on the form and seeking consultation from a licensed tax professional to determine what is best for you.  No one likes a surprise income tax bill at year-end, so spending time up front to model this is time well spent. 

What happens if I claim fewer allowances?

If you claim fewer allowances, more federal income tax will be withheld from your paycheck.

What happens if I claim more allowances?

If you claim more allowances, less federal income tax will be withheld from your paycheck.

Can my employer tell me how to fill out my W-4?

No one understands your financial situation better than you.  Therefore, we suggest you meet with a licensed professional to ensure you are filling this out appropriately.  Never rely on your employer for this.

Do I have to fill out a new W-4 each year?

No – this is not an annual requirement.  You only need to fill out a new W-4 if you change jobs or your withholding status.

How do I fill out my W-4? – K-Pay Can Help!

BerganKDV’s Workforce Management software saves employees time and prevents simple errors from occurring by pre-populating forms such as the W-4 and I-9 (See image below).   This function can be performed for new hires through the paperless onboarding process as well as existing employees that wish to change their withholding from their self-service portal.

Once the form is electronically signed off by the employee, this action request proceeds through the system via a workflow and will automatically update the employees tax status in payroll upon admin approval.  This eliminates multiple emails and the need to print out paper for documentation and store in the personnel file as K-Pay keeps this history and all audit trail info in the application.

Automating compliance forms is just one of the many ways K-Pay will produce an ROI for your company.  Check out the 2 minute video below to learn more about K-Pay and why over 200 employers signed up for BerganKDV payroll services in the past 12 months!


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CATEGORIES: Human Capital Management

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