How should I fill out my w4 form?

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jubilee808
jubilee808 Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

I'm not sure how to fill out my w4 form if I'm filing single with 2 dependents under 17. I dont want to end up owing any taxes again. Please help!

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  • KristineS
    KristineS FreeTaxUSA Agent Posts: 109
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    Hi jubilee808,

    Thanks for writing in. Many people have the same question.

    We have some related articles on this topic here, here, and here.

    Although we can't provide specific advice on how to fill out your Form W-4, here are some tips and suggestions to help guide you in the process.

    You have a couple options to lower your tax bill, including increasing the withholding tax coming out of your paychecks, or making voluntary estimated tax payments, which are due four times a year. The second quarter estimated tax payment is coming due June 15th. Anyone can make an estimated tax payment.

    Let's say for example, your tax bill to the IRS was an additional $1500 on your 2023 tax return. If your income, filing status, and other information on your tax return will be about the same in 2024, overall you'll need to have an additional $125/month (1500/12 = 125) withheld from paychecks to avoid this size tax bill next year. However, half of 2024 is gone, meaning for the next six months, you'd need an additional $250/month in withholding tax to come out of your paychecks (250 x 6 = 1500). Remember, this is in addition to the tax currently being withheld so you'll have less income each month to meet your household expenses.

    Your Form W-4 includes the option to let you increase withholding tax by a flat dollar amount. That's in Step 4, line c. You can choose the amount, plus you can update your W-4 at any time to make adjustments.

    Another way to avoid or lower a tax bill is by making voluntary estimated tax payments once a quarter to the IRS instead of updating your W-4. These payments are due April 15th, June 15th, September 15th and January 15th of the following year. You can use this IRS site to make a payment at any time.

    Using our previous example of a $1500 tax bill, if your income is steady throughout the year, you'd make a voluntary payment of $375 once a quarter (375 x 4 = 1500). Again, however, because the first quarter payment has already passed, you'd make a $500 payment for each of the remaining three quarters on June 15th, September 15th and January 15th of next year (500 x 3 = 1500).

    Not sure how much you might owe for 2024?

    You can use the IRS withholding estimator tool to estimate your tax bill, or refund, through the rest of 2024. You'll need information off your 2023 tax return, as well as your most recent paystub(s) when you start. Using this IRS tool will allow you to take into account your children and the credits related to claiming dependents.

    I hope these suggestions are helpful. Thanks again for writing in with your question.