Hi everyone, I was hoping someone could help me figure how to claim “0” under the new W4 form. I understand you can’t literally claim 0 like the old form, but I am hoping to have the maximum amount taken out (I would rather a larger refund)
I was told that even though I’m married filing jointly – I could check “single / married filing separately” and leave the rest of the form blank in order to get the largest refund? But I also read claiming “single” will give the equivalent of 2 exceptions on the old form – in which case I would likely owe money next year
I make about 160,000 and wife makes about 80,000. No children currently.
I was hoping someone could guide me on the right way to do this. I’m confusing myself the more and more I read. Thanks for considering!
> I am hoping to have the maximum amount taken out
Okay, this statement suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of tax refunds.
A tax refund is not magical money.
It is overpayment of taxation.
Your taxable obligation is a static number. You figure out exactly what that number is when you do your tax return.
Withholdings on your paychecks are just estimated prepayments towards your taxable obligation.
* If your withholdings > taxable obligation, then you have a refund.
* If your withholdings < taxable obligation, then you owe the IRS.
A refund is essentially an interest-free loan to the government.
You are not net richer or poorer.
You can put nearly your entire paycheck towards withholdings. Then when you file your tax return, you’d get everything back. Remember, no interest paid out.
Your goal should actually be to get your tax return to be as close to $0 as possible. This is to minimize the tax-free loan to the government and keep the money in your hands earlier.
For the largest possible amount taken out, put “999,999” on line 4(c). This will result in all of your pay being sent to the IRS as tax payments.
To mimic Married/0 from the old form, enter Married Filing Jointly with $12,900 on Line 4(a).
To have the correct amount of tax withheld, **read and follow the instructions**.
If you use the IRS calculator it will tell you exactly how to enter data on the W4, and the calculator will let you adjust the data. By default it will generate the form to have no refund and nothing owed. This is what you want. https://www.irs.gov /individuals/tax-withholding-estimator
For the largest possible refund, put your whole paycheck on the “extra withholding” line. Then you’ll take home nothing and get your entire salary as a refund.
The new form sucks. I set mine to deduct/exempt my whole salary, as if nothing would be withheld, and then I put exactly what I want wittheld in the ‘extra’ area.
You may find our [Taxes wiki](/r/personalfinance/wiki/taxes) helpful.
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