Major life milestones often lead to adjustments in your tax responsibilities, and marriage is a prime example of such an event. A critical yet frequently ignored task following your wedding is to revise your Form W-4 with your employer. This step is essential to ensure that your tax information is current and accurate.
Should I fill out a new W-4 form when married or not?
Absolutely! The W-4 form is crucial as it guides your employer on the amount of tax to withhold from your salary. If you don’t update your marital status on the form and it still shows “single,” your employer might withhold more taxes than necessary. By updating your Form W-4 to reflect your married status, you and your spouse can have the appropriate amount of taxes withheld. This adjustment could lead to more take-home pay throughout the year, optimizing your financial situation.
How to fill out W4 if married and both work
After getting married, you need to remember a few things about your W-4 form and taxes. Let’s break it down in a simple way.
1. Update Your Personal Info: If you changed your name after marriage, use the name that’s registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA) for tax filing. Changed your address? Let the IRS know using Form 8822.
2. Decide How to File Taxes: Think about whether you’ll file taxes together with your spouse or separately. If you’re not sure, there’s information available to help you decide.
3. Jobs and Income: If both you and your spouse are working, make sure to mention this on your W-4. This helps in adjusting the tax taken from your salary, possibly leading to better paychecks during the year. There are different boxes and steps to fill in the W-4 form based on your job situation.
4. Kids and Dependents: If you have children and earn less than $400,000 together (or $200,000 if filing separately), you might get the Child Tax Credit, which can give you up to $2,000 per child. Only one of you can claim this on the W-4 form. Remember, your spouse can’t be counted as a dependent.
5. Adjust Your Tax Withholding: If you want, you can choose to have extra tax taken out of your salary. This can be done in step 4(c) of the W-4 form. The Multiple Jobs Worksheet can also guide you on how much extra to withhold.
If filling out the W-4 seems confusing, don’t worry. There are tools like the Refund Booster and W-4 calculator that can help you fill it out to suit your needs, whether you want a bigger tax refund or more money in your regular paychecks.