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Stephen G.
Stephen G., Sr Income Tax Expert
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 6246
Experience:  Extensive Experience with Tax, Financial & Estate Issues
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Hi I recently got married in CA and Im trying to figure out

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Hi I recently got married in CA and I'm trying to figure out how to properly fill out my w-4 form.

I make 90k/year and my wife makes 65k/year. We plan to file married jointly. I would prefer not to have a large tax refund as I don't want to give the government a big interest free loan but I also don't want to have to make a huge payment in April, whats the best strategy for filling out our w-4 and the # XXXXX allowances we should each have?

Stephen E. Grizey :

Hi & thanks for using our service. I'll do my best to give you a complete & accurate answer. Please ask me to clarify anything you don't understand.

Stephen E. Grizey :

It is difficult to fine tune anything without knowing a lot more about your tax situation, withholding so far this year, deductions, etc.

Stephen E. Grizey :

So, the best way to handle this, particularly in the year that you marry is to each note that you are married and claim 1 exemption.

Customer:

my current w-4 prior to getting married was 1 allowance no additional witholding

Customer:

only deduction was charitable donations, no mortgage or other loans

Stephen E. Grizey :

Beyond that, there is a worksheet that is provided with the 1040ES form that would allow you to estimate your income tax for the year and then you could determine where you stand withholding wise by looking at your latest pay stubs which should have year to date figures; or you can always check with your payroll departments to determine your withholding so far this year.

Stephen E. Grizey :

It gets a little complicated because you withholding so far was based upon your filing status as "single", yet all that income will go into a joint return.

Stephen E. Grizey :

You wouldn't want to claim an exemption for your wife if she is claiming herself.

Stephen E. Grizey :

What would you base the "additional withholding" on?

Customer:

I was basing the additional withholding from the worksheet for two earners/multiple jobs

Stephen E. Grizey :

Ok, then you have already done some computations.

Customer:

so should i not do additional withholding then?

Stephen E. Grizey :

did you consider your y-t-d witholding before marriage?

Customer:

no i did not

Stephen E. Grizey :

that withholding would be higher than you will wind up paying on that income

Customer:

what do you mean?

Stephen E. Grizey :

There's nothing wrong with additional withholding if you've done the computations, but realize the extra exemption goes the other way.

Stephen E. Grizey :

the income you earned before you change your withholding status was subject to withholding at the single rate.

Stephen E. Grizey :

when you file your returns, all of your income for 2012 will be taxed on a joint return

Customer:

oh ok

Customer:

so theres no point for additional withholding then

Stephen E. Grizey :

In theory you should be overwithheld so far this year

Customer:

yes, and i want to limit that i'd rather have more of my money in my pocket than giving the government a interest free loan

Stephen E. Grizey :

I can't tell if you should have additional withholding or not without all the figures

Customer:

oh ok

Stephen E. Grizey :

that

Stephen E. Grizey :

that's fine, as long as you realize you could wind up owing at the end; if you've done the computations & that indicates you need additional withholding, I'd go with that;

Customer:

ok

Customer:

so ill keep the calculated additional withholding and go with only 1 allowance (self) on each w-4

Stephen E. Grizey :

That's what I'd do.

Stephen E. Grizey :

Please remember to rate my response in order that I can get credit for my work.

Stephen E. Grizey :

thanks for using JustAnswer.com

Customer:

Ok thanks

Stephen E. Grizey :

PS congratulations on your marriage!

Customer:

thank you

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