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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4006
Experience:  Juris Doctorate, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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Can your employer change your tax withholdings without your

Resolved Question:

Can your employer change your tax withholdings without your knowledge or consent?
I am having no federal taxes being withheld and made no changes on my W-4.
If this is an error, how do I rectify this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.

Customer:

NO they may not.

Customer:

You should have them give you another W-4 and complete it

Customer:

Now, what you're doing COULD have the effect of an underpayment penalty by the IRS

Customer:

further IRS can require what's called backup withholding, but there would have to have been notice provided for that

Customer:

Here's the law:

Customer:

An employer can lawfully withhold amounts from an employee’s wages only: (1) when required or empowered to do so by state or federal law, or (2) when a deduction is expressly authorized in writing by the employee to cover insurance premiums, benefit plan contributions or other deductions not amounting to a rebate on the employee’s wages, or (3) when a deduction to cover health, welfare, or pension contributions is expressly authorized by a wage or collective bargaining agreement

Customer :

Backup withholding? I have received no such notice from employer.

Customer:

Right, so in that case they cannot

Customer:

See this from and IRS manual for employERS

Customer:
Like Print

Withholding Compliance Questions & Answers

Q1: In the past, as an employer, I was required to submit all Forms W-4 that claimed complete exemption from withholding (when $200 or more in weekly wages were regularly expected) or claimed more than 10 allowances. What Forms W-4 do I now have to submit to the IRS?
A1: Employers are no longer required to routinely submit Forms W-4 to the IRS. However, in certain circumstances, the IRS may direct you to submit copies of Forms W-4 for certain employees in order to ensure that the employees have adequate withholding. You are now required to submit the Forms W-4 to IRS only if directed to do so in a written notice or pursuant to specified criteria set forth in future published guidance.

Customer:

For your edification, here's the IRS web site on that:

Customer :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I have visited that site already on a google search.

Customer:

Sure, botXXXXX XXXXXne? YOU may only authorize withholding by writing... and the way you do that is through the w-4 form

Customer :

And the only W-4 I have completed is when I first started working for them.

Customer:

Did you see the link I provided/

Customer :

Yes. Thanks.

Customer:

I would print it take it to HR and say "Here's my W-4 ... looks like someone has changed my withholding without my authorization," etc.

Customer :

OK. The link is not working. Getting a 404 error.

Customer:

BUT, just to help you potentially see around some corners, the issue (probably stating the obvious) can creat some underpayment penalties... unless of course you have knowledge of other losses, or a change in income that will even things out for the year

Customer:

OK hang on just one second

Customer:

Form W-4

Customer :

ok

Customer:

Try that ... and if that doesn't work, here's the irs site where you can download it

Customer :

there we go...

Customer:

great

Customer :

I actually conppleted this earlier this week with that intent in mind.

Customer:

You might want to direct them to the IRS guidance for employers ... help them understand that this is between you and IRS

Customer:

Also, all the links here will stay active, if you want to bookmark to come back for reference

Customer :

So I suppose I can request all W-4 forms my employer has on record, correct?

Customer:

Absolutely, those are you instructions to them

Customer :

Very well, then.

Customer:

FYI, see the last question NO 13 on that employer manual:

Customer:

Q13: What if I don’t want to submit a Form W-4 to my employer?
A13: Your employer is required to withhold income tax from your wages as if you are single with zero allowances if you do not submit a Form W-4.


 

Customer:

They may try to claim that you neve filed one with them ... but copies of previous paystubs should put that one to bed

Customer :

Right.

Customer:

... just trying to think of anything tht may come up

Customer:

I think you have the extent of my wisdom :)

Customer:

Other questions?

Customer :

None. Thank you for your help!

Customer:

One more thought.... IF they ty to play hardball, tell them that they have breached their fiduciary duty

Customer:

... just as if they had not contributed to a 401(K) plan, at your direction, for example

Customer :

Ok...I don't think it will get to that but good to know.

Customer:

great

Customer:

If this HAS helped, I would appreciate a feedback rating of 3 (OK) or better … That's the only way they will pay us here.


HOWEVER, if you need more on this, PLEASE COME BACK here, so you won't be charged for another question.

Customer :

Yes it certainly has. Now I know what to arm myself with when I return to HR and discuss this. It seemed to me they did not understand the problem at all when I first approached them.

Customer:

...very possible. ... wouldn't be the first time

Customer:

Good luck with it!

Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4006
Experience: Juris Doctorate, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
Lane and 3 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.


Thanks so much for the rating Joe!

If you'd like to work with ME again just say "For Lane only," at the beginning of your next question


Thanks again,
Lane

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