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I got married 2 years ago and need to update my w4 and I am…

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I got married 2...

I got married 2 years ago and need to update my w4 and I am lost! I don't really understand the questions on there

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Need help filling out my w4

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Finance
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3/16/2018
Financial Professional: taxmanrog, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) replied 5 months ago
taxmanrog
taxmanrog, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 1,236
Experience: Licensed CPA, MA, MST with 31 years' experience. Teach Accounting and Tax courses at Masters level.
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
thanks
Financial Professional: taxmanrog, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) replied 5 months ago

The instructions for the W-4 are very confusing. They give you so many calculations that it is almost impossible to complete without seeking a professional.

It is often easier if you understand what the W-4 is trying to do.

Each week when you are paid, the payroll tables calculate a mini tax return. They take your salary and annualize it. If you are paid every other week, they multiply it by 26. Then they subtract the standard deduction based on the filing status you choose on the W-4 (single, married, or married but electing the single rate). So if you make $2,000 every two weeks, that would be $52,000 per year. Subtract the $24,000 standard deduction for married, and starting in 2018, you now have the taxable income (for 2017 and before they would subtract another $4,050 times the number of exemptions you have). They calculate the tax on that income, and then divide by the number of pay periods.

If, for example the tax on $28,000 ($52,000 less $24,000) should be about $2,200 for 2018. This divided by 26 pay periods is about $85 per week.

The problem is that if you work, and your husband also works, this puts you into a higher tax bracket. Also, if you both claim "married" the $24,000 standard deduction is getting used twice, while you are only entitled to use it one time.

My usual recommendations will have to change this year, since exemptions are not allowed anymore. I used to say that the person with the higher income should claim married with one, and the person with the lower income should claim single with zero. The reduced amount claimed by the lower earning spouse will offset some of the overage in the calculation.

Do you have more than one job? Do both of you work?

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Financial Professional: taxmanrog, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) replied 5 months ago

This year, with no exemptions to work with, I would recommend that you both file W-4s showing married but withhold at the single rate.

I hope this answers your question. If you have any more, please feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer.

Thanks! Have a great week!

Roger

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Financial Professional: taxmanrog, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) replied 5 months ago

I have not heard back from you. Do you have any more questions? Is everything clear?

If you don't have any more questions, please don't forget to rate me, as that is how questions are closed.

Thanks!

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