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emc011075, Tax adviser
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3121
Experience:  IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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My husband and I are both employed and recently married. We

Customer Question

My husband and I are both employed and recently married. We need help filling out our W4 forms at our jobs.
My general question is that it looks like on the end of the Two-Earners/Multiple Jobs Worksheet section, if I complete it, it looks like there would be an additional $2000 taken out of my paycheck?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 year ago.

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

The worksheet is just for your records and to figure out how many exemptions you should claim. What's your estimated total income and how many dependents do you have? What was your filing status before you got married?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Eva,My income is $86,000 and my husband is $80,000. This is the first time we are filing as married filing jointly. We have no children or dependents. So, on the front part of the W4 form, we are both putting 1 exemption (line H). Is that correct?
And then, it says if you are married with 1 job each, to fill in the back of the form. When we look to fill in the Two-earners/Multiple Jobs Worksheet, line #9 comes out to be $2000. Is that correct?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 year ago.

Unless you claimed too many exemptions before and didn't have enough tax withheld or had more than one job at the same time (just you), than probably this is not correct. Looking at the current tax brackets, combining your income will move you to the higher tax bracket but if you also combine your deductions you may be able to stay in the same. The drawback of the worksheet is that it doesn't count any withholding already taken out of your paycheck and your pretax contributions (retirement and medical insurance).

Use this one. It is IRS withholding calculator, it is more complex but also more accurate. It will account not just for withholding already taken out of your paychecks but also for things like your 401K contributions and pretax medical insurance:

Normally, between both of you, you claim one exemption for every exemption you plan to claim on your tax return + one for 1K credit or 3K deduction. If combined income is over 150K, reduce it by one exemption but if you itemize your deduction, than add it back.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, so on the front part, line H, we both will put 1. And that's it?I don't understand why we don't need to fill out the back, it says: If you are single and have more than one job or are married and you and your spouse both work and the combined earnings from all jobs exceed$50,000 ($20,000 if married). Doesn't that apply to us?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 year ago.

The problem with the worksheet is that is too simplified. It is meant for somebody who started his/her first job in the year with no prior income and no pretax deductions. And that's not your case. The IRS withholding calculator is better option.

If I use a online tax calculator and combine your income, with standard deduction and no pretax contributions, your tax is $28,500 (assuming 168K income). If you check your last pay stub for federal withholding you can calculate how much you need to have withheld in the next two month to meet the target. About 18% (about 5K) will be withheld from your pay if you claim 1 exemption each.

Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 year ago.

Does it make sense? Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Here's a link to an online tax calculator:

It will give you a good idea what to expect when it comes to income tax. As long as you have enough withheld to cover your tax liability, you really don't have to worry about the worksheets. Your employer only needs the bottom of the page 1, the actual certificate, everything else is just for your to keep for your records. You can always adjust your w4s if your refund is too big (add more exemptions) or you owe too much (reduce your exemptions or have little extra taken out).

And if this answered your question, please take a moment to rate my response so that I may receive credit for assisting you today. However, if you need clarification, or want to discuss this issue further, let me know. Thank you.