How To Fill Out Or Update Your W4

How To Fill Out Or Update Your W4

Employers can use the information provided on your W-4 form to adjust how much federal income tax they withhold from your bi-weekly checks. Your employer can also use this data to fill out the proper forms for you. If you’re not working and don’t have a job or are self-employed, you don’t need to worry about completing this form. You’ll still need to file income taxes, but your filing status will be different and will not require any additional paperwork. Here is how to fill out or update your W4.

Filling Out the Form

Find the W-4 form

You can usually pick one up from your employer or easily find a PDF version online.

To fill it out, look at line number 16 to check which filing status you should use. The line number is the same as it would be on your actual income tax form: 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ. Next, check the number of allowances you’re claiming and make sure that they match your actual situation. If you plan to claim more than zero allowances, use the appropriate number.

You can find the correct filing status for your situation and all of your allowances by using this guide. “Catch-up contributions” can also be essential to keep in mind when filling out your form. You’ll need to look at line 56 and ensure that you’ve claimed these for the correct year(s).

The second most important thing you need to consider is how much income tax you’ll be able to offset from your salary. If no amount is written, double-check again and ensure that your filing status and other numbers are accurate.


Make sure you use the correct worksheet for your filing status and fill out the information correctly. You can find a copy of the correct worksheet on lines 1-5 of page 2 of the W-4.

Take your completed form to your employer so they can take care of everything else, including updating their records and withholding the correct amount of income tax from each of your paychecks.

When you are done in filling out your tax return, remember to check whether or not you need to file an updated W-4 for next year’s taxes or if you can use one from a previous year.


You’ll need to be able to refer to it if you ever get audited or if you ever need to fill out another W-4 form in the future.

For you to appropriately file your taxes each time, you need to know precisely how the W-4 works. Along with filing your income taxes, proper W-4 completion is also crucial for making sure that you’re paying the correct amount of social security tax.