Q: How Can I Change My Withholding Allowances?

Any employee can change their withholding allowances by submitting a new federal W-4 and state forms (if needed) to their employer.

The amount of taxes an employer withholds from each paycheck is dependent on the number of allowances/deductions the employee claimed on the W-4 form.

States may also have a W-4 equivalent. Employees can change the withholding allowances for their states as well. Not sure if your state has its version of a W-4? The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a list of state withholding forms.

As a reminder, getting your withholding allowance number correct is important. If you withhold too little, you’ll likely owe taxes when you file. If you withhold too much, then you’ll get a refund.

When should I change my withholding allowances?

People typically change their withholding allowances when a life event may change their tax status or deductions. Such qualifying life events may include:

  • Getting married;
  • Having a child;
  • Taking in an elderly parent as a dependant;
  • Getting a pay raise or job that pays you more; and
  • Getting a second job that pays you more.

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