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What’s Changing with the Federal W-4?

Learn about the new changes to the Federal W-4 and how to enter and print a W-4 for employees. Here are a few things you need to know about the changes:


What are the major changes to the W-4? The new changes are a part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The act made it necessary to revise the Federal W-4 form. There are a few key changes:

  • Allowances that were tied to a personal exemption amount are no longer allowed by law.

  • The ability for an employee to account for other income from other jobs or additional income is clearly represented leading to a more accurate calculation of withholding tax for the year.

  • New filing statuses have been provided.


Do I need to ask all of my existing employees to fill out the new 2020 Form W-4? No. Employees who have submitted Form W-4 in any year before 2020 are not required to submit a new form merely because of the redesign. Employers will continue to compute withholding based on the information from the employee’s most recently submitted Form W-4.


Can I ask all of my employees to fill out a new 2020 Form W-4? You may ask, but as part of the request, you should explain two things. First, they are not required to submit a new Form W-4. Second, if they do not submit a new Form W-4, withholding will continue based on a valid form previously submitted.


What information do I enter if my employee has not provided me with a Form W-4 and their hire date is in 2020? New employees who are required to fill out the new 2020 Form W-4 but fail to submit one must be set-up with the following entries:

  • Filing Status = Single

  • Multiple Jobs/Spouse Works (2c) = Not Checked

  • Claim Dependent Amount = $0

  • Other Income = $0

  • Deductions = $0

  • Extra Withholding = $0


How do I estimate the tax withholdings? If you need to figure out what you need to pay, get an estimate for the tax withholdings.

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