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FAQ on the 2020 Form W-4

General FAQ’s

  • Where can I download the new Form W-4?

 

    1. Please find the most current W-4 form at https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-w-4. Complete Form W-4 so that your employer can withhold the correct federal income tax from your pay. Consider completing a new form W-4 each year and when your personal or financial situation changes.
  • Why redesign Form W-4?

 

    1. The new design reduces the form’s complexity and increases the transparency and accuracy of the withholding system. While it uses the same underlying information as the old design, it replaces complicated worksheets with more straightforward questions that make accurate withholding easier for employees.
  • What happened to withholding allowances?

 

    1. Allowances are no longer used for the redesigned Form W-4. This change is meant to increase transparency, simplicity, and accuracy of the form. In the past, the value of a withholding allowance was tied to the amount of the personal exemption. Due to changes in law, currently you cannot claim personal exemptions or dependency exemptions.
  • Are all employees required to furnish a new Form W-4?

 

    1. No. Employees who have furnished Form W-4 in any year before 2020 are not required to furnish a new form merely because of the redesign. Employers will continue to compute withholding based on the information from the employee’s most recently furnished Form W-4.
  • Is there a computer program I can use to help me complete Form W-4?

 

Yes. To provide maximum accuracy, you are encouraged to use the Tax Withholding Estimator available at www.irs.gov/W4app. You should consider using the withholding estimator if you:

  • expect to work only part of the year (this does not apply if you are only switching jobs),
  • had a large balance due or refund last year and it is no longer the beginning of the current year,
  • have dividend or capital gain income or are subject to additional taxes, such as the additional Medicare tax,
  • have self-employment income,
  • prefer the most accurate withholding for multiple job situations, or
  • prefer to limit information provided in Steps 2–4 but do not want to sacrifice accuracy.

 

  • Are new employees first paid after 2019 required to use the redesigned form?

 

    1. Yes. All new employees first paid after 2019 must use the redesigned form. Similarly, any other employee who wishes to adjust their withholding must use the redesigned form.
  • My tax situation is simple. Do I have to complete all of the steps?

 

  1. No. The form is divided into 5 steps. The only two steps required for all employees are Step 1, where you enter personal information such as your name and filing status, and Step 5, where you sign the form. Complete Steps 2 – 4 only if they apply to you. Doing so will make your withholding more accurately match your liability.

For more information, please visit https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-on-the-2020-form-w-4

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