In Nonprofit Finance, Payroll

Most everyone is guilty of it. You start a new job or a second job, and you are filling out all the new hire paperwork. One of the forms to complete is the W4. You may read it carefully, or you may peruse it. You fill it out and you excitedly start your new job. Then you go on vacation sometime in the future, and your boss congratulates you on your work anniversary. That W4 is still neatly filed away, dictating your take home pay, but you may not have given that W4 anymore thought.

It is always a good idea to do review your payroll allowances, and, now, the IRS is hoping their new interface will make it easier. Since the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed, many individuals have experienced significant changes. These can include new tax rates, limits on certain deductions of state and local taxes, and removing personal exemptions. So, it a good idea to give yourself a checkup now and get in the habit of doing one yearly. By doing this, you can protect yourself against having too little withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year.

You can find the Tax Withholding Estimator on the IRS website here. To get started, you’ll need to be able to estimate your 2019 income. Having your most recent tax return handy will help. Having a recent paystub available will also be helpful, as well as knowing the number of children you will claim for the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. The estimator does not ask for any sensitive personally-identifiable information, and it will be only as accurate as the information you provide.

If you determine you do need to make changes, fill out a new W4 here, and submit the updated form to your payroll contact. You can submit a W4 at any time throughout the year and as many times as you need to.

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