Mfj single earner, what to put on W-4?

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Sekmet
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Mfj single earner, what to put on W-4?

Post by Sekmet »

After 20 years with the same company, my wife is starting a new job. I'm retired. What number should she put on the W-4?
soretired
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Re: Mfj single earner, what to put on W-4?

Post by soretired »

[Edit] Why not use the same figure she used with her previous employer?

Depends on how much in taxes you want her company to hold out. Claiming "0" and they'll hold out the max and she'll be due a refund, depending on your joint income of course.. I'd just claim "1" and see how that works for you at year end, tax wise. Trial & error. She can also claim "2". The figure can also be changed at any time.
sailaway
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Re: Mfj single earner, what to put on W-4?

Post by sailaway »

The W4 no longer uses a number in the same way it once did. She should follow the instructions. Then, take a look at the paychecks and run some numbers to be sure that you will meet a safe harbor rule.
Asyouwish
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Re: Mfj single earner, what to put on W-4?

Post by Asyouwish »

soretired wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:42 pm [Edit] Why not use the same figure she used with her previous employer?

Depends on how much in taxes you want her company to hold out. Claiming "0" and they'll hold out the max and she'll be due a refund, depending on your joint income of course.. I'd just claim "1" and see how that works for you at year end, tax wise. Trial & error. She can also claim "2". The figure can also be changed at any time.
They redesigned the W-4. There is no 0 or 1. Exemptions don’t exist. There’s filing status. There’s a way to claim if you have kids.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

Or use a tax calculator like AARP website has. With spouse being retired, is there withholding from pensions, IRAs or SS? We would need a lot more information to make a guess what withholding should be for her.
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grabiner
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Re: Mfj single earner, what to put on W-4?

Post by grabiner »

You are retired; do you have a pension or other source of income? Your wife should file the W-4 as married, and report your other income as "additional income" on W-4 line 4(a) to get the right amount of withholding. For example, if you receive $30K from a taxable pension, or withdraw $30K from your traditional IRA/401(k), then you will owe tax on $30K more than your wife's salary, so she should report $30K of additional income in order to get the right withholding.

If your additional income is from stock dividends or long-term gains, multiply by the ratio in tax rates. For example, if you have $24K in qualified dividends taxed at 15%, and you are in a 24% tax bracket, you should report this as $15K in additional income since the $3600 in tax on that much salary is what you pay.
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soretired
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Re: Mfj single earner, what to put on W-4?

Post by soretired »

Asyouwish wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 7:05 pm
soretired wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:42 pm [Edit] Why not use the same figure she used with her previous employer?

Depends on how much in taxes you want her company to hold out. Claiming "0" and they'll hold out the max and she'll be due a refund, depending on your joint income of course.. I'd just claim "1" and see how that works for you at year end, tax wise. Trial & error. She can also claim "2". The figure can also be changed at any time.
They redesigned the W-4. There is no 0 or 1. Exemptions don’t exist. There’s filing status. There’s a way to claim if you have kids.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

Or use a tax calculator like AARP website has. With spouse being retired, is there withholding from pensions, IRAs or SS? We would need a lot more information to make a guess what withholding should be for her.
Whoa. Shows you how long it's been since I filled out a W-4. Thanks for the update. :)
bombcar
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Re: Mfj single earner, what to put on W-4?

Post by bombcar »

I'm honestly confused how the new W-4 works, but I presume it does.

I knew how to make the old W-4 do what I wanted to do, even if it wasn't what it would normally calculate out to.
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