TaxesBudget & Finance

Filling Out a W-4

I am a newlywed and a bit confused on how to fill out my W-4. When I was single my employee helped me fill out the W-4, later to realize she put 3 dependents on me so I had to pay the money back. Together we make about 35k. My husband has 1 dependent, I currently have zero dependents and a lot of money is taken out of my check weekly. Will it be fine to put 1 dependent? Since I make more money, I pay most of our cost of living.


Clara from Whittier, CA

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By deebomb (Guest Post)
February 2, 20090 found this helpful

If you put down 1 dependent then the withholding will be less and you could end up paying in to the IRS. but at the same time if you put down zero dependents you will be getting more back when it comes time to file. But that is also money that you could be using or save each week and gaining some interest even if it is small. I always put down zero dependents to get back a larger lump sum because I wasn't very disciplined to save and it was nice to get back a bigger lump sum.

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February 2, 20090 found this helpful

I bring it home and let hubby do it

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February 2, 20090 found this helpful

I'm not sure how to answer your question and could by mistake give you wrong information.


Contact the IRS, just Google IRS and it will bring up the website and you can call their toll free number.

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February 2, 20090 found this helpful

You definitely need to call the IRS ... They are quite helpful and if the agent you happen to get seems to not be helpful just simply say thank you for your help, hang up and dial again and a different agent will help you ... I only say this because people are people and some are having a bad day or maybe don't care to do a good job :-(

Anyway, If I understand what you're saying, it is best you claim 1 and your husband claims 2 throughout the year and if you're filing 'married joint' the total will be 3 on the W4 ...

I always claim '0' throughout the year because more taxes are taken out that way and then I know I do not have to worry about owing anything to the IRS at the end of the year and claim 1 on my W4 ...


The downside of that is the IRS has the advantage of using those extra dollars through the year ... For me, I would rather err on the side of not owing and having to scramble at the end of the year for a large lump sum or worse not being able to come up with it and have to pay major interest and penalties :-o If there's a refund, then it feels like bonus money ;-)

I am rambling ;-)

Hope this helps :-)

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By (Guest Post)
February 2, 20090 found this helpful

Forgot to Add NO KIDS

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February 3, 20090 found this helpful

A single person should not claim a deduction in order to over pay the tax taken from your check. You will get back. It is easier this way instead of trying to come up with unexpected tax to pay by April 15. Always under deduct by one person.


This has been since the dawn of time. Think of it as sort of a mandatory piggy bank given back when you file your taxes.
If your spouse takes 1 deduction for himself or a child, you would claim none. Make sure the child is most of the time (6 months and 1 day) with the father if there is split custody.

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By Carol in PA (Guest Post)
February 4, 20090 found this helpful

I think it might be wise to contact the IRS as someone has suggested. If it were me, I'd claim my husband and myself as two dependents and let him claim his child as one dependent. I am assuming you will file your taxes together rather than individually. Best of luck.

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