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Old 01-30-09, 02:55 PM   #1
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W-4 withholding

Quick question.

Now that I'm married I'm going through some online changes at work for beneficiaries, insurance benefits (adding wife), etc....

W-4 withholding....do they withhold more when you are married or single? I want to keep the option where they withhold the most.
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Old 01-30-09, 02:59 PM   #2
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Yes they withold less (edit, sorry I read wrong first time) for married

Use this to compute the amounts

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/artic...=96196,00.html

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Old 01-30-09, 03:01 PM   #3
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Single with 0 dependents. Additional withholding can be added to help alleviate the need for estimated tax payments, should you have sufficient external income sources.
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Old 01-30-09, 03:02 PM   #4
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Just keep your withholding as Single and 0. That will take the most from your paycheck.
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Old 01-30-09, 03:04 PM   #5
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Single will withold more than married.

If your wife works also, you should talk to whoever prepares your return this year and ask how you should withhold.

I've seen more than one couple shocked the first year they end up paying even if they both claim single O.
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Old 01-30-09, 03:05 PM   #6
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Single will withold more than married.

If your wife works also, you should talk to whoever prepares your return this year and ask how you should withhold.

I've seen more than one couple shocked the first year they end up paying even if they both claim single O.
bingo. hold out more.
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Old 01-30-09, 03:05 PM   #7
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Yea it kind of makes sense too though. If you are married you probably have more things to pay for and are more pressed for cash. If you are single, why not give it all to the government? They will spend it correctly for you. Oh and uh,.., I'm single. Not married but I have a gf. We both give all our money to the government
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Old 01-30-09, 03:18 PM   #8
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Ok, thanks all. Single is what I was 90% sure, I just wanted to have confirmation.
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Old 01-30-09, 03:42 PM   #9
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My compnay's W4 is filled out online and has the option for married but withhold as single, I always thought that was the best way to word it makes it nice and clear
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Old 01-30-09, 03:48 PM   #10
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Actually the best way to work it is have jsut enough witheld to equal your taxes in SApril
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Old 01-30-09, 03:53 PM   #11
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Actually the best way to work it is have jsut enough witheld to equal your taxes in SApril
incorrect...the best way is to owe uncle sam at file date....that way you have kept your money and recieved interest or other return on that money. Otherwise, you are making a 0% interest loan to uncle sam. This of course assumes that you have paid enough to avoid penalties.
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Old 01-30-09, 03:57 PM   #12
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incorrect...the best way is to owe uncle sam at file date....that way you have kept your money and recieved interest or other return on that money. Otherwise, you are making a 0% interest loan to uncle sam. This of course assumes that you have paid enough to avoid penalties.
Financially I agree. Emotionally I disagree because I get so upset writing that check.
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Old 01-30-09, 03:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
incorrect...the best way is to owe uncle sam at file date....that way you have kept your money and recieved interest or other return on that money. Otherwise, you are making a 0% interest loan to uncle sam. This of course assumes that you have paid enough to avoid penalties.
In theory that's great. I had a girlfriend years ago (accountant) who talked me into the logic and I changed it to withhold less. What happens in real life? Not enough is withheld and you end up owing at tax time.

Will I miss that extra $25 in a pay check that I don't see? Probably not. If I had that extra $25 in a pay check would I be diligent enough to put it in the bank and collect interest? Probably not.

I'd rather give uncle Sam the 0% interest loan and get money back at the end of the year (even if it is MY money).
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Old 01-30-09, 03:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
In theory that's great. I had a girlfriend years ago (accountant) who talked me into the logic and I changed it to withhold less. What happens in real life? Not enough is withheld and you end up owing at tax time.

Will I miss that extra $25 in a pay check that I don't see? Probably not. If I had that extra $25 in a pay check would I be diligent enough to put it in the bank and collect interest? Probably not.

I'd rather give uncle Sam the 0% interest loan and get money back at the end of the year (even if it is MY money).
you have to pay attention.
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Old 01-30-09, 04:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
incorrect...the best way is to owe uncle sam at file date....that way you have kept your money and recieved interest or other return on that money. Otherwise, you are making a 0% interest loan to uncle sam. This of course assumes that you have paid enough to avoid penalties.
Of course.

If you have to owe at 4/15, it's no big deal. Even if you have to pay a small penalty.

Unless you were expecting a refund and already had it spent.

I literally have seen people get histerical crying or couples go berzerk fighting when this occurs.
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Old 01-30-09, 04:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
incorrect...the best way is to owe uncle sam at file date....that way you have kept your money and recieved interest or other return on that money. Otherwise, you are making a 0% interest loan to uncle sam. This of course assumes that you have paid enough to avoid penalties.
Be really really careful. If you owe too much (more than $1000, if I remember), you get hit with interest and penalties on under-withholding.
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Old 01-30-09, 04:10 PM   #17
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Be really really careful. If you owe too much (more than $1000, if I remember), you get hit with interest and penalties on under-withholding.
did you see the last sentence?
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Old 01-30-09, 04:15 PM   #18
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did you see the last sentence?
Yes, I did.
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Old 01-30-09, 04:24 PM   #19
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I think in order to avoid a penalty, you need to do (at least) one of these
  • Owe less than $1000
  • Pay as much as you did in 2007
  • Pay 90% of your 2008 obligation
.
On W2 income, they don't care how balanced the payments are (unlike 1099 income). So, if you really want to play the game, figure out which one of the three above is best for you and pay all of your obligation toward the end of the year.
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Old 01-30-09, 07:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
Quick question.

Now that I'm married I'm going through some online changes at work for beneficiaries, insurance benefits (adding wife), etc....

W-4 withholding....do they withhold more when you are married or single?
I want to keep the option where they withhold the most.
ughh. Too many people do this. Why not set up an automatic deposit into a savings / investment account. Use the money to get interest for yourself, not the government. Yes, over the years it can add up.
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Old 01-30-09, 09:50 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
In theory that's great. I had a girlfriend years ago (accountant) who talked me into the logic and I changed it to withhold less. What happens in real life? Not enough is withheld and you end up owing at tax time.

Will I miss that extra $25 in a pay check that I don't see? Probably not. If I had that extra $25 in a pay check would I be diligent enough to put it in the bank and collect interest? Probably not.

I'd rather give uncle Sam the 0% interest loan and get money back at the end of the year (even if it is MY money).
Too all the people that say take the money, I say come February when I get a couple of grand back.

Show me the money!!!!!

They can't.
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Old 01-30-09, 10:03 PM   #22
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Why do you want extra money withheld? Withholding too much is just giving the government an interest-free loan for the year. However, withholding too little may make you liable for a penalty. There's no penalty if you've paid in at least as much as your tax liability for the previous year, though.

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Not enough is withheld and you end up owing at tax time.
That's a good thing, as long as you don't get into the penalty situation.
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Old 01-30-09, 10:04 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by thomson View Post
I think in order to avoid a penalty, you need to do (at least) one of these
  • Owe less than $1000
  • Pay as much as you did in 2007
  • Pay 90% of your 2008 obligation
.
On W2 income, they don't care how balanced the payments are (unlike 1099 income). So, if you really want to play the game, figure out which one of the three above is best for you and pay all of your obligation toward the end of the year.

Technically, they can charge a penalty if the earnings were throughout the entire year and you waited till the Q4 estimate, but they usually don't. If you try to play real hardball with an auditor, they can be real a-holes and start looking for stuff like that.
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Old 01-30-09, 11:00 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post

Technically, they can charge a penalty if the earnings were throughout the entire year and you waited till the Q4 estimate, but they usually don't. If you try to play real hardball with an auditor, they can be real a-holes and start looking for stuff like that.
FTR, I don't play that game, I do the estimated and deductions legitimately. I sleep better.
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