What is W-4 Form?

A W-4 form is a standard IRS form an employee uses to report federal taxability status to an employer.

How Does W-4 Form Work?

An employer is required by law to withhold taxes from an employee's pay based on information reflected in the employee's W-4 form. The employee uses a W-4 to report his or her marital status, spousal employment status, any physical disabilities and the number of qualifying dependents (for example, children). If the employee is married, the W-4 form also asks whether the employee plans to file income taxes separately or jointly with his or her spouse.

Why Does W-4 Form Matter?

Since an employer withholds taxes based on the information contained in a W-4, it is important that an employee resubmit an updated W-4 whenever he or she experiences significant changes in taxable status (for example, marriage, divorce or the birth of a child).

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Paul Tracy
Paul Tracy

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.