When filling out the Multiple Jobs Worksheet, the first thing you will need to differentiate is whether you have two jobs (including both you and your spouse), or three, or more. If you and your spouse each have one job, then you’ll complete line 1 on the worksheet. If you have two jobs and your spouse does not work, you will also complete line 1.
How to Fill Out Form W-4 in 2022
Amy Fontinelle has more than 15 years of experience covering personal finance—insurance, home ownership, retirement planning, financial aid, budgeting, and credit cards—as well corporate finance and accounting, economics, and investing. In addition to Investopedia, she has written for Forbes Advisor, The Motley Fool, Credible, and Insider and is the managing editor of an economics journal. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.
Lea Uradu, J.D. is graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, a Maryland State Registered Tax Preparer, State Certified Notary Public, Certified VITA Tax Preparer, IRS Annual Filing Season Program Participant, Tax Writer, and Founder of L.A.W. Tax Resolution Services. Lea has worked with hundreds of federal individual and expat tax clients.
In 2020, major changes were made to Form W-4, the form every employee has to fill out to determine the amount of taxes that are withheld from each paycheck. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said it revised the form to increase its transparency and the accuracy of the payroll withholding system.
The new Form W-4 does not ask employees to indicate personal exemptions or dependency exemptions, which are no longer relevant. It does, however, ask how many dependents you can claim. It also asks whether you wish to increase or decrease your withholding amount based on certain factors like a second job or your eligibility for itemized deductions.
5. My tax situation is simple. Do I have to complete all of the steps?
No. The form is divided into 5 steps. The only two steps required for all employees are Step 1, where you enter personal information like your name and filing status, and Step 5, where you sign the form. Complete Steps 2 – 4 only if they apply to you. Doing so will make your withholding more accurately match your liability.
6. What happens if I only fill out Step 1 and then sign the form?
7. When should I increase my withholding?
If you do not make adjustments to your withholding for these situations, you will very likely owe additional tax when filing your tax return, and you may owe penalties. For income from sources other than jobs, you can pay estimated tax instead of having extra withholding.
8. When should I decrease my withholding?
9. I want a refund when I file my tax return. How should I complete the redesigned Form W-4?
The redesigned Form W-4 makes it easier for you to have your withholding match your tax liability. But if you prefer to have more tax than necessary withheld from each paycheck, you will get that money back as a refund when you file your tax return (keep in mind though you do not earn interest on the amount you overpay). The simplest way to increase your withholding is to enter in Step 4(c) the additional amount you would like your employer to withhold from each paycheck. Note, even if you don’t have any income tax withheld from your wages, you may get a refund if you are eligible for tax credits such as the Earned Income Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit, or American Opportunity Credit.
10. Why do I need to account for multiple jobs (Step 2)? I have never done that before.
Tax rates increase as income rises, and only one standard deduction can be claimed on each tax return, regardless of the number of jobs. Therefore, if you have more than one job at a time or are married filing jointly and both you and your spouse work, more money should usually be withheld from the combined pay for all the jobs than would be withheld if each job was considered by itself. Adjustments to your withholding must be made to avoid owing additional tax, and potentially penalties, when you file your tax return. All of this has been true for many years; it did not change with the recent tax law changes. The old Form W-4 accounted for multiple jobs using detailed instructions and worksheets that many employees may have overlooked. Step 2 of the redesigned Form W-4 lists three different options you should choose from to make the necessary withholding adjustments. Note that, to be accurate, you should furnish a 2020 Form W-4 for all of these jobs.
11. Which option in Step 2 should I use to account for my multiple jobs? Which is most accurate? What if I don’t want to reveal to my employer on my W-4 that I have a second job?
- Step 2(a): For maximum accuracy and privacy, use the Tax Withholding Estimator at www.irs.gov/W4app. You will generally be guided to enter an additional amount to withhold in Step 4(c). While you will need to know the approximate amount of pay for each job, you will enter the additional amount of withholding in Step 4(c) on the Form W-4 for only one of the jobs. If pay for any of the jobs changes significantly, you will need to use the Tax Withholding Estimator again and furnish a new Form W-4 to change the amount in Step 4(c) to have accurate withholding.
- Step 2(b): If you do not have access to the Tax Withholding Estimator but wish to have roughly accurate withholding and retain privacy, you may use the Multiple Jobs Worksheet on page 3. You will be guided to enter an additional amount to withhold in Step 4(c). While you will need to know the approximate amount of pay for each job, you will enter the additional amount of withholding in Step 4(c) on the Form W-4 for only one of the jobs. If a change in pay for any of the jobs changes the additional withholding amount in the lookup table used with this worksheet, you will need to furnish a new Form W-4 to change the amount in Step 4(c) to have accurate withholding. If you (and your spouse) have a total of only two jobs and the pay at the higher paying job is more than double the pay at the lower paying job, this option is generally more accurate than choosing Step 2(c). If the pay at each job is more similar, choosing Step 2(c) is more accurate than choosing Step 2(b).
- Step 2(c): If you (and your spouse) have a total of only two jobs held at the same time, you may check the box in Step 2(c) on the Forms W-4 for both jobs. That is, to use this option, you should complete a Form W-4 for each job with the box in Step 2(c) checked. The standard deduction and tax brackets will be cut in half for each job to calculate withholding. You will not need to furnish a new Form W-4 to account for pay changes at either job. This option is accurate for jobs with similar pay; otherwise more tax than necessary may be withheld from your wages. This extra amount will be larger the greater the difference in pay is between the two jobs.