A quick refresher of the Form W-4 tax-filing rules

In a recent review of the current Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate) at the 28th Annual APA Congress in Washington, D.C., a handful of rules were revisited and reinforced. As a reminder:

• High school and college students are not automatically exempt from tax withholding, even if all the prior year’s taxes were refunded. In addition, students must meet all the same exemption tests as other employees.

• Employees claiming a withholding exemption must file a new Form W-4 every year.

• You may develop and use substitute Forms W-4, but you must also provide the table, worksheets and instructions contained in the form. You may not use a substitute developed by an employee, however.

• An electronic Form W-4 may be filed as long as it meets certain requirements.

• E-mails to change a Form W-4 are discouraged, as they are not a legitimate electronic system.

• Nonresident aliens filing Form W-4 have certain restrictions on their status, number of allowances and inability to claim the standard deduction.

Stock up on the required Form W-4 to meet the IRS filing requirements for new hires and tax status changes for current employees.

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