Form W-4 — Employee’s Withholding Certificate — is going to be used by employees to adjust their 2021 tax year withholdings. This tax form will provide employers with the necessary information to withhold tax at the right rate.
On Form W-4, the employee will detail information about their anticipated tax returns along with their income, multiple jobs if they hold any, and spouse works if filing a joint return. These will determine the necessary tax withholding amount along with the federal withholding tables employers use.
The way Form W-4 is filled in 2021 is likely to be the same as the previous year. Although the Internal Revenue Service hasn’t published the draft version of Form W-4 2021, we expect it to be the same as in 2020 anyways.
We can comfortably say Form W-4 won’t undergo changes because, in previously published Forms W-4, employees would claim allowances. This has been removed entirely. This change is likely to remain the same for the next couple of years. As for the allowances, the more allowances the employee claimed, the less tax would be withheld and vice versa.
Ultimately, this change made filing Form W-4 a lot simpler and accurate. The Internal Revenue Service referred to the changes in Form W-4 as stating “This change is meant to increase transparency, simplicity, and accuracy of the form. In the past, the value of a withholding allowance was tied to the amount of the personal exemption.”
Since personal exemptions were removed from the tax law with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, allowances were meant to be removed way before 2020.
Form W-4 2021 Draft Version
Before releasing a new version of a tax form, the Internal Revenue Service releases the draft version. The purpose of this is to let taxpayers know about the changes in the forms. This allows everyone who’s anticipated to file to see what’s changed and give a head start before filing it. We expect the IRS to release the draft version of Form W-4 2021 in the upcoming months, around October.
File Form W-4 Online
There are two ways you can file a Form W-4 to let your employer know how much tax to withhold. Given most employers keep their personnel files online, you may be requested to file Form W-4 online by your employer. If that’s what you need, file Form W-4 online at the bottom of this article. This is the version where you can enter your information on the Employee’s Withholding Certificate and download it as a document.
Those who are going to furnish their employers electronically by e-mailing it should use this version of Form W-4.
File Form W-4 on Paper (Printable)
If you’re going to give your Form W-4 to your employer in person or mail it, use the paper version of Employee’s Withholding Certificate. There isn’t much of a difference between the online and paper version of Form W-4 2021. In fact, both are the same.
With that said, instead of downloading it with your information on Form W-4 to e-mail it, download it to print out. You can also print out Form W-4 2021 without the need for downloading directly off of your browser.
Why is tax withheld from my income?
The reason why there is such a thing as withholding tax is due to how we pay taxes. The Internal Revenue Service requires all taxpayers to pay their income taxes gradually during the course of the tax year. Employers withhold tax from the employees’ income to pay for their federal income tax.
This is why Form W-4 is used by employees so the employer doesn’t withhold too much or too little tax. Although you will get an increased tax refund if you withhold more tax than needed, withholding excessively isn’t recommended.
Related Article: Reasons for a Low Tax Refund
Since you’ll be loaning your money to the IRS, we suggest withholding at a rate where you don’t owe money but get a small tax refund. Instead of forwarding your money to the IRS, you can contribute to a savings account and earn interest.
Note: The Internal Revenue Service hasn’t published Form W-4 for 2021. As soon as the agency releases it, we will include it below.