When Can I Claim Exempt on My W-4?

Posted by on December 3, 2015
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When Can I Claim Exempt on My W-4?

Tread carefully before claiming exempt on your W-4 form.

Your W-4 is filed with your employer. Based on a number of allowances and exemptions you claim, your employer will withhold a certain amount of your income from each paycheck to cover taxes owed to the IRS. If you claim EXEMPT on your W-4, it means that no taxes will be taken out of your paycheck throughout the year to cover what you may owe to the IRS. Claiming exempt does not apply to everyone. Let’s find out why.

Am I eligible to claim exempt on my W-4?

If you want to claim exempt on your W-4, both of the following need to be true:

  1. For the prior year, you had a right to a refund of all federal income tax withheld because you had no tax liability.
  2. For the current year, you expect a refund of all federal income tax withheld because you expect to have no tax liability.

If one or both of these are false, then you will not be eligible to claim exempt on your W-4.

Are there any exceptions?

In some cases, claiming exempt is just not an option. Below are some reasons why it may not be for you:

  • If your income is $950 or more and at least $300 of that is from un-work-related income (ie: interest or dividend income), then you cannot claim exempt from taxes.
  • If you plan to claim dependents on your tax return, then you cannot claim exempt from taxes.
  • If you will be itemizing your deductions on your tax return for the year, then you cannot claim exempt from taxes.
  • If you are Age 65+ or blind, you must use IRS Worksheet 1-3 or 1-4 to determine if you can claim exempt.

I’m EXEMPT for tax purposes. How do I report that?

After doing some research and realizing that you are, in fact, eligible to claim EXEMPT on your W-4, you’ll need to report that. On your W-4, leave box 5 blank. If you have an amount in Box 5, that takes precedence over Box 7.

Box 7 is where you will simply write the word “EXEMPT”. This will ensure that no withholdings are taken from your paychecks.

What if I claim exempt on my W-4 without being eligible?

You can say hello to a pretty hefty tax bill after filing your tax return along with possible penalties. You are essentially the one responsible for what you report on your W-4. If it is incorrect, the IRS won’t let that slide come time to file your taxes. You’ll be issued a tax due amount with further instructions on how much you owe and payment options.

You could be facing a $500 penalty fee if both of the following are apply to you:

  1. You make statements or claim withholding allowances on your W-4 that reduce the amount of tax withheld from your paychecks.
  2. You have no reasonable basis for those statements or allowances at the time that you complete your W-4.

Although penalties from the IRS seem intimidating and sometimes just down-right unfair, they shouldn’t scare you out of claiming something you are eligible for. If you make an honest mistake, you won’t be penalized. It happens. These penalties and strict guidelines are instated in order to keep some sort of order in an organization which is literally trying to cater to the entire nation.

Is there automatic exemption for students?

Although students are loved in the retail and food industries with free fountain sodas at Chipotle and a 15% discount at Kate Spade, the IRS (unfortunately) doesn’t offer the same. Students are advised by the IRS to follow the same guidelines as other taxpayers.

Not to worry, though, students! There is a bright side after all. You may not be automatically exempt from income taxes but you are exempt from FICA (aka social security and Medicare) as long as you are enrolled as at least a half-time student.

When in doubt, ask for help!

It’s easy to fall into the IRS trap filled with tax jargon and W-4 confusion. For many of us, taxes are a thought in our minds only once a year. That’s why we’re here to help you. If you have a tax question and need help preparing your tax return for the year, reach out to our tax experts here at Rapidtax via livechat, email or phone.

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134 Responses to “When Can I Claim Exempt on My W-4?”

  1. Sabrina McNeill says:

    I have an employee who is over 65 years old and wanted to know if he could “legally” be exempt from having “federal” income tax withheld from his pay. Thanks so much – Sabrina

  2. Ray says:

    Hello, I will be receiving a very large overtime check in December. I do not claim any dependents or exemptions thru the year. Can I claim an exemption for the month of December only, or will it affect my entire year? I do itemize and claim my children at filing time.

    • Hi Ray,

      You should not claim Exempt if you are not eligible to do so. That being said, you may want to consider updating your W-4 to claim more allowances. The more allowances you claim, the less is withheld from your paycheck. The less allowances you claim, the more is withheld from your paycheck. Overall, you’re still paying the IRS the same amount of tax. The W-4 just determines when you pay them; throughout the year, little by little out of your paychecks or in a lump sum after filing your tax return for the year. If too much is withheld from your paychecks, you will receive a refund. If too little is withheld (ie: you claim Exempt when you shouldn’t), you will have a tax bill with the IRS.

      • Al says:

        Does Allowances have to match W4-worksheet or can it be more?

        • Hi Al,

          The Personal Allowances Worksheet is solely for your own records. You do not necessarily need to follow it if you feel you know the correct amount to claim. You are only required to submit the bottom half of the W-4 form to your employer.

      • Katrina says:

        Hello, I claim myself & 2 dependents through out the year & will file them on my W2. I’m going exempt for 2 months. Will I owe?

        • If you are unsure of how to file your W-4 information, it’s best to follow the guidelines that are indicated on the form. From the situation that you have outlined, if you are also filing head of household, the number of allowances that you can claim would be around 3-4.

  3. Sarah says:


    I am currently a full-time student, listed as a dependent*, and will be working part time. I was wondering if I qualify as exempt on the W-4?

    *I do not file taxes as I am dependent, my parents, however, do.

    • Hi Sarah,

      You might be able to claim exempt on your W-4. However, it does also depend on the amount of income you are earning. I suggest taking a look at the IRS Exemption Tool HERE. This will ask you several questions about your tax situation to provide you with a specific answer to whether or not you can claim exempt.

  4. Jenny Castro says:

    I am single with no dependents. I got a tax refund last year. Am I exempt?

    • Hi Jenny,

      The information you have provided cannot determine whether or not you are exempt from withholding. It will depend on your income for the year among other factors. You can see if you correspond to the qualifications listed in the above article or contact your tax preparer for more information.

  5. Diamond says:

    I think I’ve been filing my w4 wrong each year. The exemptions confuse me I do not completely understand. I always file exempt how do I know if I’m wrong?

    • Hi Diamond,

      You most likely only qualify as exempt if the two requirements listed above under “Am I eligible to claim exempt on my W-4?” are true. If you claim exempt on your W-4, and were NOT qualified to do so, then you would end up owing the IRS a fairly large bill after filing your return for the year. However, if you’re still unsure as to how to complete your W-4, then check out our other articles, “Do I Claim Zero, One, Two W-4 Allowances?” and “How to Fill Out a W-4 Correctly“. This has specific examples for you to relate your own situation to.

  6. Rhea says:

    I am married with 1 child and had a part time job last year until now. My husband claim me and our son as dependents. Every year we file jointly and get refund. This year my employer wants me to update my W4, last year I claim zero allowances but I usually check the exempt box. Am I doing it right? Need help.

    • For help with your withholding, you may use the IRS Withholding Calculator. This easy-to-use calculator can help you figure your federal income tax withholding so your employer can withhold the correct amount from your pay. This is particularly helpful if you’ve had too much or too little withheld in the past, your situation has changed, or you are starting a new job.

  7. Miracle Jackson says:

    I make more than $950 every 2 weeks. All of that is from regular full time work. Can I file exempt so as long as I do not file for a tax return at all? if so is that acceptable to do so immediately or wait till the beginning of a new year or job? I’m 29 btw with no kids. unmarried.

    • From the situation that you outlined it through your message, it is advised that you do not claim as exempt for your W-4. Even though you are single with no kids, you may still be tax liable for an amount. Claiming as exempt on your W-4 pertains to how much income you earn and your personal situation, whether or not you file a tax return should not be used as a factor for claiming as exempt on your W-4

  8. Jose says:

    I filed exempt because I can’t afford my bills what are my options?

  9. Brianna says:

    I claimed exempt because I never had a job before and the place I was working only paid $9.75 an hour for only 12 hours every week (I’m paid bi-weekly and I started my job this November?) But I want to get a seasonal job at another place during the summer but I’m not sure what I would put.

  10. Tina DeRider says:

    I am 45 and disabled. I have a part time job, but am only allowed to ear a certain amount per month before they take my disability. Would it be to my advantage to claim EXEMPT since I will always fall below the poverty average, or close to it?

  11. Kathleen says:

    I was on long term disability all last year and earned very little.( Below $5000)I know it’s not considered earned income & it’s not taxed so I won’t be filing for 2016. I did receive my refund from the previous yr 2015. This year I’m starting a part time job. Not married/no kids. Can I file as Exempt?

    • It’s best to only claim an exemption when you are certain that you will be owing no taxes whatsoever. If for this year you have determined that your return will end up looking about the same as your last year return, you can use that to determine how to file your W-4 this year.

    • It’s best to only claim an exemption when you are certain that you will be owing no taxes whatsoever. If for this year you have determined that your return will end up looking about the same as your last year return, you can use that to determine how to file your W-4 this year.

  12. Donnie says:

    Hello I filed exempt through my employeI.I told my human resources rep exactly what weeks I was planning on exempting,and he told me the dates I should fill out the paperwork (my w4)and have it turned in by. I did so, and when I got my paycheck it had not been exempted, even though I filled out the forms and had been told that on the day of turning it in that it had cleared and been processed correctly. My question is,is illegal for them to have made an error on my w4 and not have told me about itand if so should I be contacting my local area labor law firm

    • You can follow up on the discrepancy made on your W-4 form with your employer. If you are looking to take legal action against them then you can consult with a tax attorney to determine if this is your best resolution.

  13. Andre Rivera says:

    I’m married my spouse doesn’t work I have 3 children and my mother in law living with me would I qualify for exempt and if so how long all year or should I only claim partial exempt for the year.

    • Firstly, if you plan to claim dependents on your tax return, then you cannot claim exempt from taxes. Additionally, to determine if you meet all of the requirements for filing exempt you can refer to the following IRS test.

      • Michael says:

        I am confused as to why if I claim a dependent that I cannot claim exempt. I have no tax liability at the end of the year and everything I paid out I get back. I meet both requirements to file exempt. I have been filing this way for almost 7 years and have had no problems.

        • If you are following the guidelines for line 7 on your W-4, then you are eligible to claim that you are exempt.

          • Michael says:

            That is my understanding but after reading what Michelle wrote about claiming dependents it would make someone think that if they claim a dependent then they cannot file as exempt. I understand you cannot claim any dependents on your w4 if you are wanting exemption from federal but on your tax return you should be able to claim as many dependents as you are entitled to claim.

  14. Keyonna says:

    Good Morning,
    I am a full time student starting in August of this year(2017) and claim myself on my taxes. I am only 23yrs of age and will be 24 in December who is a part time worker who works less than 40hrs a week. Can I claim exempt on my taxes?

    • It is best if you consult with your payroll department as they will be able to better assess and advise you on whether you should claim exempt. This is dependent on how much you earn and whether or not your parents will be claiming you on their return. Typically the more allowances you claim the less taxes are withheld but you may run the risk of having a tax liability at the end of the year. The general rule is to be as close to zero when filing your tax return, so that you can get the most out of your income earned through the year without having to wait for it in the upcoming year.

  15. Dan says:


    I have an intern who is about to start his internship with the company on June and will conclude in September. He works full-time and he wants to claim exempt on his taxes so is this possible and is this possible for New York taxes as well ???

    • Everyone has the right to claim exempt on their W-4s, however whether or not you are fine with having a tax liability at the beginning of next year for taxes owed because you claimed exempt is another problem on it’s own. If they have determined that they will not be owing any taxes when they file their return next year, then there should be no concern with claiming exempt. However it is advised to have taxes withheld and that is dependent on individual situation and income earned.

  16. David says:

    I receive a tax refund ever year. I will be receiving a large bonus from my employer. I would like to file exempt on my W-4 form for the bonus and a couple of pay checks. Then switch back to my original W-4 form is this possible. Thanks

    • The IRS has a tool to determine if you can claim exempt on your W-4 form Simply click here to use this tool.

      • Shawna says:

        Most employers tax bonuses at the bonus rate and not what is set up on your W4. Therefore changing your w4 would not impact what gets withheld. I would check with your employer to see how they tax bonuses.

  17. Shakerra L Brown says:

    I want to have less taken from my check I’m single with one child I dont care if I won’t get a refund this year if I file exempt will it stop taking out all taxes? Or just federal?

    • When filing your W-4, if you are filing exempt, it will stop taking out taxes for the federal government. State taxes may still be withheld, however, if you are filing exempt, be wary that you may incur a tax liability when you file your return the year after. Typically you should only file exempt when you know that you will not be owing any taxes to the IRS.

  18. Beerly Stewart says:

    Can I file Exempt on W-4 if I owe the IRS and have not filed taxes for 2 years.

    • If you have a liability for prior years and have not filed your taxes for 2 years, I would advise against filing exempt. It is only best to file exempt when you know that you are due a refund or have no tax liability.

  19. Cecilia says:

    Hi! I recently started working at a company, and when it came time to file my w4 form, I was unsure of what exactly to fill out, so I went ahead and wrote down exempt. The prior year I filled for tax refund with 1 dependant. What should I do?

    • You may need to update your W-4, however, this is not necessary if you plan on paying back any liability that you may owe at the end of the year. Typically, one should only file exempt if they know that they have a refund or are not liable for any taxes for the year.

  20. Michael says:

    I’m single father of 2, just started new job. I think I messed up by claiming exempt. There was a confusion on my part. If knowing that I have to owe taxes for this coming year can I still claim 3?

    • When it comes to the number of allowances you should claim, it’s best for you to claim the amount according to the guidelines outlined on the W-4. You can also use the IRS Withholding Calculator to assist you as well. But it would be best for you to speak with your payroll department, as they can better assess your situation for advisement.

  21. dee says:

    i am 18 and a citizen of US but i leave in Nigeria and i am presenlty in the US to do a summer job for just 2 months and I go back to Nigeria August. i am earning minimum wage do i write exempt on the w4 form?

    • Hello Dee,

      Since you are a US citizen and you are earning income in the US, they have the ability to tax you on the income you earn. We recommend that you consult with your employer if there are any technicalities that apply to you.

      In order to claim exempt, you will need to expect a refund of all federal tax withholding because you did not have tax due.

  22. Corey Gyger says:

    I messed up. I received information from an unreliable source and went exempt for the WHOLE year. From what I Ib read I was not eligible. To top it all off I only filed ONE W2 because I couldn’t find the one where I was exempt the WHOLE year. CAN I FILE that one next year? Or am I screwed? I’m sure I’m gonna have to pay thousands of dollars. God I HOPE there’s payment plans…I’m such a gullible f!$k! Any help would be appreciated.

    • Any income statements that you receive for the specific year must be filed within that tax year return. You must retrieve all of your income statements either through your previous employer or request an income transcript from the IRS and the State offices. The IRS does provide payment plans, however, it would still be best for you to speak with the IRS about your options and further assistance on this matter.

  23. Eduarda Xavier says:

    I’m a full time student who will be making 11$/hr working a part-time job. I am going to get paid bi-weekly. I file my taxes and my parents do not. I do not claim anyone. I was wondering if I qualify as exempt on the W-4?

    • If you are being claimed as a dependent, your limit would be around $6,000 dollars of earning that is exempt from taxation. If you are not being claimed as a dependent on another person’s return, your exemption limit is around $10,000 dollars. This exemption limit is for the income that you earn overall annually for the specific tax year.

  24. MkA says:

    I been filing exempt for the last 3 montrhs how long is the recommended time to do it before changing it back?

    • The IRS gives no maximum time that you may be on an exempt status. You must balance the potential tax bill with the zero interest loan you give the IRS if you withhold too much at end the year. Your personal tax deductions and general tax situation should gauge your request for exemption. If you have high deductions you may be able to balance out a longer time being classified as exempt. If you typically pay taxes each year as opposed to getting a refund, filing exempt will likely make this situation worse. Please utilize the IRS withholding calculator to monitor this status.

  25. Amy says:

    Hey ,I am married and have one child and I tried to claim exempt on my W-4 online like my employer told me but it shows up that I can’t because of my marital status (married) .Do I can’t claim exempt if I am married?

    • You should claim exempt only if you are certain that you will not be tax liable for that specific year or if you did not have any income tax withheld previously. As to why your online W-4 is not allowing you to claim this qualification if you meet both of these requirements, we will not be able to further advise you on this matter.

  26. Donald says:

    I had to pay taxes last year, can I still file exempt. I also do not have a tax liability.

  27. Aisha says:


    I am a student on an F-1 visa. I did a little research and saw that as a non resident alien authorized to work part time on campus, i am not supposed to put exempt on my W-4. I had no idea about taxes when filing my W-4 and my supervisor told me to put “exempt”. I emailed her to change it but i have already been working all summer. Am i still going to get fined or can she just contact payroll and get it fixed?

    I also did claim taxes last year and got a tax return.

    • If you claim exempt on your W-4 and you were not eligible, you can be subjected to a tax bill and possible penalties. You are responsible for what you report on your W-4. If you made an honest mistake, you may not be penalized. It is advised that you contact an IRS representative on 1-800-289-1040 to address this issue.

  28. Ana says:


    I recently filed a W-4 for a new job, but I’m really confused over the exemption part. I’m afraid I filled it out wrong after claiming exempt. What are the benefits of claiming exempt? Is it better to not have taxes taken out of my paycheck throughout the year? I’m single, independent, and claiming one allowance.

    • Hello Ana,

      The benefit of filing ‘exempt’ is that you will not have any taxes withheld during the year. But if it is determined on your tax return at the end of the year that you are not exempt from paying taxes, you will have a very high tax liability to make up for all the taxes that were not withheld from your pay all year. It is not recommended that you claim exempt unless you are absolutely sure you are indeed ‘Exempt’ from paying taxes. Thank you.

  29. Jermaine Grove says:

    I was wondering can I claim exempt for the last 4 months of the year since I’ve had taxes took out the first 8 months .I have a tax liablility bill from last year & don’t want to get a penalty for claiming exempt

    • I would advise against claiming exempt for the last 4 months, as this is dependent on how much you are earning for the remainder of the year as well as your personal situation. If you are single, with no children, it may be best to claim 2 allowances.

  30. Grace says:


    I’m a college student and working as part time. If I put exempt on my W-4 doesn’t that mean I’m exempt from all the taxes which includes FICA, Federal, State, and Local?

    Thank You!

    • Hello Grace,

      You will first need to be eligible to claim exempt on your W-4 such as not having a tax liability from the prior year and had all right to a federal refund, and you expect to have no tax liability for the following tax year. This exemption only applies to federal income tax. We advise you follow all instructions on your W-4 and ask for further assistance from your employer.

  31. Robert says:

    I was 1099 for 2015/2016. I owe back taxes which I am paying monthly for 2015. I filed for an extension for 2016 and will be paying towards that starting in October. for 2017 I switched to W4 and I currently have an allowance of 8 due to my multiple write offs as a outside sales rep.

    Am I eligible to claim exempt on one or two of my paychecks this year?

    • Because you are claiming a large number of allowances, this may result in a high liability if your write offs are not qualified. As to whether or not you can claim exempt on one or two of your paychecks, it may be best to be conservative and consult with a local accountant before doing so.

  32. Temeka says:

    Hello I’m been on my job 3 years now and my children are grown this year and I moved out of state can I go except for the remaining of the year or for only 2 months without problems from irs I do not plan on claiming on taxes

    • Hello Tameka,

      In order to claim exempt on your W-4, you must have had no tax liability for the previous year and must expect to have no tax liability for the current year. You may go to the IRS website to determine if you can claim tax exempt. Be advised that if the IRS deems that you are reducing your tax withheld without qualifying, there is a penalty of $500.

  33. Cori C. says:

    I am getting a bit bonus and don’t want to be taxed on it right now. I’m planning to temporarily change my withholdings so I can get the full bonus now (and pay the tax on it later). The change will only be in effect for two months. Can I claim exempt for those two months, or is there a better way to ensure I’m taxed as little as possible for this two-month period?

    • Tax advisor says:

      You will need to speak with your employer on any changes you would like to make to your W-4. The more allowances that you claim, the fewer taxes get withhold during the specific pay period, but you must ensure that you are updating your W-4 when the period is over. If you choose to claim more allowances or exempt, not only is your bonus taken into consideration but your regular income earned throughout the year as well. This may result in a higher tax liability at the end of the year, so do so at your own discretion.

      • Evelyn says:

        I am in a similar situation. I currently claim married with no allowances. But I would like to claim exempt for 1 month. When I get my W-2 next year, will it show I claimed exempt, or will it show married -0 if I switch it back?

        Thank you

  34. Maurice A Fain says:

    What’s the max time allowed to file exempt on you pay check before u have to report it? 3 months?

  35. Greener says:

    I was recently deployed as a federal asset for a natural disaster. The payment I will receive will be process through my orginization. My question is in regards to minimizing the amount of tax withheld due to the size of the check. I understand that I can make changes to my W-4, but I am unsure of what I can/cannot change. I am single and claim low exemptions for my regular salary. This would be a one time adjustment for this income. Thanks!

  36. Anthony says:

    Hi i have never done taxes i have been a dependant for my whole life and now i have a job that is 6 days 10 hour shifts and i want to claim exempt for at least a month what is my best bet? I am single unmarried didnt pay taxes last year because i was a dependant

    • If you wish to claim exempt for at least a month, it’s best for you to keep track of when that month is over. There is no guarantee that you would not have a tax liability because of a whole month of having an income being tax-exempt. You can, however, speak to your employer after that month to change your W-4.

  37. Logan says:

    Hi, I’m a minor who just started working part time, and one of my coworkers told me that I can go exempt on my paychecks. Is this true? If not what do I actually need to be claiming?

    • In order to claim exempt, you must not make over the standard deduction amount on a tax return for the specific year. If you are being claimed by someone else on their return, in your case, this may be your parents, this situation is applicable.

      If you are not being claimed as a dependent for the year, you may claim the exempt status, only if you make less than the standard deduction plus the exemption amount for the year.

      It is safe to claim 1 allowance if you are a dependent or 2 if you are claiming yourself.

  38. Natasha Kimball says:

    My husband’s paycheck are being garnished the full 25%, but he is head of household and both of our checks are no longer enough to pay our bills. We have 3 children, one on the way and we can barely afford groceries let alone all of our other bills. I read a few things online that my husband can claim head of household exemption so they cannot garnish his wages. Is this true or what are we to do?

    • If you are married, claiming head of household is not an available status for you to file under. It may be best in your situation, would be to reach out to an IRS representative for further advisement.

  39. Cyndi says:

    If an employee makes exempt on their W4, should the gross wages still appear in box 1?

    • If you are requesting what the information in box 1 on the employee’s W-2 should indicate, it should report how much you paid them for the year. The W-4 is separate from the W-2, however, box 2 or taxes withheld should remain empty, as they are requesting that their income earned does not get withheld.

  40. Terri says:

    As an employer- Can you refuse to allow an employee to file “exempt” on the W-4?

    Basically… can you tell them they CANNOT file” exempt’ if you are their employer??

    Where would I find this clarification in the IRS.gov website?

    Thank you!

    • You can advise the employee to not file exempt, as well as provide them the clause on the W-4 that indicates, “Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this certificate and, to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true, correct, and complete”. However, they are still filing this out on their own discretion, if you are concerned that you will be liable, you do not need to worry as you will not be held liable.

  41. Alisson says:

    Can I claim Exempt if I didnt file taxes for the past 2 years only because I didnt reach the requirement? Single, Independent. This job will only last about a couple months.

  42. Laura says:

    Can i file exempt on my w4 if I am a full time student?

  43. Mitesha J says:

    I’m 18 years old and never filed taxes …never had owe..And at the job I put exempt on my W2- or whatever they are. Can I file for taxes next year without any owing.

  44. Michae J says:

    I work full time and want to exempt my last two checks for December as I am moving to Texas and need the money I have myself as a dependent but my coworkers are saying when they try to exempt their checks our h and r won’t let them will I be able to exempt my last checks?

    • This is a discussion you will need to have with your company, be aware that you must file the W-4 with information that you are accurately reporting. This may result in a tax or higher taxes that will need to be paid when you file your return.

  45. Starlett says:

    How does a full time college student working part-time claim an exemption from social security and medicare?

  46. Rita says:

    I always receive a tax refund Can I claim exempt the last two checks of the year to try to balance out what I am paying and what I am receiving in a refund?

  47. Nancy says:

    Where, on what form, does it state that, if you do not make over 100,000$ a year, then you are eligible to file EXEMPT?? I know I have seen it before and I’m having trouble finding it again. If you could educate me on this I would appreciate it. Thanks ?

    • It does not state within the form that if you do not make over $10,000 dollars a year, that you will then be eligible to file exempt. However, you can proceed by using a provided IRS Tool to determine the withholding amount for filling out your W-4.

  48. Chad says:

    Is it possible that I have not paid enough in taxes this year, because I tried filing exempt three weeks in a row but taxes were still taken out despite my check stub stating that I was exempt with 0 dependents, as a matter of fact they took out more taxes seeing as how I had 0 dependents???

    • The W-4 is a form that your employer uses to determine how much you would like to have withheld in taxes on the income that you earn. It is your sole responsibility to fill the form out as accurately as possible. You may want to check on your W-4, which you can request from your employer to provide to you, as well as update your W-4 with them.

  49. Chad says:

    Also I owe $214 is that a factor as well?

  50. Kason says:

    So if I have dependents I can not file exempt , even though when I enter my income with no income tax deducted, it still show I get a return.

  51. Nahian says:


    I am currently a full time student in College with two part time jobs. When filling out my W-4 I claimed 0 allowances since my parents are claiming me as a dependent. In 2017 I earned around $6000-$7000 and in 2018 I expect to earn most likely around $3000-$4000 as I will be studying abroad and wont have time to work as much. My question is, for 2018 would I be able to claim Exempt? Also, I am having a hard time understanding as to why I am being taxed so high. As stated above, my Income is less than $10k, from my retail job I am taxed around 25% which seems a bit high, as opposed to the job I have at my College where I am being taxed around 10%. Thank you in advance for your response.

  52. tee says:

    hi, i claimed 7 dependants on my w4 so that i could get more money back on my checks from august to dec.8. on dec. 8 i changed it back to claiming 2. will the 7 show on my w2? and when would i pay able to change my dependants back without it affecting my 2017 w2’s?

  53. Mozhgan Parskian says:

    Hi there,

    I immigrated to US on October 2017 , I am married and my husband does not work,I want to start a job and I have to fill out a W4 now, my whole income since October up to now is not more than 2500 $ ,
    Am I exempt in 2017 W4 Form?

  54. Brenna says:

    Can I file exempt on W-4 if I haven’t had any income the previous 3 years and didn’t have to pay taxes but I’m starting a new job now, also why my employer sent me a W-4 form for 2017 not 2018? Thank you!

  55. Mary Cope says:

    Have a question on my state tax they took out state tax I claim 0 but on my w2 it says I claim 7 at my work we do the pay core I ask my boss about it they said they made a miss stake on my paper what should I do

  56. Michael says:

    I was tax exempt throughout the entire year except for the last 3 months when I removed my exemption. Will I owe the IRS for those months that I was exempt?

  57. Heather says:

    I’m very confused on this. My 18 yr old daughter goes to college full time and lives on campus. She also works part time. I will be claiming her as a dependent. Is she Exempt?

  58. Rebecca lamplough says:

    I was doing taxes online and I put my kids in as dependents
    But there credit was not in my total refund
    I was divorced for all of 2017 but my ex husband still claimed them as dependents on his w4 form for his paychecks all year
    He hasn’t completed his taxes yet
    But could him claiming dependens on his checks stop me from getting credit on my 2017 return?

  59. Jamie Henderson says:

    I filed as exempt because I was confused. I am a dependent, so my parents will be claiming me on their taxes. I am also a full time college student with a work study job. Because this money is not taxed, I didn’t know if I was allowed to file exempt or not?

  60. Amber says:

    i have never worked before and I am filling out my W-4. I cant quite tell if i am eligible. I am 16 single have never paid tax before and my mother claims me as a dependent. If i could please get some help it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  61. Tyrus says:

    I am a father of 2 kids, I was wondering can I put them as dependents on my W-4 form even if I don’t claim them when I files my taxes? Help please? Will this help me from paying the maximum tax. I am single.

  62. Angela says:

    My son is a full time college student with a part time job, and I am still claiming him on my taxes . I am preparing to get our taxes done and noticed on his W 2 no taxes were taken out . I asked him about this and he said the mgr told him he could be exempt . He made just under $5,400 for the year . Last year 2016 he did get a refund from both state and federal .
    Will this affect me claiming him or credits I would get , or does he just end up owing the IRS

  63. Layla says:


    I have a sole proprietorship that is at Active Non-Reporting status for 2017 and will continue to be through 2018. I am taking on a very part time job, in addition to my sole proprietorship, and am wondering if I should claim exempt on my W-4 since I had no tax liability for 2017 and expect the same for 2018?

  64. Tamanika Mackey says:


    I eligible to claim exempt on my W-4 but my Employer won’t allow me to. Do they have the right to tell me if I can or can not claim Exempt on my W-4 and if so why?

  65. Frank says:

    Hi. I am single, no dependents and have 1 job. I normally file as non exempt every year. However, late last year I got promoted and got switched from being an hourly wage employee to salary. Does the change in how I am paid, change my status from non exempt to exempt? After doing some research, my understanding is that if you qualify for over time pay (meaning that you work more than 40 hours per week) then you are labeled as a non exempt employee. Since I am salary, I do no longer get paid overtime, no matter how many hours I work each week. My question is, even though I am salary now, should I still be filing as non exempt or does this change automatically label me as exempt since I no longer qualify for the overtime pay?

  66. Selena Sanchez says:

    I am wondering since I am exempt… do I still have to fill out the 1040 tax form. I was struggling with understanding what to fill out since most of the things on that form do not apply to me.

    Thank you,

  67. Gisele says:


    I owed money for my 2016 taxes which I arranged to pay in monthly installments. It was not a lot, but I could not pay it all at once. When I filed my 2017 taxes, I was owed a refund and the remaining amount that I owed from 2016 was deducted from my refund. I was sent what was left as a refund. My question is, could I claim tax exempt for a few months now or would I have to wait until next year?

    Thank you,

  68. devin says:

    I’m working full time and married i have claimed head of house hold and all three of my kids my federal allow is 7 already and my wife just got a job we are not really sure what she should put down weather she should do exempt or not and advice?

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