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Reviewing Your Tax Withholding


A few weeks ago, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a letter, urging taxpayers to check their tax withholding to ensure that the correct amount of federal income tax is being taken from their paychecks. According to the IRS, taking this step could affect potential refunds or the amount of taxes owed in 2018. If you are dealing with a tax-related issue and have questions or concerns, you should consider contacting a Florida tax attorney who can advise you.

Changing Tax Withholding  

A taxpayer’s situation does not always remain the same throughout the year. For example, a person may get married, obtain a divorce, or have a child. These changes impact tax exemptions, adjustments, and credits that can be claimed on a tax return, so as soon as taxpayer experience a major life change, they should provide their  employer with a new form titled, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, or Form W-4. In fact, employees are generally required to give a new W-4 to their employer within ten days of:

  • A divorce, if they have been claiming married status;
  • Any event that reduces the number of claimable withholding allowances; or
  • Changing their withholding for the current year.

Employers use these forms to determine how much federal income tax should be withheld from a person’s pay, so when an employee reports a life change, the employer can amend the taxpayer’s withholding status or number of allowances. As long as taxpayers request these changes in the late summer or early fall, they should have enough time to adjust withholdings before the end of the tax year.

Getting the Correct Amount of Tax Withheld  

As long as taxpayers accurately complete their Form W-4’s and give their employers a new form when a life change occurs, the tax withheld should be pretty close to the tax amount on their return. Unfortunately, the withholding calculation methods aren’t always completely accurate, especially if one of the following situations apply:

  • You are married and your spouse also works;
  • You are employed at more than one job;
  • You have income from interest, dividends, alimony, or self-employment;
  • Your withholding was based on a Form W-4 that was inaccurate for the majority of the tax year; or
  • You owe additional funds on your return.

If one or more of these situations applies to you, you may not be getting the correct amount of tax withheld.

Repaying Withheld Tax 

If, after review, you discover that too much is being withheld from your paycheck because you failed to claim all of your withholding allowances, you should provide your employer with a new Form W-4. Unfortunately, in these cases, the employer will not be able to return the amount that was incorrectly withheld. However, if an employer withheld an incorrect amount for a Form W-4 that is currently in effect, then the taxpayer can be repaid the amount that was mistakenly withheld.

Call Today to Speak With an Experienced Orlando Tax Attorney About Your Case  

If you are concerned that the incorrect amount of taxes are being withheld from your paycheck, please contact dedicated tax attorney, Ronald Cutler, P.A. at 386-490-9949 to set up a one-on-one strategy session. Our Florida legal team is prepared to assist you immediately.