You’ve probably heard people boast about the size of their tax refunds or lament the amount they owe, especially this year as people see the results of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed at the end of 2017. In either case, their tax status means one thing: they haven’t bothered to determine how much they should be withholding. That’s not a big deal, as long as they don’t mind making interest-free loans to Uncle Sam or having to come up with a few thousand dollars for taxes right after the holidays.
Here’s how to remedy these situations:
IRS Form W-4
Your employer withholds taxes from your pay and then pays the money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in your name. Your earnings and the way you complete your W-4 determine the amount withheld.
It’s a good idea to review the Personal Allowance Worksheet section of your W-4 each year and make any necessary changes. In general, any major life event—getting married, having children, losing a spouse—will give you a good reason to review your withholding choices.
Withholding calculators can be helpful
If you’ve been getting a sizeable refund every year, you may be having too much withheld from your pay. If you owe taxes every year, you’re probably having too little withheld. Your accountant or your Lincoln Investment advisor can help you review your withholding amount. Or, you can try an online calculator, such as the one available at IRS.gov.