The IRS released a new tax withholding estimator. Here's how to use it

Aug 15, 2019

This article was first published by the IRS and has been reproduced with permission. Subscribe to IRS tax tips here.

All taxpayers should use the new Tax Withholding Estimator to do a Paycheck Checkup. This tool helps people make sure their employers are taking out the right amount of tax from employees' paychecks. The money withheld from an employee’s paychecks throughout the year should cover the amount of tax they owe.

Taxpayers who haven’t yet checked their withholding can follow these simple steps for using the estimator. Results will include a recommendation of whether the taxpayer should consider submitting a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, to any of their employers.

Step 1: Gather documents.
Before beginning, taxpayers should have a copy of their most recent pay stub and tax return. Taxpayers should go to the main Tax Withholding Estimator page on IRS.gov. Once there, they should carefully read all information and click the blue Tax Withholding Estimator button.

Step 2: Answer the questions.
Users can answer a series of questions about their specific tax situation. When they complete each section, click the blue “Next” button that takes them to the next section.

Step 3: Review the results.
Taxpayers use the estimator’s results to determine if they need to complete a new Form W-4, which they submit to their employer, not to the IRS. The tool helps the user target a tax due amount close to zero or a refund amount.