Income Tax Results Made You Sick? It's Time for a Checkup.

Back when you started your job, you likely filled out a Form W-4. Since then, life has changed—possibly with a marriage, a new child, or a raise. Now that income tax filing season is over, did you end up owing taxes, when you expected a refund? Or perhaps you experienced month-to-month budgeting issues, because too much was being withheld from your wages.

Fixes for Future Tax Shock

Too much or too little in tax withholdings may cause headaches down the line, so it’s important to know which life events can affect your tax status. Here are a few:

  • Change in marital status
  • Change to number of exemptions
  • Change in benefits
  • Added or left a job
  • Moved to a different county or state
  • Qualified for tax exemption based upon pay
  • Became or will become a student
  • Used a non-accountable plan for business expenses
  • Collected disability
  • Earned non-wage income, such as dividends, alimony, or interest
  • Reclassified from independent contractor to employee

As an added measure, look at your year-to-date pay statement, and conduct an income tax withholding status check. The IRS Withholding Calculator can help determine if you are on track. If not, a mid-year adjustment can be made.

Clergy can benefit from a withholdings review, too. A mid-year check can help keep a minister’s estimated taxes and housing expenses on track. The IRS Calculator contains instructions for self-employed workers, like some ministers, who make quarterly tax payments.

A New Form W-4 is Required

If you want to make changes to your withholdings or estimated tax payments, you must file a new Form W-4 with your payroll administrator. A “verbal” notice of change, or an email, will not work.