It feels like every year you get a tax break. It's a big amount of money. Have you ever thought about why you always get a return?
When a person has paid too much in taxes over the year, they often get a tax refund. At first, getting a big return might seem like a good thing.
If you find it hard to save money, getting your tax refund at a good time of year can be a huge help.
If you use this way to save money, you should know that you are "lending" your money to the government without getting any interest in return.
Instead of getting a big tax refund at the end of the year, you may be able to get more money in each of your paychecks instead.
One way to do this would be to change how much tax is taken out of each paycheck.
This article tells you everything you need to know about how they deduct taxes and how you can adjust your tax amount. It also teaches you how to figure out tax estimates more accurately.
Keep reading to learn how you can benefit from tax withholding rather than lose out on it every year.
Tax Withholding 101
The amount of federal income tax that is taken out of a worker's paycheck every two weeks is called "tax withholding."
Your tax deduction will depend on how much money you make and what information you give your employer on your W-4 form.
You have the option of having a substantial sum deducted from your paycheck every week or a more manageable amount deducted on each pay day.
You can even choose to have no tax taken out of your income at all. In this case, the employee's pay will not have any income taxes taken out of it. You should be careful with this choice because if you don't pay enough in income taxes over the year, you could owe the tax office a lot of money.
If you are having trouble filling out your W-4, the IRS has a free withholding calculator that can help you figure out how much money they should take out of your paycheck to pay income taxes
How to Adjust Tax Withholding
The first step in making a change to your current tax withholding amount is to figure out if you need to make a change. Start by using the IRS's Tax Withholding Calculator to find out if you need to make any changes.
You'll be asked some basic questions about how you file, how much money you make, how much tax you owe, and what deductions you expect to get.
Have your most recent tax return and pay stub from work (and, if applicable, your spouse's) on hand so you can answer the questions correctly.
Use the calculator to determine how much you owe or how much you receive. If you need to change how much is taken out of your pay, ask the human resources department at your company for a new W-4 form.
To fill out the form correctly, you'll need the following information:
- Information on dormant income generation (including things like properties on lease and shares).
- Proof of income from any other job you have
- Your address
- A rough estimate of how many dependents you can claim and calculate paystub deductions you might be able to take.
- Your SSN (Your social security wages may be subject to federal income tax, depending on your total income. )
- If you have a spouse, their income information is needed.
Use the calculator on the IRS website to fill out the form. Talk to a tax professional or accountant if you need help.
Why Adjust Your Tax Withholding?
Avoid having to take money out of your savings account in the middle of the year to pay annual fees or interest you missed (which means you may pay additional charges and late fees on your debt or bills).
When you overpay your income taxes, the government "saves" the money for you, but it does not really earn you any interest. Your money may be kept by the government while you pay interest on other debts, like loans or credit cards.
You might get more money in each paycheck if you change how much tax is taken out. This financial plan could change your income stream, which could make a difference if you're in a jam or need more money.
Why Would a Refund Be a Bad Thing?
When a person pays more in taxes than they need to, they receive a tax refund. You could have used that extra money for things like household expenses, travel, or saving for the future. The IRS saved that extra money for you all year.
Only when you file your taxes will you get your money back. It would have been better to save the money yourself.
Even if you get a big refund (keep in mind that the average refund is about $3,000), it is still not a gift. Because of this, you'll have to send in more money than necessary to cover your taxes early.
You have no use for the money now. Even though you'll get it back in the form of a tax refund, you won't have been able to invest, save, or pay down debt with that money for most of the year.
Getting More Money With Tax Withholding
You may have more of your pay taken out each year so that you can get a bigger tax refund. It's easy. Simply fill out line 4(c) of your W-4 form with the amount you want deducted from each paycheck. On this line, you should take out more money.
In the same way, if you always owe money to the IRS, you can get rid of that debt by filling out line 4(c) of your W-4 with the right amount of additional withholding. To figure out how much more should be taken out of each paycheck, divide your annual federal tax liability by the number of pay periods in a year.
Estimate Your Taxes the Right Way
The first step in figuring out how much tax you might have to pay is estimating payroll taxes. To figure out how much tax we have to pay, we take tax breaks out of gross income. This is your net income, from which the IRS taxes you. You work out the amount of tax you owe by first figuring out which tax bracket applies (determined by both taxable income and filing status).
Tax credits and the amount of tax already taken out of your income may cover your annual tax payment. If you don't, you might have to pay money when you file your taxes. If you pay too much in taxes, the government will give you the money back.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Pay is Subject to Withholding?
This includes your regular salary, bonuses, and holiday pay. Reimbursements and other spending money are given by a program that doesn't have to be accounted for. The money you get from pensions, bonuses, commissions, gambling wins, and other sources is also subject to withholding. If you’re a self-employed contractor, there may be no federal tax deduction from your paycheck.
How to Figure Your Withholding Amount?
There are a few steps to calculating your withholding amount. Here are a few of them;
- Estimate how much to take out of each paycheck by dividing the total amount from Step 4(a) of Form W-4 by the total number of paychecks given during the year.
- Add the employee's total taxable pay for the pay period to this amount.
- In order to determine the employee's withholding allowances for each pay period, divide the yearly amount from Step 4(b) of Form W-4 by the total number of pay periods in the year.
- Take this number and take it away from the total from the second step. The number you get is the pay adjustment. Take away the negative numbers and round the sum to 0.
- Use the IRS's Publication 15-T's wage bracket chart to compare your adjusted pay to the appropriate bracket. Use this handy calculator to find out how much will be taken out of your pay. Divide the total amount from Step 3 of an employee's W-4 by the number of pay periods in a year for each worker.
- Add the following to the amount you put in Box 4(c) of Form W-4. During this pay period, you will take this amount out of the employee's paycheck to pay their federal income tax.
When to Check Your Withholding?
The Inland Revenue says that you should look at your withholding every time something changes in your life. Every year, you should check your income tax withholding to make sure you'll have enough saved to pay your taxes when they're due (either every three months or when you file your taxes at the end of the year).
When should I Increase My Withholding?
When you start a new job or if you weren't happy with your tax withholding the year before, for example, you should check your withholding and make any changes you need before the next tax season.
After the passing of the Tax and Jobs Act, you should also change your W-4 if you haven't already. Even though the law says that everyone needs to update their W-4, many people still haven't.
Final Thoughts: Adjust Tax Withholding From Your Paycheck
Getting a tax refund at the end of the year from the government usually seems like an advantage. However, it’s not always as easy as it seems. Although it may look like forced savings, you lend the government money without earning interest.
The money you receive as a tax refund at the end of the year doesn’t yield any profit. In fact, it could probably serve a better purpose, i.e., debt relief.