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Kateykoeppel
New Member

Filing status

When I set up my W2 with my employer, I filed as Head Of Household. After some research I realize I should have filed as Single, as I'm unmarried and have no dependents. How can I fix this so my taxes go smoothly in January.

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Filing status

Your W-4 does not dictate how you file your tax return.   It only goes to your employer to tell them how much tax to withhold from your pay.   If you do not have any dependents then you will not be able to file a tax return as Head of Household.   You will file as Single.   Check to see if you are having too little withheld.   If your employer thinks you have children who you will be claiming as dependents on a tax return they might not be withholding enough tax and you could end up owing at tax time.

 

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/tax-topics/help/what-to-know-about-the-new-2020-irs-form-w-4-emplo...

 

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

 

 

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-withholding-estimator

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

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2 Replies
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Filing status

Your W-4 does not dictate how you file your tax return.   It only goes to your employer to tell them how much tax to withhold from your pay.   If you do not have any dependents then you will not be able to file a tax return as Head of Household.   You will file as Single.   Check to see if you are having too little withheld.   If your employer thinks you have children who you will be claiming as dependents on a tax return they might not be withholding enough tax and you could end up owing at tax time.

 

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/tax-topics/help/what-to-know-about-the-new-2020-irs-form-w-4-emplo...

 

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

 

 

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-withholding-estimator

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

View solution in original post

WendyS
Employee Tax Expert

Filing status

Hi Kateykoeppel!

 

Great job on researching your situation and taking action for a potential future issue.  You are correct in your research that you must have a qualifying dependent as one of the requirements for filing head of household.

 

I agree with what xmasbaby0 answered earlier. To add to this answer, please know that you can provide your payroll department with a new W-4 at any time.  You are allowed to change your W-4 at any time.   You do not have to keep it the same all year.  For your convenience, I am including a link to the 2021 W-4. The W-4 is located at  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

 

Xmasbaby0 provided a link to the tax withholding estimator, which can be found on the IRS website at: https://apps.irs.gov/app/tax-withholding-estimator .  To provide some additional information, the IRS tax withholding estimator is an extremely useful tool to calculate your potential tax liability for the year.

You will click on the blue button, Use the Tax Withholding Estimator, which will guide you through a series of question about your specific tax situation.  Please be sure to answer all questions related to your specific tax situation when using the estimator in order to receive the most complete results.

 

Once you use the estimator tool, you should receive results identifying if you will have an additional tax liability based on your current situation.  If so, you may choose to have extra withholding (extra tax dollars withheld with your paychecks) on your W-4 until the end of the year to pay toward that balance.

 

In summary, you will use the IRS tax withholding estimator to determine your tax liability for the year. Based on the results of the estimator, you may determine that you want to have extra withholding in step 4 of the W-4 to help prepare for filing your tax return.

 

I recommend that you go ahead and provide your payroll department with an updated W-4 reflecting your current filing status.  If you opt to have extra withholding in step 4 of the W-4 for the remainder of this year, I would recommend revisiting this in January and possibly update you W-4 again at that time.    

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