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Mr and Mrs B
Level 1

Claiming Dependents

In Step 1c of my W4 I checked Married Filing Jointly. I have no children under 17 or living at home. Step 3 states, if total income is less than $200k ($400k jointly) to multiply the number of other dependents by $500. I/we make less than $200k/$400k. Since I checked Married Filing Jointly in Step 1, am I supposed to/required to claim $500 for my spouse in this block, or is it optional? What are the pros/cons if I list her ($500) or not versus not listing her ($500)?

 

Also, work may be taking me away from home for more than six months out of the year. I will be residing in a extended-stay hotel, apartment, rental property during that time. Should I make changes to myW4 when this occurs? Will there be other tax issues or concerns when I file for 2022?

4 Replies
conniem123
Employee Tax Expert

Claiming Dependents

Hi Mr and Mrs B,  You would not include your spouse as your dependent, so leave that line blank.

 

For your upcoming change there are several factor to consider, such as if your employer is paying your expenses or reimbursing you.  Since you are a W-2 employee you can no longer take a deduction for nonreimbursed business expenses so there would be no affect on your withholdings.

 

It's always a good idea keep a close eye on your paychecks to see your federal income tax withholding and compare to your 2021 tax return.

 

I hope this is helpful!

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Kimberly F
Employee Tax Expert

Claiming Dependents

Form W-4 Step 3 applies only to your dependents. If you have no children or other dependents, this willl be left blank.  Neither the taxpayer or their spouse can be claimed as a dependent on the tax return.

 

In 2017 and earlier tax years, W2 employees could get a partial deduction for expenses incurred while commuting between multiple job sites during the same day, as well as commutes to temporary work locations. However, these expenses are no longer deductible on most people’s federal return in tax years 2018 through 2025 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that Congress signed into law on December 22, 2017.

 

However, the job-related expenses deduction is still available to people who work in one of these specific professions or situations:

  • Armed Forces reservist
  • Qualified performing artist
  • Fee-basis state or local government official
  • You're disabled and have impairment-related expenses

Additionally, job-related expenses may be deductible in your state so you should still keep records of the amounts you spent.

 

 

This rule applies to W-2 employees.  And it

Mr and Mrs B
Level 1

Claiming Dependents

For clarification, when you said leave that line blank, you're referring to line 3, correct? And to keep the box checked in line 1 identifying Married filing jointly?  Right?

 

The employer would not be paying expenses or reimbursing me, as it's a new job located in another town. They expect me to move there but I want to maintain my current residence and am choosing to live in the previously mentioned accommodations. I appreciate your feedback and expert assistance! 

conniem123
Employee Tax Expert

Claiming Dependents

Correct, line 3 will be blank since no dependents.

 

For the additional expense living in a different town, those nonreimbursed expenses will not be tax deductible on your tax return.

 

Hope this is helpful!

 

 

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