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How should we be claiming to not owe taxes?

The past 2 years we have owed federal taxes. My wife and I both work full time jobs, own a home and have 2 kids. How should we be filing? I recently switched my selections on my W4 to married filing separately and claiming 0 dependents. Is this correct??

2 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

How should we be claiming to not owe taxes?

I know the W-4 is confusing. You can submit another W-4 after you see what the correct amount is you want taken out. Use the calculator I provided below.


If you still need more taken out then - 

Simply add an additional amount on Line 4(c) for "extra withholding." That will increase your income tax withholding, reduce the amount of your paycheck and either jack up your refund or reduce any amount of tax you owe when you file your tax return.


W-4 instructions - 

By placing a “0” on line 5, you are indicating that you want the most amount of tax taken out of your pay each pay period. If you wish to claim 1 for yourself instead, then less tax is taken out of your pay each pay period.

If you have 2 or more jobs -

When filling out your W-4 forms, there are a few tips to keep in mind: For the job where you make the most money, claim all of the allowances you normally would on the W-4 form. For any other job that you have (your second job for example) claim zero.

If you want to owe the least amount when filing your taxes, you will claim 0 on the W-4, so the job will withhold at a higher rate. This is important especially if you have more than 1 job.

If you didn't account for each job across your W-4s, you may not have withheld enough, so your tax refund could be less than expected.


Calculator - https://apps.irs.gov/app/tax-withholding-estimator

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

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How should we be claiming to not owe taxes?

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