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Just Married, will be filing jointly, what do we do about W-4s?

My husband and I just got married and want to update our W-4s once our name change is final in a few weeks. I make less than him (about 38% / 62%) so we've chosen to not update his W-4 other than to "married" instead of "single". What changes should be made to my W-4 to help ensure we won't have to pay taxes when we file? We've both always had our W-4s set to "single" and "0" for allowances. Thank you!

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Employee Tax Expert

Just Married, will be filing jointly, what do we do about W-4s?

Hello trentonlsd!


Now that you are married and can file MFJ/MFS, you will find yourself in a better tax place because there are several tax benefits to this filing status.

  • Change your W-4s in Step 1 to MFJ, if that is how you prefer to file.
  • If you have any qualifying children/dependents, be sure to put that in Step 2.
  • Use our tax calculator :  (or the IRS's calculator : ) to estimate your taxes
  • Then, adjust the tax withholding if you find it under the estimate . You will do this in Step 4 (C) -extra withholding. This will tell the employer to withhold additional tax from your paycheck per pay period.

The new W-4 doesn't use the old allowances any more. The IRS released the new W-4 form with the hope that withholdings will be more accurate for taxpayers.


I hope this helps.

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