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Level 1

Married filing jointly with one child (how to fill out W-4)



I am married with one child and my wife and I file our tax return jointly every year. I recently got a new job and entered "married, filing jointly, with one dependent" on my employer's W-4. However, after receiving a couple paychecks, I'm not sure if enough taxes are being taken out of my gross paycheck. 


My question(s) is this: I want to avoid owing taxes to the government come tax filing season. What is the best way to fill out my W-4 to have enough taxes withheld, avoid owing and or getting audited, given the fact that my wife and I file jointly and have one child? Also, will we still get a child tax credit when we file our taxes in 2023?




2 Replies
Level 15

Married filing jointly with one child (how to fill out W-4)

If you are not having enough withheld then switch to SINGLE on the W-4 form (even if you will file jointly)  and/or remove the child.  This will have more withheld if that is your wish. 


IRS revised W4 from couple of years ago and in the new form instead of claiming number of exemptions, you have to calculate and enter dollars.


Use the Tax Withholding Estimator on the IRS web site to figure out what you and your spouse  should each put on the W-4 forms that you give to your employers. It's much easier than using the worksheets on the form. It will let you adjust your withholding to get the approximate refund amount that you want.

Tax Withholding Estimator



Here is some information that may help you with how to complete your W-4's for your employers.

Employee Tax Expert

Married filing jointly with one child (how to fill out W-4)

If you are not sure if enough taxes are being taken out of your paycheck, I would suggest using a W-4 calculator to help with this decision.

Here are the links to a TurboTax and an IRS W-4 Calculator:



IRS W-4 :


Feel free to review the following website for more information regarding the Child Tax Credit:

With a new job, you may want to review the family income test information to make sure that you are eligible for the Child Tax Credit.


The 2021 Child Tax Credit is reduced if your 2021 modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is above certain amounts which are determined by your tax-filing status.

  • Qualifying families with incomes less than $75,000 for single, $112,500 for head of household, or $150,000 for joint returns are eligible for the temporarily increased credit of $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children under 18. Above these income amounts, the credit is reduced by $50 for each $1,000 over these limits.
  • For families with MAGI greater than the amounts eligible for the increased credit, the phaseout of the credit begins with $200,000 in income ($400,000 for married filing jointly) and the credit amount is $2,000 for all children under 18 at the end of the tax year.
  • Your greatest available credit is based on the above method that provides you with the largest benefit.



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