My husband and I both work and file our tax return...
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New Member

My husband and I both work and file our tax return jointly. We have 4 kids. Should one or both of us claim the dependents throughout the year?

 
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Level 15

My husband and I both work and file our tax return jointly. We have 4 kids. Should one or both of us claim the dependents throughout the year?

Each employer withholds as if that was the only income, but when added together you can move into a higher tax bracket so more withholding (or paying estimated tax) is necessary. When both spouses work they might need to claim single and not exemptions to avoid paying additions tax or even having an addition amount withheld. This is very common with two incomes.

See this FAQ:
Why did my refund drop when I entered another W-2?
https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/3798403

**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
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Level 15

My husband and I both work and file our tax return jointly. We have 4 kids. Should one or both of us claim the dependents throughout the year?

For 2020 there is a new W-4 form to fill out which is confusing as heck if you can't use the simple step 1 option  ...

 

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

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Level 15

My husband and I both work and file our tax return jointly. We have 4 kids. Should one or both of us claim the dependents throughout the year?

generally i would recommend the one with the lower compensation to claim all dependent exemptions.   say the higher income taxpayer claimed all.   withholding would normally be a higher % of taxable wages of the higher income taxpayer.   if that taxpayer were to claim then all the withholding could be reduced to the point that you are subject to underpayment penalties.   however, this is just a generality. 

 

 

what you could do to check is to use TT taxcaster to estimate your taxes.  this wouldn't give a perfect estimate but it should be close enough.   this is based on 2019 tax laws.   there are proposals in Congress to further reduce taxes in 2020 for individuals but no one knows if this will ever pass   

 

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/taxcaster

 

once you get your tax estimate you can use the TT withholding calculator and try various scenarios

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/w4/

 

understand these are only estimations.  if your wages vary during the year you should revisit and recalculate

you can then submit new W-4's to change withholding

 

you can avoid penalties  no matter what you tax is for 2020 if you meet any of these tests. I'm going to assume you are not going to pay estimates

1) withholding covers 90% of 2020 tax

2) withholding  equals 100% of 2019 tax (110% if adjusted gross income over $150,000)

3) balance due after withholding is $1,000 or less

 

 

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