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Reporting the number of qualifying children under 17 on W-4

I updated my W-4 to reflect that I have 3 minor children in my household, which entitled me to a $6,000 credit. Since then my monthly federal withholding has increased. Why? I thought having a larger child credit would reduce the withholding?

2 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

Reporting the number of qualifying children under 17 on W-4

Hi zwachR, 

Thanks for your question. Prior to updating your W4 when was the last time you updated your W4? If it's been a while your withholdings from that prior form could have changed somewhere else. That could cause your withholdings to go up. I will say that section 4 of the W4 will allow you to reduce your withholdings if you feel that your withholdings are too high. I would recommend Intuit's W4 calculator to help you find what the right amount should be. W4 Tax Calculator 

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Level 15

Reporting the number of qualifying children under 17 on W-4

The new W-4 form keeps the withhold such that your tax refund should be as close to zero as possible after taking the credits into consideration.   SOOOO .... look at last year's refund  and  the reduced withholding times the rest of the pay periods + the prior withholding ... do they equal about the same amount ?   If you want to increase your withholding to increase your refund then you can either remove one or both of the kids on the W-4  and/or  add a static amount to line 4C to be withheld in addition to the regular withholding amount per pay period. 

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