Publication 919 - Main Content


Checking Your Withholding

This section explains why, when, and how to check your withholding to see if you will have enough, but not too much, tax withheld for 2011. Also, you may want to use the withholding calculator on the IRS website. Go to IRS.gov and click on “Estimate Your Withholding” under “Online Services.

Why Should I Check My Withholding?

You should try to have your withholding match your actual tax liability. If not enough tax is withheld, you will owe tax at the end of the year and may have to pay interest and a penalty. If too much tax is withheld, you will lose the use of that money until you get your refund.

Always check your withholding if there are personal or financial changes in your life or changes in the law that might change your tax liability. See Figure 1 on the next page for examples.

When Should I Check My Withholding?

The earlier in the year you check your withholding, the easier it is to get the right amount of tax withheld.

You should check your withholding when any of the following situations occur.

  1. You receive a paycheck stub (statement) covering a full pay period in 2011, showing tax withheld based on 2011 tax rates.

  2. You prepare your 2010 tax return and get a:

    1. Big refund, or

    2. Balance due that is:

      1. More than you can comfortably pay, or

      2. Subject to a penalty.

  3. There are changes in your life or financial situation that affect your tax liability. See Figure 1 on this page.

  4. There are changes in the tax law that affect your tax liability. See Tax Law Changes, below.

You must give your employer a new Form W-4 to adjust your withholding within 10 days of any event that decreases the number of withholding allowances you can claim, or requires you to change to single status.

Tax Law Changes

If there are tax law changes that increase your tax for 2011 and you do not increase your withholding, you may have to pay tax when you file your return. If there are changes that decrease your tax for 2011 and you do not decrease your withholding, you may get a larger refund. You can get this money back earlier by reducing your withholding.

For information about changes in the law for 2010 and 2011, visit IRS.gov and click on “Forms and Publications.” Look at both links under “Important Changes.

Figure 1.Personal and Financial Changes

Factor Examples
Lifestyle change Marriage 
Divorce 
Birth or adoption of child 
Loss of an exemption 
Purchase or sale of a home 
Retirement 
Filing for bankruptcy
Wage income You or your spouse start or stop working, or start or stop a second job
Change in the amount of taxable income not subject to withholding Interest income 
Dividends 
Capital gains 
Self-employment income 
IRA (including certain  
Roth IRA) distributions
Change in the amount of adjustments to income IRA deduction 
Student loan interest deduction 
Alimony expense
Change in the amount of itemized deductions or tax credits Medical expenses 
Taxes 
Interest expense 
Gifts to charity 
Job expenses 
Dependent care expenses 
Education credit 
Child tax credit 
Earned income credit

How Do I Check My Withholding?

You can use the worksheets and tables in this publication to see if you are having the right amount of tax withheld. Follow these steps.

  1. Fill out Worksheet 1 (see page 11) to project your total federal income tax liability for 2011.

  2. Fill out Worksheet 7 (see page 16) to project your total federal withholding for 2011 and compare that with your projected tax liability from Worksheet 1.

If you are not having enough tax withheld, line 6 of Worksheet 7 will show you how much more to have withheld each payday.

If you are having more tax withheld than necessary, line 5 of Worksheet 7 refers you to How Do I Decrease My Withholding, later.

What If Not Enough Tax Is Being Withheld?

If not enough tax will be withheld, you should give your employer a new Form W-4 showing either a reduced number of withholding allowances or an additional amount to be withheld from your pay. See How Do I Increase My Withholding on page 5.

There is a good chance you are not having enough tax withheld if:

  • You have more than one job at a time,

  • Your spouse also works,

  • You have taxable income not subject to withholding, such as capital gains, rental income, interest, and dividends, or

  • You owe other taxes such as self-employment tax or household employment taxes.

If your employer cannot withhold enough additional tax from your pay, you may need to make estimated tax payments. This might be the case if your pay is low and you have substantial nonwage income, such as interest, dividends, capital gains, or earnings from self-employment. For more information on estimated tax payments, see chapter 2 of Publication 505.

What If Too Much Tax Is Being Withheld?

If too much tax is withheld, you may receive a large refund when you file your return. If you would prefer to receive the money during the year, you should see if you qualify to have less tax withheld. If so, give your employer a new Form W-4 showing more withholding allowances.

There is a good chance you are having too much tax withheld if:

  • You got a big refund for 2010 and your income, adjustments, deductions, and credits will remain about the same this year,

  • Your income will remain about the same as last year, but your adjustments, deductions, or credits will increase significantly, or

  • You got a refund last year; your income, adjustments, and deductions will remain about the same as last year, but you will qualify for one or more tax credits this year that you did not qualify for last year.

Note.   Adjustments to income are listed on the 2010 Form 1040 and Form 1040A near the bottom of page 1. Itemized deductions appear on Schedule A (Form 1040). Credits appear on page 2 of Form 1040 and Form 1040A. See also Figures 1 (page 4) and 2 (page 7).

Adjusting Your Withholding

If you are not having enough tax withheld or you are having too much tax withheld, you should either increase or decrease your withholding.

You increase or decrease your withholding by filling out a new Form W-4 and giving it to your employer. You can use the worksheets (see the list on page 10) and information in this publication to help you complete Form W-4. You can get a blank Form W-4 from your employer, use the Form W-4 on pages 8 and 9 of this publication, or print the form from IRS.gov.

How Do I Increase My Withholding?

There are two ways to increase your withholding. You can:

  • Decrease the number of allowances you claim on Form W-4, line 5, or

  • Enter an additional amount that you want withheld from each paycheck on Form W-4, line 6.

Requesting an additional amount withheld.   You can request that an additional amount be withheld from each paycheck by following these steps.
  1. Complete Worksheets 1 and 7.

  2. Complete a new Form W-4 if the amount on Worksheet 7, line 5:

    1. Is more than you want to pay with your tax return or in estimated tax payments throughout the year, or

    2. Would cause you to pay a penalty when you file your tax return for 2011.

  3. Enter on your new Form W-4, line 5, the same number of withholding allowances your employer now uses for your withholding. This is the number of allowances you entered on the last Form W-4 you gave your employer.

  4. Enter on your new Form W-4, line 6, the amount from Worksheet 7, line 6.

  5. Give your newly completed Form W-4 to your employer.

   If you have this additional amount withheld from your pay each payday, you should avoid owing a large amount at the end of the year.

Example.

Early in 2011, Steve Miller used Worksheets 1, 4, and 7 to project his 2011 tax liability ($4,316) and his withholding for the year ($3,516). Steve's tax will be underwithheld by $800 ($4,316 − $3,516). His choices are to pay this amount when he files his 2011 tax return, make estimated tax payments, or increase his withholding now. Steve gets a new Form W-4 from his employer, who tells him that there are 50 paydays remaining in 2011. Steve completes the new Form W-4 as before, entering the same number of withholding allowances as before, but, in addition, entering $16 ($800 ÷ 50) on line 6 of the form. This is the additional amount to be withheld from his pay each payday. He gives the completed form to his employer.

What if I have more than one job or my spouse also has a job?   You are more likely to need to increase your withholding if you have more than one job or if you are married filing jointly and your spouse also works. If this is the case, you can increase your withholding for one or more of the jobs.

  You can apply the amount on Worksheet 7, line 5, to only one job or divide it between the jobs any way you wish. For each job, determine the extra amount that you want to apply to that job and divide that amount by the number of paydays remaining in 2011 for that job. This will give you the additional amount to enter on line 6 of the Form W-4 you will file for that job. You need to give your employer a new Form W-4 for each job for which you are changing your withholding.

Example.

Meg Green works in a store and earns $46,000 a year. Her husband, John, works full-time in manufacturing and earns $68,000 a year. In 2011, they will also have $184 in taxable interest and $1,000 of other taxable income. They expect to file a joint income tax return. Meg and John complete Worksheets 1, 4, and 7. Line 5 of Worksheet 7 shows that they will owe an additional $4,459 after subtracting their withholding for the year. They can divide the $4,459 any way they want. They can enter an additional amount on either of their Forms W-4, or divide it between them. They decide to have the additional amount withheld from John's wages, so they enter $91 ($4,459 ÷ 49 remaining paydays) on line 6 of his Form W-4. Both claim the same number of allowances as before.

How Do I Decrease My Withholding?

If your completed Worksheets 1 and 7 show that you may have more tax withheld than your projected tax liability for 2011, you may be able to decrease your withholding. There are two ways to do this. You can:

  • Decrease any additional amount (Form W-4, line 6) you are having withheld, or

  • Increase the number of allowances you claim on Form W-4, line 5.

You can claim only the number of allowances to which you are entitled. To see if you can decrease your withholding by increasing your allowances, see the Form W-4 instructions and the rest of this publication.

Increasing the number of allowances.   Figure and increase the number of withholding allowances you can claim as follows.
  1. On a new Form W-4, complete the Personal Allowances Worksheet.

  2. If you plan to itemize deductions, claim adjustments to income, or claim tax credits, complete a new Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet. If you plan to claim tax credits, see Converting Credits to Withholding Allowances below.

  3. If you meet the criteria on line H of the Form W-4 Personal Allowances Worksheet, complete a new Two-Earners/Multiple Jobs Worksheet.

  4. If the number of allowances you can claim on Form W-4, line 5, is different from the number you already are claiming, give the newly completed Form W-4 to your employer.

Converting Credits to Withholding Allowances

Figure 2, on page 7, shows many of the tax credits you may be able to use to decrease your withholding.

The Form W-4 Personal Allowances Worksheet provides only rough adjustments for the child and dependent care credit (line F) and the child tax credit (line G). Complete Worksheet 8 (see page 17) to figure these credits more accurately and also take other credits into account.

Include the amount from line 12 of Worksheet 8 in the total on line 5 of the Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet. Then complete the Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet and the rest of Form W-4.

If you take the child and dependent care credit into account on Worksheet 8, enter -0- on line F of the Personal Allowances Worksheet. If you take the child tax credit into account on Worksheet 8, enter -0- on line G of the Personal Allowances Worksheet.

Example.

Brett and Alyssa Davis are married and expect to file a joint return for 2011. Their expected taxable income from all sources is $68,000. They expect to have $15,900 of itemized deductions. Their projected tax credits include a child and dependent care credit of $960 and a residential energy credit of $1,500.

The Davis' complete Worksheet 8, as follows, to see whether they can convert their tax credits into additional withholding allowances.

  1. Line 1, expected child and dependent care credit—$960.

  2. Line 9, expected residential energy credit—$1,500.

  3. Line 10, total estimated tax credits—$2,460.

  4. Line 11. Their combined taxable income from all sources, $68,000, falls between $40,001 and $92,000 on the table for married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er). The number to the right of this range is 6.7.

  5. Line 12, multiply line 10 by line 11—$16,482.

Then the Davis' complete the Form W-4 worksheets.

  1. Because they choose to account for their child and dependent care credit on the Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet, they enter -0- on line F of the Personal Allowances Worksheet and figure a new total for line H.

  2. They take the result on line 12 of Worksheet 8, add it to their other adjustments on line 5 of the Form W-4 Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet, and complete the Form W-4 worksheets.

When Will My New Form W-4 Go Into Effect?

If the change is for the current year, your employer must put your new Form W-4 into effect no later than the start of the first payroll period ending on or after the 30th day after the day on which you give your employer your revised Form W-4.

If the change is for next year, your new Form W-4 will not take effect until next year.

IRS Review of Your Withholding

Generally, the amount your employer withholds for federal income tax must be based on your Form W-4. However, whether you are entitled to claim exempt status or a certain number of withholding allowances is subject to review by the IRS. If the IRS determines that you cannot claim more than a specified number of withholding allowances or claim a complete exemption from withholding, the IRS will issue a notice of the maximum number of withholding allowances permitted (commonly referred to as a “lock-in letter”) to both you and your employer.

If you receive a lock-in letter, the IRS has instructed your employer to begin withholding income tax from your wages based on the withholding rate (marital status) and maximum number of allowances specified in the letter. In addition, your employer has been instructed not to honor your current Form W-4 or a new Form W-4 unless it results in more withholding than the lock-in letter allows.

The IRS will provide a period of time during which you can dispute the determination before your employer adjusts your withholding. Follow the instructions in your letter if you wish to submit a new Form W-4 or contact the Withholding Compliance Unit with questions. Additional information is available at IRS.gov. Enter “withholding compliance questions” (in quotation marks) in the search box.

Retirees Returning to the Workforce

When you first began receiving your pension, you told the payer how much tax to withhold, if any, by completing Form W-4P, Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments (or similar form). However, if your retirement pay is from the military or certain deferred compensation plans, you completed Form W-4 instead of Form W-4P. You completed either form based on your projected income at that time. Now that you are returning to the workforce, your new Form W-4 (given to your employer) and your Form W-4 or W-4P (on file with your pension plan) must work together to determine the correct amount of withholding for your new amount of income.

The worksheets that come with Forms W-4 and W-4P are basically the same, so you can use either set of worksheets to figure out how many withholding allowances you are entitled to claim. Start off with the Personal Allowances Worksheet. Then, if you will be itemizing your deductions, claiming adjustments to income, or claiming tax credits when you file your tax return, complete the Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet.

The third worksheet is the most important for this situation. Form W-4 calls it the Two-Earners/Multiple Jobs Worksheet, Form W-4P calls it the Multiple Pensions/More-Than-One-Income Worksheet—both are the same. If you have more than one source of income, in order to have enough withholding to cover the tax on your higher income you may need to claim fewer withholding allowances or request your employer to withhold an additional amount from each paycheck.

Once you have figured out how many allowances you are entitled to claim, look at the income from both your pension and your new job, and how often you receive payments. It is your decision how to divide up your withholding allowances between these sources of income. For example, you may want to “take home” most of your weekly paycheck to use as spending money and use your monthly pension to “pay the bills.” In that case, change your Form W-4P to zero allowances and claim all that you are entitled to on your Form W-4.

There are a couple of ways you can get a better idea of how much tax will be withheld when claiming a certain number of allowances.

  • Use the withholding tables in Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide.

  • Contact your pension provider and your employer's payroll department.

And remember, this is not a final decision. If you do not get the correct amount of withholding with the first Forms W-4 and W-4P you submit, you should refigure your allowances (or divide them differently) using the information and worksheets in this publication, or the resources mentioned above.

You should go through this same process each time your life situation changes, whether it be for personal or financial reasons. You may need more tax withheld, or you may need less.

Figure 2.Tax Credits for 2011

For more information about the ... See ...
Adoption credit Form 8839 instructions
Alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit Form 8911, Part III, instructions
Child and dependent care expenses, credit for Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses
Child tax credit (including additional child tax credit) Instructions for Form 1040 or Form 1040A
District of Columbia first-time homebuyer credit Form 8859 instructions
Earned income credit Publication 596, Earned Income Credit
Education credits Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education
Elderly or the disabled, credit for the Publication 524, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled
First-time homebuyer credit Form 5405 instructions
Foreign tax credit (except any credit that applies to wages not subject to U.S. income tax withholding because they are subject to income tax withholding by a foreign country) Publication 514, Foreign Tax Credit for Individuals
General business credit Form 3800, General Business Credit
Health coverage tax credit Form 8885 instructions
Mortgage interest credit Publication 530, Tax Information for First-Time Homeowners
Qualified electric vehicle passive activity credit Form 8834, Part II, instructions
Qualified plug-in electric vehicle credit Form 8834, Part I, instructions
Qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit Form 8936 instructions
Prior year minimum tax, credit for (if you paid alternative minimum tax in an earlier year) Form 8801 instructions
Residential energy credits Form 5695 instructions
Retirement savings contributions credit (saver's credit) Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
Tax credit bonds, credit to holders of Form 8912 instructions

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Blank Form W–4 page 1Form:Form: W–4

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blank Form W–4 page 2

Worksheets

Use the following worksheets to figure your correct withholding and adjustments.

Use ... To ...
Worksheet 1 
Projected Tax for 2011
Project the taxable income you will have for 2011 and figure the amount of tax you will have to pay on that income.
Worksheet 2 
Standard Deduction for 2011
Project your standard deduction for 2011.
Worksheet 3 
Self-Employment Tax and Deduction for 2011
Figure your projected self-employment tax and deduction for 2011.
Worksheet 4 
Tax Computation Worksheets for 2011
Figure the amount of tax on your projected taxable income.
Worksheet 5 
Figuring 2011 Tax if You Expect to Have a Net Capital Gain or Qualified Dividends
Figure the amount of tax when your projected 2011 taxable income includes a net capital gain or qualified dividends.
Worksheet 6 
Figuring 2011 Tax if You Expect to Exclude Foreign Earned Income or Exclude or Deduct Foreign Housing
Figure your tax if you expect to claim a foreign earned income exclusion, housing exclusion, or housing deduction on Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ.
Worksheet 7 
Projected Withholding for 2011
Project the amount of federal income tax that you will have withheld in 2011, compare your projected withholding with your projected tax, and determine whether the amount withheld each payday should be adjusted.
Worksheet 8 
Converting Credits to Withholding Allowances for 2011 Form W-4
Figure the adjustment to make to line 5 of the Form W-4 Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet to account for your projected tax credits that are not otherwise taken into consideration.

Worksheet 1.Projected Tax for 2011

Use this worksheet to figure your projected tax for 2011. Note. Enter combined amounts if married filing jointly.
1. Enter amount of adjusted gross income (AGI) you expect in 2011. (To determine this, you may want  
to start with the AGI on your last year's return, and add or subtract your expected changes. Also take into account items listed under What's New, earlier.)
   
  Note. If self-employed, first complete Worksheet 3 to figure your expected deduction for self-employment tax. Subtract the amount from Worksheet 3, line 13, to figure the line 1 entry 1  
2. If you:      
  Do not plan to itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), use Worksheet 2 to figure your expected standard deduction and enter that amount here.    
  Plan to itemize deductions, enter the total itemized deductions you expect after applying any limits (such as the 7.5% limit on medical expenses) 2  
3. Subtract line 2 from line 1 (if zero or less, enter -0- and go to line 6) 3  
4. Multiply the number of exemptions you plan to claim on your 2011 tax return by $3,700 and enter the result here. 4  
5. Expected taxable income. Subtract line 4 from line 3 (if zero or less, enter -0- here and on line 6,  
then go to line 7)
5  
6. If the amount on line 1:      
  Does not include a net capital gain or qualified dividends and you did not exclude foreign earned income or exclude or deduct foreign housing in arriving at the amount on line 1, use the appropriate section of Worksheet 4 to figure the tax to enter here.    
  Includes a net capital gain or qualified dividends, use Worksheet 5 to figure the tax to enter here.    
  Was figured by excluding foreign earned income or excluding or deducting foreign housing, use  
Worksheet 6 to figure the tax to enter here
6  
7. Enter any expected additional taxes from an election to report your child's interest and dividends (Form 8814), lump-sum distributions (Form 4972), recapture of education credits, and alternative minimum tax (Form 6251 or the Alternative Minimum Tax Worksheet in the Form 1040A instructions) 7  
8. Add lines 6 and 7 8  
9. Enter the amount of any expected tax credits. See Figure 2 on page 7 9  
10. Subtract line 9 from line 8 (if zero or less, enter -0-) 10  
11. Self-employment tax. Enter the amount from Worksheet 3, line 10. (If you expect to file jointly and both of you are self-employed, figure the self-employment tax for each of you separately and enter the total on line 11.) 11  
12. Enter the total of any other expected taxes* 12  
13. Projected tax for 2011. Add lines 10 through 12. Enter the total here and on Worksheet 7, line 1 13  
* Use the instructions for the 2010 Form 1040 to determine if you expect to owe, for 2011, any of the taxes that would have been entered on your 2010 Form 1040, lines 58 and 59 (boxes b and c), and any write-in amounts on line 60.

Worksheet 2. Standard Deduction for 2011

Caution. Do not complete this worksheet if you expect your spouse to itemize on a separate return or you expect to be a dual-status alien. In either case, your standard deduction will be zero.
1. Enter the amount shown below for your filing status.        
  •Single or married filing separately—$5,800        
  •Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er)—$11,600        
  •Head of household—$8,500 1.      
2. Can you (or your spouse if filing jointly) be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return?        
 
Box
No. Skip line 3; enter the amount from line 1 on line 4.    
 
Box
Yes. Go to line 3.    
3. Is your earned income* more than $650?        
 
Box
Yes. Add $300 to your earned income. Enter the total.        
 
Box
No. Enter $950 3.      
4. Enter the smaller of line 1 or line 3 4.  
5. Were you (or your spouse if filing jointly) born before January 2, 1947, or blind?
 
Box
No. Go to line 6.
 
Box
Yes. Check if:
      a. You were
Box
Born before January 2, 1947
Box
Blind
      b. Your spouse was
Box
Born before January 2, 1947
Box
Blind
      c. Total boxes checked in 5a and 5b
box
    Multiply $1,150 ($1,450 if single or head of household) by the number in the box on line 5c 5.  
6. Standard deduction. Add lines 4 and 5 and enter here and on Worksheet 1, line 2 6.  
* Earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, professional fees, and other compensation received for personal services you performed. It also includes any amount received as a scholarship that you must include in your income. Reduce your earned income by your expected deduction for self-employment tax (Worksheet 3, line 13).

Worksheet 3.Self-Employment Tax and Deduction for 2011

Use this worksheet to (a) figure the amount to enter on Worksheet 1, line 11, and (b) figure the expected deduction for self-employment tax to subtract when figuring your expected AGI to enter on Worksheet 1, line 1. If you are married filing jointly and you are both self-employed, complete this worksheet separately for each spouse and combine the amounts on Worksheet 1, line 11, and when figuring the entry on Worksheet 1, line 1.
1a. Enter your expected income and profits subject to self-employment tax* 1a      
b. If you will have farm income and also receive social security retirement or disability benefits, enter your expected Conservation Reserve Program payments that will be included on  
Schedule F (Form 1040) or listed on Schedule K-1 (Form 1065)
1b      
2. Subtract line 1b from line 1a 2      
3. Multiply line 2 by 92.35% (.9235). If less than $400, do not complete this worksheet; you will not owe self-employment tax on your expected net earnings from self-employment 3      
4. Multiply line 3 by 2.9% (.029) . . . 4  
5. Maximum income subject to social security tax 5 $106,800    
6. Enter your expected wages (if subject to social security tax or the 4.2% portion of  
tier 1 railroad retirement tax)
6      
7. Subtract line 6 from line 5 
Note.If line 7 is zero or less, enter -0- on line 9 and skip to line 10
7      
8. Enter the smaller of line 3 or line 7 8      
9. Multiply line 8 by 10.4% (.104) 9  
10. Add lines 4 and 9. Enter the result here and on Worksheet 1, line 11 . . . 10  
11. Multiply line 4 by 50% (.50) 11      
12. Multiply line 9 by 59.6% (.596) 12      
13. Add lines 11 and 12. This is your expected deduction for self-employment tax on Form 1040,  
line 27. Subtract this amount when figuring your expected AGI on Worksheet 1, line 1
13      
* Your net profit from self-employment is found on Schedule C (Form 1040), line 31; Schedule F (Form 1040), line 36; Schedule K-1 (Form 1065), box 14, code A; and Schedule K-1 (Form 1065-B), box 9, code J1.

Worksheet 4.Tax Computation Worksheets for 2011

Note. If you are figuring the tax on an amount from Worksheet 5 (line 1 or 14), or Worksheet 6 (line 2 or 3), enter the amount from that worksheet in column (a) of the row that applies to that amount of income. Enter the result on the appropriate line of the worksheet you are completing.

a. Single

Use this worksheet to figure the amount to enter on Worksheet 1, line 6, if you expect your filing status for 2011 to be Single.
Expected Taxable Income (a)  
Enter amount from  
Worksheet 1,  
line 5*
(b)  
Multiplication amount
(c)  
Multiply  
(a) by (b)
(d)  
Subtraction amount
(e)  
Subtract (d) from (c). Enter the result here and on Worksheet 1, line 6*
If Worksheet 1, 
line 5* is —
Over But not  
over
$0 $8,500   × 10% (.10)   $0  
8,500 34,500   × 15% (.15)   425.00  
34,500 83,600   × 25% (.25)   3,875.00  
83,600 174,400   × 28% (.28)   6,383.00  
174,400 379,150   × 33% (.33)   15,103.00  
379,150 - - - - -   × 35% (.35)   22,686.00  
* If you are using Worksheet 5, for column (a) above use the amount from line 1 or line 14 and enter the result (from column (e)) on line 29 or line 31, as appropriate.  
If you are using Worksheet 6, for column (a) above use the amount from line 2 or line 3 and enter the result (from column (e)) on line 4 or line 5, as appropriate.

b. Head of Household

Use this worksheet to figure the amount to enter on Worksheet 1, line 6, if you expect your filing status for 2011 to be Head of Household.
Expected Taxable Income (a)  
Enter amount from  
Worksheet 1,  
line 5*
(b)  
Multiplication amount
(c)  
Multiply  
(a) by (b)
(d)  
Subtraction amount
(e)  
Subtract (d) from (c). Enter the result here and on Worksheet 1, line 6*
If Worksheet 1, 
line 5* is —
Over But not  
over
$0 $12,150   × 10% (.10)   $0  
12,150 46,250   × 15% (.15)   607.50  
46,250 119,400   × 25% (.25)   5,232.50  
119,400 193,350   × 28% (.28)   8,814.50  
193,350 379,150   × 33% (.33)   18,482.00  
379,150 - - - - -   × 35% (.35)   26,065.00  
* If you are using Worksheet 5, for column (a) above use the amount from line 1 or line 14 and enter the result (from column (e)) on line 29 or line 31, as appropriate.  
If you are using Worksheet 6, for column (a) above use the amount from line 2 or line 3 and enter the result (from column (e)) on line 4 or line 5, as appropriate.

c. Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er)

Use this worksheet to figure the amount to enter on Worksheet 1, line 6, if you expect your filing status for 2011 to be Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er).
Expected Taxable Income (a)  
Enter amount from  
Worksheet 1, 
line 5*
(b)  
Multiplication amount
(c)  
Multiply  
(a) by (b)
(d)  
Subtraction amount
(e)  
Subtract (d) from (c). Enter the result here and on Worksheet 1, line 6*
If Worksheet 1, 
line 5* is —
Over But not  
over
$0 $17,000   × 10% (.10)   $0  
17,000 69,000   × 15% (.15)   850.00  
69,000 139,350   × 25% (.25)   7,750.00  
139,350 212,300   × 28% (.28)   11,930.50  
212,300 379,150   × 33% (.33)   22,545.50  
379,150 - - - - -   × 35% (.35)   30,128.50  
* If you are using Worksheet 5, for column (a) above use the amount from line 1 or line 14 and enter the result (from column (e)) on line 29 or line 31, as appropriate.  
If you are using Worksheet 6, for column (a) above use the amount from line 2 or line 3 and enter the result (from column (e)) on line 4 or line 5, as appropriate.

d. Married Filing Separately

Use this worksheet to figure the amount to enter on Worksheet 1, line 6, if you expect your filing status for 2011 to be Married Filing Separately.
Expected Taxable Income (a)  
Enter amount from  
Worksheet 1,  
line 5*
(b)  
Multiplication amount
(c)  
Multiply  
(a) by (b)
(d)  
Subtraction amount
(e)  
Subtract (d) from (c). Enter the result here and on Worksheet 1, line 6*
If Worksheet 1, 
line 5* is —
Over But not  
over
$0 $8,500   × 10% (.10)   $0  
8,500 34,500   × 15% (.15)   425.00  
34,500 69,675   × 25% (.25)   3,875.00  
69,675 106,150   × 28% (.28)   5,965.25  
106,150 189,575   × 33% (.33)   11,272.75  
189,575 - - - - -   × 35% (.35)   15,064.25  
* If you are using Worksheet 5, for column (a) above use the amount from line 1 or line 14 and enter the result (from column (e)) on line 29 or line 31, as appropriate.  
If you are using Worksheet 6, for column (a) above use the amount from line 2 or line 3 and enter the result (from column (e)) on line 4 or line 5, as appropriate.

Worksheet 5.Figuring 2011 Tax if You Expect to Have a Net Capital Gain or Qualified Dividends

                   
1. Enter the amount from Worksheet 1, line 5 (or the amount from Worksheet 6, line 3, if appropriate) 1.      
2. Enter your expected qualified dividends for 2011* 2.              
3. Enter the net capital gain expected for 2011* 3.              
4. Add lines 2 and 3 4.          
5. Enter your 28% rate gain or loss expected for 2011** 5.              
6. Enter the unrecaptured section 1250 gain expected for 2011 6.              
7. Add lines 5 and 6 7.              
8. Enter the smaller of line 3 or line 7 8.          
9. Subtract line 8 from line 4 9.      
10. Subtract line 9 from line 1. If zero or less, enter -0- 10.          
11. Enter the smaller of line 1 or $69,000 ($34,500 if single or married filing separately, or $46,250 if head of household) 11.              
12. Enter the smaller of line 10 or line 11 12.              
13. Subtract line 4 from line 1. If zero or less, enter -0- 13.              
14. Enter the larger of line 12 or line 13 14.      
  Note.If line 11 and line 12 are the same, skip line 15 and go to line 16.        
15. Subtract line 12 from line 11 15.      
  Note. If lines 1 and 11 are the same, skip lines 16 through 28 and go to line 29.    
16. Enter the smaller of line 1 or line 9 16.          
17. Enter the amount from line 15. If line 15 is blank, enter -0- 17.          
18. Subtract line 17 from line 16. If zero or less, enter -0- 18.      
19. Multiply line 18 by 15% (.15) 19.  
  Note.If line 6 is zero or blank, skip lines 20 through 25 and go to line 26.    
20. Enter the smaller of line 3 or line 6 20.          
21. Add lines 4 and 14 21.              
22. Enter the amount from line 1 above 22.              
23. Subtract line 22 from line 21. If zero or less, enter -0- 23.          
24. Subtract line 23 from line 20. If zero or less, enter -0- 24.      
25. Multiply line 24 by 25% (.25) 25.  
  Note.If line 5 is zero or blank, skip lines 26 through 28 and go to line 29.    
26. Add lines 14, 15, 18, and 24 26.      
27. Subtract line 26 from line 1 27.      
28. Multiply line 27 by 28% (.28) 28.  
29. Figure the tax on the amount on line 14 from the appropriate section of Worksheet 4 29.  
30. Add lines 19, 25, 28, and 29 30.  
31. Figure the tax on the amount on line 1 from the appropriate section of Worksheet 4 31.  
32. Expected tax on all taxable income (including capital gains and qualified dividends). Enter the smaller of line 30 or line 31 here and on Worksheet 1, line 6 (or if using Worksheet 6, enter on line 4 of Worksheet 6) 32.  
* If you expect to deduct investment interest expense, do not include on this line any qualified dividends or net capital gain that you will elect to treat as investment income.
** This includes a section 1202 exclusion from eligible gain on qualified small business stock and gain or loss from the sale or exchange of collectibles. See the instructions for Schedule D (Form 1040) for more information.

Worksheet 6.Figuring 2011 Tax if You Expect to Exclude Foreign Earned Income or Exclude or Deduct Foreign Housing

You must figure your tax using this worksheet if you claim a foreign earned income exclusion, housing exclusion, or housing deduction on Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ. 
 
Before you begin: If Worksheet 1, line 5, is zero, do not complete this worksheet.
1.   Enter the amount from Worksheet 1, line 5 1  
2.   Enter the total foreign earned income and housing amount you (and your spouse, if filing jointly) expect to exclude or deduct in 2011 on Form 2555, lines 45 and 50, or Form 2555-EZ, line 18 2  
3.   Add lines 1 and 2 3  
4.   Tax on the amount on line 3. Use Worksheet 4 or Worksheet 5,* as appropriate 4  
5.   Tax on the amount on line 2. Use Worksheet 4 5  
6.   Subtract line 5 from line 4. Enter the result here and on Worksheet 1, line 6. If zero or less, enter -0- 6  
*If using Worksheet 5 (Figuring 2011 Tax if You Expect to Have a Net Capital Gain or Qualified Dividends), enter the amount from line 3 above on line 1 of Worksheet 5. Complete Worksheet 5 through line 9. Next, determine if you have a capital gain excess.
Figuring capital gain excess. To find out if you have a capital gain excess, subtract line 5 of Worksheet 1 from line 9 of Worksheet 5. If the result is more than zero, that amount is your capital gain excess.
No capital gain excess. If you do not have a capital gain excess, complete the rest of Worksheet 5 according to its instructions. Then complete lines 5 and 6 above.
Capital gain excess. If you have a capital gain excess, complete a second Worksheet 5 as instructed above but in its entirety and with the following additional modifications. Then complete lines 5 and 6 above.
Make these modifications only for purposes of filling out Worksheet 6 above.
a. Enter the amount from line 3 above on line 1 of the second Worksheet 5.
b. Reduce (but not below zero) the amount you would otherwise enter on line 3 of Worksheet 5 by your capital gain excess.
c. Reduce (but not below zero) the amount you would otherwise enter on line 2 of Worksheet 5 by any of your capital gain excess not used in (b) above.
d. Reduce (but not below zero) the amount you would otherwise enter on line 5 of Worksheet 5 by your capital gain excess.
e. Reduce (but not below zero) the amount you would otherwise enter on line 6 of Worksheet 5, by your capital gain excess.

Worksheet 7. Projected Withholding for 2011

Use this worksheet to figure the amount of your projected withholding for 2011, compare it to your projected tax for 2011, and, if necessary, figure an additional amount to have withheld each payday. 
 
Note. If married filing jointly, enter combined amounts.
1. Enter your projected tax for 2011 from Worksheet 1, line 13 1  
2. Enter your total federal income tax withheld to date in 2011 from all sources of income. (For wages, you should be able to find the withholding-to-date on your last pay slip or statement.) 2  
3. Enter the federal tax withholding you expect for the rest of 2011:    
  a. For each source of wages, multiply the amount of federal income tax now being withheld each payday by the number of paydays remaining in the year and enter the combined amount for all jobs 3a  
  b. For all other sources of recurring taxable income, multiply the withholding amount by the remaining number of times the income is expected. For example, if you have federal income tax withheld from your monthly pension and you will receive nine more payments this year, multiply your monthly withholding amount by 9 3b  
4. Add lines 2, 3a, and 3b. This is your projected withholding for 2011 4  
5. Compare the amounts on lines 1 and 4.    
    • If line 1 is more than line 4, subtract line 4 from line 1. Enter the result here and go to line 6.    
    • If line 4 is more than line 1, stop here and see How Do I Decrease My Withholding? 5  
6. Divide line 5 by the number of paydays (or other withholding events) remaining in 2011 and enter the result. This is the additional amount you should have withheld from each remaining payment. Enter this amount on Form W-4, line 6 6  

Worksheet 8.Converting Credits to Withholding Allowances for 2011 Form W-4

Use this worksheet to figure an additional amount to enter on the Form W-4 Deductions and Allowances Worksheet, line 5. For more information on these credits, see Converting Credits to Withholding Allowances, earlier.
Caution. If you enter an amount on line 1 below, enter -0- on line F of the Form W-4 Personal Allowances Worksheet. If you enter an amount on line 3 below, enter -0- on line G of the Form W-4 Personal Allowances Worksheet.
For lines 1 through 9, enter the projected amount for each credit you expect to take.      
1. Credit for child and dependent care expenses (see Caution above) 1  
2. Credit for the elderly or the disabled 2  
3. Child tax credit (including additional child tax credit) (see Caution above) 3  
4. Education credits 4  
5. Adoption credit 5  
6. Foreign tax credit 6  
7. Retirement savings contributions credit 7  
8. Earned income credit 8  
9. Other credits (see Figure 2) 9  
10. Add lines 1 through 9. This is your total estimated tax credits 10  
11. Using the table below that matches your filing status, find the line in the table that matches your combined taxable income from all sources. Then, enter on line 11 the multiplication factor shown next to your income.    
                         
  Married Filing Jointly 
or Qualifying Widow(er)
  Head of Household      
  If your combined taxable income from all sources is: Multiply credits by:   If your combined taxable income from all sources is: Multiply credits by:      
  $0 - $40,000 10.0   $0 - $28,000 10.0      
  40,001 - 92,000 6.7   28,001 - 62,000 6.7      
  92,001 - 166,000 4.0   62,001 - 136,000 4.0      
  166,001 - 250,000 3.6   136,001 - 220,000 3.6      
  250,001 - 420,000 3.0   220,001 - 410,000 3.0      
  420,001 and over 2.8   410,001 and over 2.8      
                         
  Single   Married Filing Separately      
  If your combined taxable income from all sources is: Multiply credits by:   If your combined taxable income from all sources is: Multiply credits by:      
  $0 - $18,000 10.0   $0 - $20,000 10.0      
  18,001 - 44,000 6.7   20,001 - 46,000 6.7      
  44,001 - 95,000 4.0   46,001 - 83,000 4.0      
  95,001 - 190,000 3.6   83,001 - 125,000 3.6      
  190,001 - 410,000 3.0   125,001 - 210,000 3.0      
  410,001 and over 2.8   210,001 and over 2.8   11  
12. Multiply line 10 by line 11. Enter the result here and include it in the total on line 5 of the Form W-4 Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet 12  

How To Get Tax Help

You can get help with unresolved tax issues, order free publications and forms, ask tax questions, and get information from the IRS in several ways. By selecting the method that is best for you, you will have quick and easy access to tax help.

Contacting your Taxpayer Advocate.   The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS. We help taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, such as not being able to provide necessities like housing, transportation, or food; taxpayers who are seeking help in resolving tax problems with the IRS; and those who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should. Here are seven things every taxpayer should know about TAS:
  • The Taxpayer Advocate Service is your voice at the IRS.

  • Our service is free, confidential, and tailored to meet your needs.

  • You may be eligible for our help if you have tried to resolve your tax problem through normal IRS channels and have gotten nowhere, or you believe an IRS procedure just isn't working as it should.

  • We help taxpayers whose problems are causing financial difficulty or significant cost, including the cost of professional representation. This includes businesses as well as individuals.

  • Our employees know the IRS and how to navigate it. If you qualify for our help, we'll assign your case to an advocate who will listen to your problem, help you understand what needs to be done to resolve it, and stay with you every step of the way until your problem is resolved.

  • We have at least one local taxpayer advocate in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. You can call your local advocate, whose number is in your phone book, in Pub. 1546, Taxpayer Advocate Service—Your Voice at the IRS, and on our website at www.irs.gov/advocate. You can also call our toll-free line at 1-877-777-4778 or TTY/TDD 1-800-829-4059.

  • You can learn about your rights and responsibilities as a taxpayer by visiting our online tax toolkit at www.taxtoolkit.irs.gov. You can get updates on hot tax topics by visiting our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/tasnta and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/YourVoiceAtIRS, or by following our tweets at www.twitter.com/YourVoiceAtIRS.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs).   The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic program serves individuals who have a problem with the IRS and whose income is below a certain level. LITCs are independent from the IRS. Most LITCs can provide representation before the IRS or in court on audits, tax collection disputes, and other issues for free or a small fee. If an individual's native language is not English, some clinics can provide multilingual information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities. For more information, see Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. This publication is available at IRS.gov, by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or at your local IRS office.

Free tax services.   Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services, is your guide to IRS services and resources. Learn about free tax information from the IRS, including publications, services, and education and assistance programs. The publication also has an index of over 100 TeleTax topics (recorded tax information) you can listen to on the telephone. The majority of the information and services listed in this publication are available to you free of charge. If there is a fee associated with a resource or service, it is listed in the publication.

  Accessible versions of IRS published products are available on request in a variety of alternative formats for people with disabilities.

Free help with your return.   Free help in preparing your return is available nationwide from IRS-trained volunteers. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is designed to help low-income taxpayers and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is designed to assist taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Many VITA sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, call 1-800-829-1040.

  As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, call 1-888-227-7669 or visit AARP's website at 
www.aarp.org/money/taxaide.

  For more information on these programs, go to IRS.gov and enter keyword “VITA” in the upper right-hand corner.

Internet. You can access the IRS website at IRS.gov 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to:

  • E-file your return. Find out about commercial tax preparation and e-file services available free to eligible taxpayers.

  • Check the status of your 2010 refund. Go to IRS.gov and click on Where's My Refund. Wait at least 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, or 3 to 4 weeks after mailing a paper return. If you filed Form 8379 with your return, wait 14 weeks (11 weeks if you filed electronically). Have your 2010 tax return available so you can provide your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund.

  • Download forms, including talking tax forms, instructions, and publications.

  • Order IRS products online.

  • Research your tax questions online.

  • Search publications online by topic or keyword.

  • Use the online Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance.

  • View Internal Revenue Bulletins (IRBs) published in the last few years.

  • Figure your withholding allowances using the withholding calculator online at www.irs.gov/individuals.

  • Determine if Form 6251 must be filed by using our Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Assistant.

  • Sign up to receive local and national tax news by email.

  • Get information on starting and operating a small business.

Phone. Many services are available by phone.  

  • Ordering forms, instructions, and publications. Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, and publications, and prior-year forms and instructions. You should receive your order within 10 days.

  • Asking tax questions. Call the IRS with your tax questions at 1-800-829-1040.

  • Solving problems. You can get face-to-face help solving tax problems every business day in IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your account, or help you set up a payment plan. Call your local Taxpayer Assistance Center for an appointment. To find the number, go to www.irs.gov/localcontacts or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service.

  • TTY/TDD equipment. If you have access to TTY/TDD equipment, call 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or to order forms and publications.

  • TeleTax topics. Call 1-800-829-4477 to listen to pre-recorded messages covering various tax topics.

  • Refund information. To check the status of your 2010 refund, call 1-800-829-1954 or 1-800-829-4477 (automated refund information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Wait at least 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, or 3 to 4 weeks after mailing a paper return. If you filed Form 8379 with your return, wait 14 weeks (11 weeks if you filed electronically). Have your 2010 tax return available so you can provide your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. If you check the status of your refund and are not given the date it will be issued, please wait until the next week before checking back.

  • Other refund information. To check the status of a prior-year refund or amended return refund, call 1-800-829-1040.

Evaluating the quality of our telephone services. To ensure IRS representatives give accurate, courteous, and professional answers, we use several methods to evaluate the quality of our telephone services. One method is for a second IRS representative to listen in on or record random telephone calls. Another is to ask some callers to complete a short survey at the end of the call.

Walk-in. Many products and services are available on a walk-in basis. 

  • Products. You can walk in to many post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Some IRS offices, libraries, grocery stores, copy centers, city and county government offices, credit unions, and office supply stores have a collection of products available to print from a CD or photocopy from reproducible proofs. Also, some IRS offices and libraries have the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, Internal Revenue Bulletins, and Cumulative Bulletins available for research purposes.

  • Services. You can walk in to your local Taxpayer Assistance Center every business day for personal, face-to-face tax help. An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your tax account, or help you set up a payment plan. If you need to resolve a tax problem, have questions about how the tax law applies to your individual tax return, or you are more comfortable talking with someone in person, visit your local Taxpayer Assistance Center where you can spread out your records and talk with an IRS representative face-to-face. No appointment is necessary—just walk in. If you prefer, you can call your local Center and leave a message requesting an appointment to resolve a tax account issue. A representative will call you back within 2 business days to schedule an in-person appointment at your convenience. If you have an ongoing, complex tax account problem or a special need, such as a disability, an appointment can be requested. All other issues will be handled without an appointment. To find the number of your local office, go to  
    www.irs.gov/localcontacts or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service.

Mail. You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. You should receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

 
Internal Revenue Service 
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613

DVD for tax products. You can order Publication 1796, IRS Tax Products DVD, and obtain:

  • Current-year forms, instructions, and publications.

  • Prior-year forms, instructions, and publications.

  • Tax Map: an electronic research tool and finding aid.

  • Tax law frequently asked questions.

  • Tax Topics from the IRS telephone response system.

  • Internal Revenue Code—Title 26 of the U.S. Code.

  • Fill-in, print, and save features for most tax forms.

  • Internal Revenue Bulletins.

  • Toll-free and email technical support.

  • Two releases during the year. 
    – The first release will ship the beginning of January 2011. 
    – The final release will ship the beginning of March 2011.

Purchase the DVD from National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at www.irs.gov/cdorders for $30 (no handling fee) or call 1-877-233-6767 toll free to buy the DVD for $30 (plus a $6 handling fee).


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