Use this tool to estimate the federal income tax you want your employer to withhold from your paycheck. This is tax withholding.

See how your withholding affects your refund, take-home pay or tax due.

How it works

Use this tool to:

  • Estimate your federal income tax withholding
  • See how your refund, take-home pay or tax due are affected by withholding amount
  • Choose an estimated withholding amount that works for you

Results are as accurate as the information you enter.

What you need

Have this ready:

  • Paystubs for all jobs (spouse too)
  • Other income info (side jobs, self-employment, investments, etc.)
  • Most recent tax return

Your information isn't saved. Learn more about Security.

Don't use this tool if:

  • You have nonresident alien status. Use Notice 1392, Supplemental Form W-4 Instructions for Nonresident Aliens.
  • Your tax situation is complex. This includes alternative minimum tax. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax

Estimator Frequently Asked Questions

After you use the estimator

Use your estimate to change your tax withholding amount on Form W-4. Or keep the same amount.

To change your tax withholding amount:

To keep your same tax withholding amount:

  • You don't need to do anything at this time.
  • Check your withholding again when needed and each year with the Estimator. This helps you make sure the amount withheld works for your circumstance.

When to check your withholding

Check your tax withholding every year, especially:

When you have a major life change

  • New job or other paid work
  • Major income change
  • Marriage
  • Child birth or adoption
  • Home purchase

If you changed your tax withholding mid-year

  • Check your tax withholding at year-end, and adjust as needed with a new W-4

If you have more questions about your withholding, ask your employer or tax advisor.

Why check your withholding

There are several reasons to check your withholding:

  • It can protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year.
  • It can let you adjust your tax withheld up front, so you receive a bigger paycheck and smaller refund at tax time.


The Tax Withholding Estimator doesn't ask for personal information such as your name, social security number, address or bank account numbers.

We don't save or record the information you enter in the estimator.

For details on how to protect yourself from scams, see Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts.