May 1, 2018 For use by partners and stakeholders: Claiming Exemption from Withholding You can claim an exemption from tax withholding if you had no income tax liability last year and expect the same this year. Submit a new W-4 to your employer to claim the exemption and then they won’t withhold federal tax from your wages. The exemption doesn’t apply to Social Security, Medicare or Federal Unemployment Tax. The exemption expires each February. If your situation changes, submit a new W-4 within 10 days. A paycheck checkup with the IRS’s Withholding Estimator can help determine your right amount of withholding, if any.