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Claiming exempt on W4 expires on 2/15 each year

Since there hasn't been a 2018 W4 form released yet I am having new employees and current employees who wish to change withholding use the 2017 form and cross off the 2017 and write 2018.
If an employee wishes to claim exempt now in the new year and has to use the 2017 W4 would you make them fill out another one when the 2018 form is released?

[Deleted User]


  • d26k
    d26k ✭✭✭

    As an employer, stay mute. Supply the current form (2017). If valid, accept it. If not valid, or no form or an expired exempt form, single 0, and let them know the form is not valid, or no form has been received. I would not cross out anything on the form, even the year. The year is when the form was released, not that it is only valid for that year. Some (including me) may be anal enough, any strike through invalidates the form.

    As an employer, ASAP, implement a policy to require separate forms for FWH and SWH (if not already in place).

    As an employer, be prepared for a large amount of form submissions, as both FWH and SWH will likely change, and employees will be getting (hopefully) professional advice on what to submit, say in late March, once the effect of the new calculations have been vetted by those in the trenches.

    As an employer, do not give tax advice, not even a suggestion to submit a new form (unless the current one is invalid). Redirect the employee to their tax expert.

    As an employer, understand you will get questions, so be prepared to redirect them, maybe even writing up a one page note to hand out in reply.

    As a payroll pro, I expect 2018 to be a mess. I get not wanting to require a new W4, but I suspect the calculations will be tilted for political purposes, and may increase the number who end up under withholding.

  • rrupert
    rrupert ✭✭✭ "continue to use existing systems". Best practice that I can see is having those who claimed "exempt" in 2017 fill out the 2017 form but make sure the date at the bottom where they sign and date is dated 2018. Then when a new form is issued, request they complete that one since there may be new info/calculations on it.

    As for others, keep using the 2017 form and there should be no need to request a new one -- however, you could (if crazy enough) let them know that the form changed and that the new one is available if they want to make changes at that time. I also would notify employees when the tax withholding in our payroll system is as to stem any questions or later accusations that somehow it was our fault it changed and someone was possibly underwithheld.

  • rrupert
    rrupert ✭✭✭
    I just read a mainstream article that stated there may not be a 2018 W2 at all
  • What makes an employee eligible to claim "exempt status" of W4?

  • d26k
    d26k ✭✭✭

    18 Pub 15 came out, and says use current form, striking through 2017!

    rrupert[Deleted User]
  • Now they are saying they won't have a new W4 form before the end of February...

    [Deleted User]
  • “The effective date to claim exemption from income tax withholding using Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, was extended to Feb. 28, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service said Jan. 29 in Notice 2018-14.”