The information posted on PayrollTalk is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining accounting, payroll, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.

2019 Draft W4

If you have not seen it yet, take a look (available on the IRS web site). There will be new calculations to go with the new form options, yet the calculations will also work for prior W4 forms. Will be interesting to see how states react, since so many "rely" on the federal form and calculation similarities. Of course, the cynic/realist in me thanks the government for continued guaranteed lifetime employment for me via complication...



  • okay...that makes my head hurt and I am a person who usually figures out an estimate of what we/I will owe and does M99+ $xxx..... Glad I'm not the one programming the tax portion of our payroll system! Of course employees are going to be very confused having to put in a $ amount vs a # of exemptions.

  • Allowances are "implied" based on the selected status, to get the "basic withholding" calculation. The four new monetary fields are where the employee can alter the taxable amount, and add tax credits - same as adding/subtracting "allowances" with the current form.

    Programming was easy.

    Perceived/actual complication is always good for those in the payroll and/or tax business, so again, not only for themselves, the government employees continue to provide guaranteed lifetime employment opportunity.

    The complication is caused by the desire for the "tables" and percentage calculations to continue to work for those who do not update their W4, since the IRS heard loud and clear employers do not want to have to deal with new W4 forms being required.

    What I have seen no one talk about (yet) is how there are at least 4 new fields (the adjustment fields) which will need to be shown on the stubs (so the employee can proof the calculations), and how states will have to get off of using federal factors, or will have to make the same type of adjustment, and that it REALLY becomes true that employers should not allow one W4 form for both calculations.

    I am NOW telling my customers to get ready, step 1 being to - if not already doing so - require a separate state withholding form. Step 2 is to remind employers they have no obligation to help prepare W4 forms.

  • Change keeps payroll and HR in business....... right now we require separate state and federal forms at my current employer so that's not an issue for us.

    Paystubs should be fun, you are right. Hope ADP will add that from a higher perspective than requiring it client by client.

    Hopefully the IRS explanations will be enough because so many employees just pick Single/Married 0..... I guess there will be some base alternative off of just S/M with no adjustments? Glad i'm not the one solely responsible for payroll anymore!

  • I do not know if this still happens but people used to photoshop their own version on W-4s saying that they were "sovereign" and if you withheld any taxes you personally were subject to 10 years in prison and a $10K fine. You could also download these on line. I used to send those to IRS asking what they wanted us to do. Which did not seem to make the employees happy for some reason. Or their supervisors for some reason. Apparently loons make great employees. I remember going to a meeting with HR and one of the supervisor "trying to come up with a compromise". Presumably we were going to break the law only a little. I came up with a form for the supervisor and HR to sign ordering me to break the law and assuming any/all legal consequences. Not received well. Apparently they wanted me to be responsible for their actions. I sent a copy of the minutes to Corporate who said anyone who cannot follow the law is gone. Now. End of issue.

    If we did not want death threats, we would not work payroll.

  • edited June 14

    "If we did not want death threats, we would not work payroll."

    Sadly true. The one my family received was from a nut case who was representing himself in a felony tax fraud trial. The threat added to his "vacation" time in a federal resort.

    Of course, I just got dinged by a customer unhappy the pay stubs have to be redesigned, since it had to be "my" fault. Being who I am, I replied that I am not a genius, but I darn sure am smart enough not to run for public office, so no, it was not me who came up with the new tax regulations, nor am I a government employee, so it is not me who deigned the new form / method of withholding. But alas, within a few minutes, the soon to be former customer was more than willing to post his feelings online. I doubt they will ever revisit their post to see my follow up (which is a copy of my email sent to them). Or if they do visit their post, they will remove it, thus removing my comment, as the truth can be painful for some.

    While payroll remains complicated and full of misinformation and finger pointing, it is guaranteed lifetime employment...

  • I remember about 10 years ago Patty (RIP) and I came up with the idea that all payroll laws should be carved on stone tablets by the actual people who passed the laws. This would not stop bad law, but should greatly reduce it's frequency.

  • I miss Patty!!!!

Sign In or Register to comment.