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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...



  • rrupertrrupert ✭✭✭

    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.

  • d26kd26k ✭✭✭

    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.

  • rrupertrrupert ✭✭✭

    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!

  • d26kd26k ✭✭✭
    edited June 2018

    "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...

  • rrupertrrupert ✭✭✭

    I miss Patty!!!!

    CaroleNJ[Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • JJacobJJacob ✭✭

    No one else is thinking "I don't want to know things about your other income and child credits"????

    I'm also reading the instructions that say " 15....This also is the basis for figuring withholding for employees whose Forms W-4 include entries on lines 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9."

    Gee thanks IRS(and other government) for putting yet ANOTHER taxpayer responsibility on payroll.

  • d26kd26k ✭✭✭

    "No one else is thinking "I don't want to know things about your other income and child credits"????"

    Has been neaten on other forums. The common employee will set their status, and maybe a few dollars additional. Those with more complex situations are likely already getting advice for W4 prep, and will continue to do so. Employees not wanting to disclose the details, PER THE FORM INSTRUCTIONS, can simply come up with additional withholding to request, instead of specifics.

    I cannot believe I think it, but the method seems a decent compromise. Accuracy should easily be improved for those that want to do the calculations, and still having "tables" allows existing forms to be used with reasonable accuracy. What is unsaid, except by me, is the new need to add space for at least 4 new items (likely 8) on pay receipts.stubs, so the employee has all the needed information to reverse calculate their check. I already added the space in my software, and while most customers don;t care beyond compliance, a few were livid their receipt/stub was different...

  • Years ago the IRS came out with a W-4 with 4 pages of worksheets and instructions to improve accuracy - the employees didn't know what to do with it - did not understand what was being asked and did not "take advantage of the opportunity" to be more accurate. As my clients say about the organizer for their income tax "If I could fill that out, I could do my own tax return". They generally don't want to deal with it, don't want to come up with the required info, or don't know how to come up with the info or put it onto the form or worksheets.

    I may be way off base on this - but I suspect that this ideal will land on the trash heap.

    [Deleted User]
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