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Best way to complete a W-4

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  • Best way to complete a W-4

    Wife and I MFJ.
    She makes about $65k, and I make about $250K. For the 2019 tax season, we owed 7.3K.
    How should we be completing our W-4 to try to prevent this? FWIW, we have 2 kids. I have put down that we have $4K in child credit. I think she has left hers blank. I don't think we can simply check the box because our incomes are so different.
    I don't mind owing a little bit of money when it comes time to pay up in April, but getting hit w/ >5,000 owed is a bit of a shot int he arm for us.

    Thanks

  • #2
    to be accurate: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-...ding-estimator

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    • #3
      simple answer is to complete the form in a manner which results in you meeting your safe harbor requirements to avoid tax penalty

      this means you need to first understand your safe harbor amount, and then use available calculators to help you complete the w4 such that your withholdings will satisfy the safe harbor

      owing a balance due at tax time is a not a bad thing, as long as it's not a surprise and as long as you don't pay penalty and interest

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      • #4
        We owed $17k this year-- following since I had the same issue

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        • #5
          how much you owed at filing is meaningless without context. I owed a six figure amount at filing. But it was entirely expected and matter of fact I did it on purpose

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          • #6
            The more I owe the better I feel. It means I made more money and the govt wasn't holding as much of it interest free.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by StateOfMyHead View Post
              The more I owe the better I feel. It means I made more money and the govt wasn't holding as much of it interest free.
              To a certain degree. As jacoavlu mentioned, there's nothing wrong with owing money as long as you're not owing penalties/interest and it doesn't come as a surprise when you find out exactly how much you owe.

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