Redesigned W-4 Starts In 2020

Compliance | Dec 6, 2019
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As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in 2017, the IRS redesigned the Form W-4. This new design goes into effect in 2020.

As a part of the redesign, withholding allowances – which were tied to personal exemptions - are no longer a part of the form. Because of changes in the tax code, you can no longer claim personal exemptions. The removal of the withholding allowances represents the biggest change to the Form W-4.

Along with a new layout, the Form W-4 is also getting a new name - Employee’s Withholding Certificate. Previously, it was called the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.

In addition to complying with recent changes in the tax code, the new design is intended to make it easier for employees to complete the form and to more accurately estimate the amount of tax that should be withheld from their paychecks.


Do employees need to submit a new Form W-4?

It is important to note that employees are not required to resubmit the Form W-4 as a result of this redesign. Employers should continue to withhold tax based on the information provided on the employee’s most recently submitted Form W-4.

However, employees who are beginning a new job in 2020 should complete the redesigned Form W-4. Starting in 2020, any employee that wants to make adjustments to his/her withholding amounts should use the redesigned form.

While not required, it is recommended that employees occasionally do a “paycheck checkup.” Changes in tax law and/or one’s personal life could impact the amount of tax that should be withheld from one’s paycheck. The IRS has a Tax Withholding Estimator. Employees can use this tool to ensure they are withholding the right amount of tax from each paycheck.

Likewise, ECCA Payroll+ has a collection of paycheck calculators - including a Form W-4 wizard - that employees can use to learn more about their pay and taxes.


For more information.

The IRS has an FAQ on their website with information for both employers and employees regarding the redesigned Form W-4.

You can also view or download a copy of the new Form W-4 at the IRS website.

Be sure to check out the Form W-4 Info Stack for more detailed information regarding the main sections of the Form W-4.