Payroll Services How to Successfully Complete Your W-4 Form

tips for completing your w-4

  • Always complete your name in Box 1 and your Social Security Number in Box 2.
  • Complete the address portion of Box 1.
  • Leave Box 3 “Single or Married”.
  • To claim a withholding allowance(s), enter a whole number in Box 5; leave box 7 blank.
  • To claim Exempt, enter the word Exempt in Box 7; leave Box 5 blank.
  • Enter any additional withholding amount in box 6 as a dollar amount.
  • Always sign and date your W-4 form!
  • Withholding on nonresident aliens:
    • Box 3 – Check “Single” marital status on line 3 (regardless of marital status)
    • Box 5 – Enter “1” for the total number of allowances (Residents of American Samoa, Canada, Korea, Mexico, The Northern Mariana Islands and Students from India may claim more allowances. See special section below)
    • Box 6 – Enter the phrase Non Resident Alien or “NRA” above the dotted line on line 6
    • Box 7 – Do not complete as “Exempt.” Employees who wish to be exempt from federal income taxes due to a tax treaty, see this link for procedures to complete the tax determination questionnaire for a tax analysis: Contact.htm.

    Special Rules for Residents of: American Samoa, Canada, Korea, Mexico, The Northern Mariana Islands and Students from India

    Residents of:
    American Samoa
    Canada
    Mexico
    Northern Mariana Islands
    Box 3 - Must check "Single" (regardless of marital status)
    Box 5 - May claim same personal allowances as U.S. Citizens
    Box 6 - Enter the phrase Non Resident Alien or "NRA" above the dotted line on line 6
    Residents of:
    South Korea
    Box 3 - Must check "Single" (regardless of marital status)
    Box 5 - May claim "1" plus additional allowances for spouse and any dependents present in the U.S.
    Box 6 - Enter the phrase Non Resident Alien or "NRA" above the dotted line on line 6
    Residents of:
    India (Students Only)
    Box 3 - Must check "Single" (regardless of marital status)

    Box 5 - May claim "1" plus additional withholding allowances for spouse and any dependents present in the U.S. if the spouse has no US Source income and/or the children are either US citizens or resident aliens.

    Box 6 - No additional tax withholding amount is required
  • Note: Forms with writing in BOTH Boxes 5 and 7 will be returned. Please read instructions #5 and #7 above and enter the appropriate choice. Incomplete W-4 Forms will be returned to employees which, in turn, might delay payment.
  • Be sure to sign and date the W-4 Form.

W4-2018 Federal Withholding Tax Form, PDF format, 68KB