Getting the W-4 filled out correctly is always very important, and inaccurate information can lead to fines and imprisonment. Make sure your employees are aware of this AND that they should review their W-4 in light of this year’s tax changes.

Ask the Experts: False Information on W-4

Question: If an employee is not in fact married, can they claim “married” on the federal Form W-4?

Answer: They should not. However, it is the employee’s responsibility to accurately fill out the Form-W-4, and it is not up to an employer to determine if the withholding is appropriate, or if an employee’s claim of marital status is valid.

Employees who willfully supply false or fraudulent information in their W-4 may be charged under 26 U.S.C. § 7205 (Fraudulent Withholding Exemption Certificate or Failure to Supply Information). Punishment for this offense includes a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both. Get the full answer here.

Time for New W-4s?

Our HR experts provide sample language to help communicate the importance of reviewing their W-4 to employees and here is a handy link to the IRS’ tax withholding calculator.

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