Health and Well-Being

Help Avoid Surprises Next Tax Season With the IRS Withholding Calculator

July 2019 

Tax time may be over for 2018, but it’s not too early to start planning for 2019. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), one way to help assure you won’t be caught by surprise next year is to use the IRS Withholding Calculator to perform a quick analysis of your tax withholding. This is especially important considering recent changes to the tax laws in 2018 and beyond. 

The calculator helps you identify your tax withholding to make sure you have the right amount of tax withheld from your paycheck at work. Checking your withholding amount is important because: 

  • It can help protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year.
  • Conversely, with the average refund topping $2,800, you may prefer to have less tax withheld up front and receive more in your paycheck.
  • Using the calculator can help you determine whether you need to give your Human Resource Associate (HRA) a new Form W-4 (Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate.) Using the results from the Calculator will assist you to fill out the form to adjust your income tax withholding.  

How to Use the Calculator
The Withholding Calculator tool will ask you a series of questions about your 2019 income, family status and other items that will affect your 2019 taxes. The IRS says the process will take a few minutes and it will be helpful to:

  • Gather your most recent pay stubs before you start.
  • Have your most recent income tax return available to speed up the process. 
  • Be as accurate as possible. And if your circumstances change during the year, be sure to come back and recalculate to be sure you are still in line with your tax goals. 
  • The Withholding Calculator does not ask you to provide sensitive personally-identifiable information like your name, Social Security number, address, or bank account numbers. The IRS does not save or record the information you enter on the Calculator.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This Withholding Calculator works for most taxpayers. People with more complex tax situations should talk with a tax professional or use the instructions in Publication 505.