Withholding

What Is Backup Withholding Tax, and How Does It Work?

Backup withholding is a federal tax on income that otherwise typically doesn’t require tax withholding, such as 1099 and W2-G income. Taxpayers who receive this type of income may have backup withholding deducted from their payments. Here is what you should know about backup withholding:

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Tax Withholding for Seasonal and Part-Time Employees

Many businesses hire part-time or full-time workers, especially in the summer. The IRS classifies these employees as seasonal workers, defined as an employee who performs labor or services on a seasonal basis (i.e., six months or less). Examples of this kind of work include retail workers employed exclusively during holiday seasons, sports events, or during the harvest or commercial fishing season. Part-time and seasonal employees are subject to the same tax withholding rules that apply to other employees.

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2020 Tax Withholding: the new Form W-4

Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate has been redesigned for 2020. Previously, income tax withholding was based on an employee’s marital status and withholding allowances or tied to the value of the personal exemption. With the revised Form W-4, however, income tax withholding is generally based on the worker’s expected filing status and standard deduction for the year. Furthermore, workers can also choose to have itemized deductions, the Child Tax Credit and other tax benefits reflected in their withholding for the year.

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Penalty Relief for Withholding, Estimated Tax Shortfalls

The estimated tax penalty has been waived for many taxpayers whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total tax liability for the year; however, there is a catch: the penalty is only waived for taxpayers who paid at least 85 percent of their total tax liability during the year through federal income tax withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments or a combination of the two. Typically, a taxpayer must pay 90 percent to avoid a penalty.

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