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Form W-4 for married couples

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I am a US citizen and my wife is Japanese. We just recently got married and filed all applications for her green card. The interview has also been scheduled already.

I would like to adjust my W-4 form, but I am not sure if I should wait until my wife actually has her green card or if its OK to adjust it now.

Also I have been doing a lot of research on how to fill out the W-4 form and I concluded that for us its better to file separately. Moreover, I would like to pay more taxes on a monthly basis and be eligible for a higher tax return instead of paying less monthly taxes, but possibly owing taxes at the end of the year.

I would appreciate any advice on how to fill out my W-4 form so that it represents the above scenario.


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The W4 is simply an estimate to help figure out what to hold out of your paycheck. It has nothing to do with her immigration. You can't get in trouble no matter how you fill it out...as in deported, put in jail, etc.

We used to have a family of four with zero claimed to get more held out of the paycheck because we always owed. Doing the opposite and claiming a bunch of exemptions would mean not enough would be held out and you would owe the IRS and maybe even a penalty. Too much owed at the end does not make the IRS happy.

I noticed I still have "single" on mine and have been married six years.

Don't claim the wife if you need more held out. Adjust it anytime you like. Filing separately almost always makes you pay more in taxes, than filing jointly.

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As noted your wife's immigration status has nothing to do with tax withholding on your paycheck.

My husband has single withholding on both his federal and state W4

I have married 0, 0 on mine

He used to have married 1, 0 on his but we had to pay a little bit of money to the IRS this year and he didn't like that.

All in all, by having the government withhold more, you're giving them an interest free loan throughout the year until tax time. In a way you're at least not spending the money yourself each month, but any reading I've done on the subject concludes that as long as you don't owe more than $1000 at the end of the year, you're doing just fine. Since my husband works for the federal government and has since he was 18, he has little issue with giving them money to use during the year. LOL

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss


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I agree with the other posters if you want more taxes taking out during the year and owe less or get back more at the end of the year. Then you should just keep your W-4 as single

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