Can I File Exempt & Still Get a Tax Refund?

The IRS only issues tax refunds when you pay more tax during the year than you actually owe. When you file exempt with your employer for federal tax withholding, you do not make any tax payments during the year. Without paying tax, you do not qualify for a tax refund unless you qualify to claim a refundable tax credit.

The tax law requires your employer to withhold federal income tax from each paycheck you receive and send it to the IRS on a quarterly basis. If you are self-employed, you are required to make income tax payments every three months throughout the year. At the end of the year, your employer provides you with a W-2 statement that reports the total amount of tax you paid during the year. When you prepare your tax return and the amount you owe is less than the total amount withheld, the IRS will refund the difference to you.

Filing exempt from withholding

When you start a job, your employer will ask you to fill out IRS Form W-4. The W-4 estimates the amount that should be withheld from each paycheck based on the tax information you provide. To claim an exemption from withholding, you must meet certain criteria. If you had even $1 of tax liability in the prior year or anticipate earning income in excess of the sum of your standard deduction and exemption, you cannot be exempt from federal tax withholding in the current year. For example, if you file as single for 2010 you must not anticipate earning income in excess of $9,350. This is a combination of your standard deduction of $5,700 and your personal exemption of $3,650. If you still file exempt and earn income in excess of this amount, unless you qualify for a refundable tax credit, it is impossible for you to receive a refund since no federal income tax is taken from your paycheck.

Claiming allowances on the W-4

If you are unable to claim exempt from withholding, you can still reduce the amount that is withheld from each paycheck by claiming allowances on your W-4. The more deductions you anticipate claiming at the end of the year, the more allowances you can take. These allowances are based on your filing status, the number of dependents you claim plus the itemized deductions you anticipate claiming such as mortgage interest, state property taxes and medical expenses. However, the IRS will impose penalties on you if you significantly underpay your actual tax liability due to filing exempt or claiming too many allowances.

Refundable tax credits

A refundable tax credit means that even if you have a zero tax liability before claiming the credit, you can still obtain a refund for a portion of the credit. For example, the American opportunity credit that covers certain higher educational expenses is 40 percent refundable. Therefore, if you qualify for the maximum $2,500 credit, you will get a refund of $1,000 (40 percent of $2,500) even if you paid no income tax for the year.

Comments (139) Leave your comment

  1. Hello, I make 40,000 a year, have 2 kids,pay $95 in daycare a week and own my house. I filed exempt 3 months ago. Will this hurt me? I don’t mind paying the IRS, my concern is making sure this is not an issue with the IRS by claiming exempt. I don’t want to be in trouble with them. Thanks in advance!

  2. I just started a new job at the end of may. Can I file exempt since i began work in the middle of the year? I did not work or file taxes last year due to being in nursing school. I do have two dependents.

  3. An employee wants to file exempt, since he is in school, and is working part-time through the school year, and full time over the summer.

    He must still have SS deducted out, correct?

  4. My 17 yr recently started working. He is making minimum wage ($8 an hr) and roughly about 11 hrs a week. Is he able to file exempt? I am not quite understanding the exemptions. Thank you

  5. cant I just file exempt now if I need the money for a few months as long as I pay the difference at tax time,as long as they get their money what difference does it make

      • I just want to know if I made a mistake and filed zero on my w-4 form, and I wanted to put two cant I correct it because they are withholding too much taxes out of my check so I want to correct that mistake, and who should I talk too.

  6. Hi all. I had my son (first child) December 11th. I was told I could claim him. Did everything through turbo tax, but when my return came back, any credits for my son that I tried to recieve was not included. Then I got mail from the Irs, asking me to prove he’s my dependent (proof of address birth cert etc) I sent it in. When should I expect the rest of my return? They said 6-9 months, but would it be sooner than that? I was told my tax refund would be here in 21 days, but I received in in 11.

    Oh and this return’s for Connecticut.

  7. I’m going to receive a bonus check and I want all the money now can I change my withholding to exempt for this one pay check. I always get over 10,000 back on from refunds check. I’m planning on sell and buying a house this year and moving out of state.

  8. If i made 13.50 per hour on a job working atleast 12 hours a day and was told I wasn’t allowed to file exempt but was placed in job system s4 and exempt s2 and exempt and worked at the job from 2012 til Nov 2013 but never,printed check stubs off computer so never knew I wasn’t getting cut is this possible and will i be penalize for it

  9. How can I file an exemption for my wife? We are legally married, she’s from another country but has no SS.

    How can I claim her on my taxes?

    According to IRS.Gov

    Separate return. If you file a separate return, you can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. . This is true even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a dependent. You can claim an exemption for your spouse even if he or she is a nonresident alien; in that case, your spouse must have no gross income for U.S. tax purposes, must not be filing a return, and must not be the dependent of another taxpayer.

  10. How can I file an exemption for my wife? We are legally married, she’s from another country but has no SS.

    How can I claim her on my taxes?

    According to IRS.Gov

    Separate return. If you file a separate return, you can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. . This is true even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a dependent. You can claim an exemption for your spouse even if he or she is a nonresident alien; in that case, your spouse must have no gross income for U.S. tax purposes, must not be filing a return, and must not be the dependent of another taxpayer.

  11. I filed a w-4 with my company when I started and claimed 0, I just got my w-2 and they say I claimed exempt. Don’t you need paperwork to qualify for exempt status? Also I never wrote down or checked the exempt box and it’s unchecked on my w-4. Now I owe the IRS over 1000. Can this be fixed? Is the company liable for the filing mistake? I am just a regular retail manager, no special tax breaks that I qualify for. Please any information would be appreciated

  12. I have had federal taxes taken out on every paycheck of mine. But when I just got my w2 it shows that no federal income taxes have been held. Why is that?

    • Hi Alissa,
      You need to check with your employer or payroll provider to see what they show on your W-4. They must have you claiming exempt. You need to change your exemptions if you need to have taxes taken out.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis


    • Hi Jackie,
      There is no time limit, but you cannot claim exempt if you owed money last year and you expect to owe this year.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  14. I been working since June of 2013 & I been exempt every since I started & I think I grossed over 9,500 can I still get a tax return

  15. I had federal income taxes coming out of my paycheck all year. On 11/29/13, I changed my status with my employer to exempt. At the end of the year, I’m still exempt from federal taxes, but I still had federal taxes come out of my paycheck for the majority of the year. Will I still get a tax return for all of the federal taxes I’ve already paid from 1/1/2013-11/29/2013?

  16. For years I’ve claimed enough allowances so no taxes were taken out and then under additional with holding I would pay a flat amount. Late in the year I would estimate fairly accurately my tax liability and adjust my additional with holding accordingly.

    Before I did this, one year I would get a large refund the next year I would owe a large amount.

    Recently received a letter from the irs saying they instructed my employer to only allow me zero allowances and they are threatening to fine me for claiming too many allowances.

    I’ve never under paid enough to be penalized, most years I receive a small refund.

    Do I wait to see if they fine me, or approach them and explain–can they even legally fine me if they get their money before year end.

    Any advice would be appreciated.


  17. Im filling out my new job app, I have 2 kids ! 16 and 10. The 16 just stared work in sept, The 10 yr old is on ssi. What should file for? excempt or not?

  18. I have been working since the beginning of the year.. Im on pace to make around 41k for the year.. I have filed exempt since the beginning of the year. I have now changed both state and FED to 1.. I started this the beginning of September.. Will I be ok?

  19. can i claim exempt for 2 months and file single for remainder of year without getting penalized for the 2 months of exempt? is it true that i can file exempt for 2-4 months and single the rest of the year and claim single when i go to file taxes?

  20. I have been claiming ‘0’ on my W-4 for the last two years and I have been receiving a refund each year that I filed taxes. This year, the taxes have been eating away $400-$550 each pay period (the most I’ve ever seen). If I file exempt for the last two months of this year, would I owe in taxes or will I be fine?

  21. I only claim myself on my taxes they’ve been taking taxes out every 2 weeks since feb 14 I filled exempt today I only worked 3 weeks last year is that ok?

  22. I only claim myself on my taxes they’ve been taking taxes out every 2 weeks since feb 14 I filled exempt today I only worked 3 weeks last year is that ok?

  23. I was told that I can file exempt for six months is that true? And also im legally separated even when married I was head of househol so can I just file for myself as single?

    • I made 2600 dollars a year and I claim nine people on my federal taxes on my paycheck will I receive a refund at the end of this year?

  24. i accidentally checked myself as exempt for 9 months ! is this bad?! does it mean im going to have to pay instead of get money?

  25. I do adult foster care and am tax exempt. I completely support the client I have been caring for and also have 3 children. Do I file taxes and can I claim my children on my taxes? Not sure if I would get anything back for child credit…

  26. I just filed exempt and I was wondering how it will effect me at tax time ..if I got 6grand back this year does that mean that I will get around 3grand assuming I do this for a month or two ….do I see the money are is it took in the beginning …

  27. Hi I’m wordering what will help me. I claimed exempt like 10 times this year. I’m single can I claim 1 or 0 and will I get a refund? Can I claim head of house hold I live on my own? I estimated making $60,000 this year

  28. Hi i recently had a baby and filed exempt from march til end of august. My husband will be claiming our son since he is head of household and makes more money than me. Will i still owe taxes? So far ive made 12,298$ year to date if that helps.

  29. I was wondering if I can claim exempt… I only have 2 children, head of household and only work for 5 months out the year. I don’t expect to make no more than 10,000 this year. Can I file exempt?

  30. Hi!

    I have been at my job for 1 year now and always filed single. I do have one son. I do file for my son however at my job, i entered in 0 exemptions/allowances. This late in the year (september), could I still change to filing exempt? And since it is so late would I still have to owe taxes? Never had to owe before.

  31. I currently work overseas and pay taxes in Brazil. I receive a tax credit for those taxes that I use with the IRS. After filing I haven’t owed the IRS anything due to my credit. I want to claim exempt in 2014 but do not want to pay the IRS any more then my credit covers at time of filing.

  32. I wanted to file exempt on my W-4 form so no taxes are taking out my check. However I only wanted to go tax exempt for a 3 or 4 paychecks then go back to paying taxes. I understand I will have to pay back that money come tax time. How do I fill out the W-4 form?

  33. I incorrectly filed as exempt from withholding when I filled out my W-4 a week or two ago. I recently realized that I will be making around 7000 or 8000 this year, which is definitely above the withholding exemption range. Is there a penalty for doing this incorrectly? If so, how can I get this corrected?

  34. I live in Maryland and I’m 19 years old and claimed as a dependent.
    Can I work 2 jobs this summer, which would earn an income <$5700, and still not pay federal taxes?
    Someone said that if you work 2 jobs you must pay full taxes, and someone else said I can work as many jobs as I want and as long as I still make less than $5700 I will get money back.
    Any help? Thanks!

  35. I’m a paid intern and my first summer, I had nothing taken out of my checks because I was told to put “0” on my w-4 form. Then, the next summer rolls around and I put “1” on a few of the lines and they started taking out state but not federal. Now, another summer later they’re taking out state and federal. Could I file exempt to receive my full check again w/o any penalties?

  36. Im wondering I haven’t been getting california tax taken out of my paychecks for like 4 months so far I have one child if I file my taxes at the end of the year will I still recive anything back?

    • Hi Carol,
      It all depends on your income and tax deductions. It’s hard to say without seeing your full situation. Also, state taxes are a little different from federal taxes since with federal you may be eligible for refundable credits(credits you may be eligible for without paying taxes like Earned Income Tax Credits). 4 months may not hurt you, but you may want to start deducting state taxes.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I only made 26,00 year and I claim nine people on my paycheck. Will i receive a refund at the end of this year ?

  37. I filed Exempt back in January. my son was born in March I didn’t receive any income for 8-9 weeks while I was out on maternity leave. When do I change my W-4 back to 1. My husband is going to claim our son. Would we still receive a refund?

  38. Hello. I just got an internship this summer. I’m a college student and will be only working over the summer for the internship. Is it ok for me to file exempt? I don’t want any taxes taken out because I will not make over 10,000 during the summer. So if I file exempt is it possible I will owe the government money at the end of the year? And lastly, do companies usually allow to you change your W-2 throughout the year? Thank you.

  39. Hi there, I am single with one dependent, should I claim 2 exemptions? The W-4 I filled out had me tax exempt when I checked the box re: being entitled to all of my federal refund and not owing any taxes.

  40. Hello I just recently started at Chrysler and the federal taxes are eating me up I wonder if I filled my W4 out correctly. I take care of my siblings a brother and sister who stay with and I’m single. Do I claim exempt? How many allowances should I have?

  41. i make 9.00 hr paid byweekly
    can i put 3 allowances????
    im single with no kids
    i dont want taking so much from my paycheck
    so i want to put 3 allowances

    i dont want to owe the goverment either..
    am i alright??
    i live in texas if that matters

    • Hi Daniel – Keep in mind that there are penalties for under-withholding (i.e., owing the IRS too much at tax time). The attached link has more information about claiming allowances. Hope it helps! –Christopher

    • Hi Rosie – Maybe…did you have earned income? Depending on your income, you may qualify for an Earned Income Credit or the Child Tax Credit. I recommend you go through the Credits and Deductions section in TurboTax. The software will guide you and calculate any tax credits you qualify for automatically after you go through that section. Thanks, Karen

  42. I am in college and work at the college under the work study program. I claim exempt since the money they use to pay me is grant money. Can I still Get a refund?

    • Hi d.ledsma – Are you the only wage earner in the family? And, can anyone else claim you as a dependent? If not, and you pay for education costs, you may be entitled to an education credit. I recommend you go through the Credits and Deductions section in TurboTax. The software will guide you and calculate any tax credits you qualify for automatically after you go through that section. Thanks, Karen

  43. Hello lisa or chris i made 9172 in 2012, i was exempt from state and federal taxes because i was in school! I am a depenndent my mother claims me. around November i claim zero on state and federal! Will i have too owe, or do i file?

  44. Dear Lisa or Chris,

    I had 3 jobs last year. The first two were about 2.5 months each, and I am single and claimed either 1 or 2 for both, so had taxes taken out. My 3rd job I started in November, also with taxes taken out, except the last 5 weeks of the year (which I worked lots of overtime) and I was paid weekly, I got roughly $960 a week. I have to renew my 2013 w4 exemption this week, I have not yet filed my taxes, should I be ok to still file exempt for a couple more months this year? I would think my first 2 jobs and part of the third one would still entitle me to a refund/balance out the 4 or 5 weeks I was exempt at the tail end of 2012?

  45. I worked as an intern this past summer and the compnay did not with hold federal taxes and now I owe. Is there anyway around this.

  46. Oh, btw. When I started working I completed a w-4 form, it was faxed, and received by the book-keeping office. So, there was a w-4 form submitted and on file.

    • Hi Sonia – The more withholding you have taken out, the larger your refund will be. There’s no reason why you can’t still file, and you can always submit a new W-4 to your employer to update. In fact, TurboTax will help you complete it. Hope that clarifies! –Christopher

  47. Hi Lisa,

    I started working in August 2012′ and claim 5 (my self, three dependents, and head of household= my 5) on my w-4 form and when I file, and deductions are taken out as usual. I know its my responsibility to check my pay stubs I did but didn’t realize that federal deductions were not being taken out. I did’t realize this until January. I called my employers bookkeeping company and they said that if I wanted federal deductions to be taken out I should have requested it. I was very upset to get this response. Yes, I should have caught this sooner. I will take responsibility for that but I have never had an issue before, I’ve been doing the same thing for the last 12 years. The bookkeeping office still states that there is nothing they can do, and nothing wrong with their program, and if I wanted extra deductions I should have requested it. So, my question is can this be fixed some how? Can I still file? Am I entitled to a refund? Any info will help, thanks.

  48. I worked two jobs last year, one I had taxes taken out, and the other one I fiiled exempt. On the exempt job I only made $1,934, and the job I had taxes taken out of I made $7,023. So do I need to claim my exempted income on my tax returns this year or can I leave them out?

    • Hi Felicia,
      You typically would have to claim income from both jobs, however your income is less than the income requirements for filing. Although your income is less, you may still get a refund if you had taxes taken out and additionally if you are entitled to credits like earned income tax credit.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  49. I worked two jobs last year and one of my w-2 forms came in that said 0 on my federal withheld! I have no idea why. The first job I had in the year 2012 was for 3 months and they took out for my federal I made 4,000 dollars there for gross income! After I left there I got another job and worked there for the last 7 months of the year though December and made a gross income of 10,000! I have one dependent and my w-2 from there said 0 was taken out for federal withheld! I’m worried I’ll have to pay back taxes! What should I do and what options do I have?

  50. Hi Lisa Im married and we filed married. But for 2012 I forgot to change my w4 back to normal from exempt. i was exempt for 9 months, will we end up oweing? We have three kids under 18. And my wife also enrolled into school. Thank you

  51. I have a question. I filed exempt on my 2012 W4 for a job I did in Texas. Made about 26600 in about 2 months. Work the rest of the year in my home state Florida, had taxes taken out in Florida. I have added all up and made about 65000 total last year. I am filing jointly this year on 1098. After adding everything up and the deductions. We end up paying 75.00 in this year. I took the advice from a friend and I shouldn’t have for filing exempt. Now I am worried that the IRS is going to fine me a good bit. What penalties do you think I will have to pay and would they come after me hard. I am really worried.

    • Hi Paris,
      Yes, you may get money back if you had federal taxes withheld. Especially if you take advantage of other tax credits and deductions. TurboTax walks you through the appropriate questions so that you can take the tax deductions and credits you deserve.
      Also remember if you have questions, you can ask our tax experts your question via chat or in person.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  52. Im filed my taxes and apparently i owe which is surprsing to me. I filed exempt and have 0 withholdings on my w-4 and i do not have any dependents. what am i doing wrong that would make me owe money at the end of the year? I am single and dont qualify for head of household or eitc.

    • J Ware… When you file form W-4 with your employer as “exempt”, you are telling your employer not to withhold any federal taxes. That is why you owe money at tax time. You should have taxes withheld from each paycheck so you don’t face tax time owing Uncle Sam.

      Bob Meighan, VP TurboTax

  53. I worked May – Dec, claiming 9 and married during this period. My W2 now states I have paid 0 into Federal Taxes. Is this correct? Shouldnt I have been paying at least a small amount each paycheck?

    • Sarah… Withholding is done by your employer. It is conceivable that by claiming 9 exemptions there was no tax withholding. Correct or not depends on how much income you expected to earn for the year. If your joint income is more than around $18,000 you should have income tax withheld from each paycheck.

      If you need to change your withholding allowances to have more or less taken out, file Form W-4 with your employer. TurboTax will help you complete this form, but I encourage you to file your return first. That’s because you can use your 2012 tax return information to more accurately determine what should be claimed on Form W-4.

      I hope this info helps!
      Bob Meighan, VP TurboTax

  54. Hi! The education tax credits are “nonrefundable,” which means they won’t increase your refund if you owe no tax to begin with. Hope that clarifies! –Christopher

    • Hi! The education tax credits are “nonrefundable,” which means they won’t increase your refund if you owe no tax to begin with. Hope that clarifies! –Christopher

    • Aniya… Just a correction to what TurboTaxChristopherT said. 40% of the American Opportunity Credit is refundable, which means you can get a refund even if you owe no tax. So, don’t overlook this credit!! It’s YOUR money! And by the way, it’s very challenging keeping up with the tax laws and that’s why TurboTax is so valuable. TurboTax does all the calculations so we don’t need to know all the minute details.

      Bob Meighan, VP TurboTax

  55. I work two jobs, one of which is a work study at the college where i attend full time and the other is a part time job at a clinic. My work study i put exempt so nothing has been taken out and my other one i had taxes with held. will i get a return?

  56. Hi Barb,

    I filled exempt once I started my new job in June, 2012 (since I did that during my last job which lasted 2 yrs) But changed it to non exempt beginning Jan 2013. For the 6 months at my new job ( June 2012- – Dec 2012) I paid no Fed taxes. Will I owed the IRS money this year or next?

  57. Hello Barb,
    I have 3 W2’s from 2012 and when I do my TurboTax filing online, I have a good amount coming back to me but when I enter my W2 from an employer who did not take taxes out due to not making enough, my refund drops about 1500.00 and I am still waiting on my 3rd W2. I want to know, since Federal Taxes were not taken out from the one employer, can I file this W2 next year. I’m in a bind and need as much as I can get right now.

    • Leah… I think we’d all like to defer reporting out wage income to another year, but unfortunately, that is not the way our tax system works. You’ll have to report exactly what you receive on each W-2. In the future, you should file Form W-4 with each employer to ensure you have the proper taxes withheld from your paycheck. This will prevent unpleasant surprises at tax time.

      Bob Meighan, VP TurboTax

  58. I’m a single mom of 4 dependents and earned $10,000 but my tax with held for the whole year was only $1 will I get anything back??

    Thank you Crystal

  59. Hi Lisa! I worked for a month and only made 1400.00. I started school last May as a full-time student. I’m wondering should I file taxes or let my boyfriend claim me as a dependant. I don’t want to mess up my fasfa or his money. Which way should I go?

  60. I work as a Nanny and just got my W2 from a family i worked for last year. I noticed that the boxes in Fed & State tax were empty. Does this mean that they didn’t pay any taxes for me? Is this even legal? I am shocked that I didn’t even know. I would have paid them quarterly if I had known.

  61. Hi I didn’t file last year so I’m doing 2011 and 2012 together I filled exempt both years due to bills. I make 17,000 a year will I owe the IRS. I still have some taxes coming out about 60 dollars every two weeks 10.50 a hour for an 80 hour pay period

  62. Hi Lily-

    The rules for claiming a non-related person as a dependent are as follows:
    -He must be a U.S. citizen and unmarried.
    -He must have lived with you all year.
    -His gross income must be less than $3,800
    -You must have provided more than half his support for the year.

    If you met all those requirements (and it sounds as if you may), you can claim him as a dependent. To do this in Turbo Tax, go to the Personal Information section. When it asks if you support anyone else, indicate that you do. It will ask if it is your child or someone else. Select ‘someone else’, and it will take you through the process of adding him as your dependent.

  63. Hey Lisa, I have a question me & my fiance live together( we have all year) he didn’t work all year and I have an earned income of 24,000 yet I owe Unemployment from the prior year. My question is since I pay for his medical, rent, food, clothing Etc.. Can I technically claim his as a dependent?

  64. Hi Lisa

    I exempted for only 9 months have 2 kids, and making 10/hr. Am I still eligible for EIC & child tax credit? Thanks :-)

  65. To catch up on some bills, someone told me we could claim Exempt for 5 weeks a year and still get a tax refund (not owe). We also have a 3 year old, so we get that credit. Just wanted to see if 5 weeks is the cut off, or if we can go a couple more weeks.

    • Hi Melissa,
      There is no cut off for the amount of time you can claim 5 exemptions. It all depends on your tax situation(how much income your earn and how much deductions you are eligible for). There are requirements for claiming full exemption where you don’t have any taxes taken out of your checks. This doesn’t sound like the case for you.
      You can use our W-4 salary calculator to help you estimate your exemptions. Here is the link
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  66. Hey Lisa

    I worked for 6 months as an intern in US. I received my W2 form in Feb 2012. Unfortunately since I was travelling, I forgot about the form. Is it possible I can claim my tax refund. Could you please help as how I should proceed.


    • Hi Prabu,
      Don’t worry you can still file your taxes using TurboTax to file your 2011 taxes. TurboTax will ask you the appropriate information to complete your 2011 taxes. You can get started here
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  67. Hey Lisa I hope your still checking this, I have a ? about filing exempt. I can only work part time about $8000 for the year, and also get food stamps (about $2400 for the year) Last year i made around $7500. Should i be filing exempt or even filing at all? Every little bit helps and if I can not have taxes held out that would be great. Thanks. Oh also im 31, single with no kids.

    • Hi Jason,
      You should be able to file exempt. In addition, you should still file your taxes, because you may be entitled to various refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can give you a credit even if you didn’t have any taxes due.
      TurboTax will help you get your tax refund when you file your taxes.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  68. I earn 12.00 an hour and work about 23 hours a week, I am also a full time student with a child. I claim 3 exemptions on my payroll and no federal taxes have been coming out, my worry is will I owe money at the end of the year and will I still be able to get my earned income credit?

  69. Hi I am a full time college student and my parents still claim me also. I will make about 4,000 this summer from an Internship and in the fall and spring I will have workstudy that’s would be up to 1,500. I am not sure of what to put on my w-4 for this summer it was at default on 1 but I changed it to 0 because to many taxes were taken out. What should I do to be safe ?

  70. If I did a tax exemption for a couple of weeks in the year, is this supposed to just come out of my refund? (I was under this impression.) Randomly, I was taxed a few paychecks later and almost 3/4 of my paycheck was taken. Isn’t it supposed to deduct from my refund when I file rather than tax me extra at a later date without being notified?

  71. I have a question i claimed head of household and also 3 on my w-2 form. I do not pay into federal taxes at the end of the year since i only make 9.00 a hour every week getting paid will i still have to owe the IRS? And can i still get a refund for my children?

  72. Hi, I started a new job on 5/21/2012 and my federal exempt is 10 and on my first pay check no federal tax were taken out. What does that mean? Can that hurt me or will I have to pay the IRS or not get a refund. Personally I rather not get a refund than pay the IRS. I have 3 dependents my unempled spouse, and 2 children under 18. Should I change my w4?

    • Hi Josi,
      If you do not have taxes taken out you may have to pay the IRS, but without knowing all of your tax deductions and your income it is hard to say. Some people have enough deductions that they don’t owe even if they did not take out federal taxes. You can use our W-4 salary calculator to help you figure out the correct amount of exemptions for 2012. Here is the link
      It is not updated for 2012 yet, but it can still assist you in estimating.

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Recent news stories make it clear that there are agirluctural tax advantages in Florida, but the land must be used agirlucturally. Talk to your county assessors and state tax offices.

  73. my two daughters are going to college full time. they work in the summer full time and make about $3500 – 4000 . In the school year they work at college and make about $1500. We claim them as dependents. What should they claim on their W2 form as exeptions? They want to get as much money as they can from their pay checks. But at the same time do not want to owe taxes at the end the year. What should they claim a 2 or 3 as exepctions?

    • Hi Berneita,
      You were asking what your daughters should claim on their W2s, but I think you are referring to the W4. Your daughters need to notify their employers how many exemptions they want to take on their W4 forms by filling out and giving them W4 forms. Claiming 2 or 3 is probably safe, but without seeing the entire financial picture I can not tell you what they should claim. They can use our W4 Salary Calculator that will help them figure out how many exemptions they should claim based on their income and how much taxes they have had taken out. The W4 Salary Calculator is not updated for 2012, but can still be used to help them After using the salary calculator, they should fill out the W4 form with the exemption amount and give it to their employer.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Lewis

  74. question can a employer force u to file dependants on w2, my current employer stated i can not file EXEMPT, who is an employer to tell me how i should file?? he stated if i file EXEMPT, he then would be liable to pay my taxes that should of been taken out, i have been filing EXEMPT for years now, this is the 1st employer that has ever given me such grief over filing EXEMPT, so my question would be , would the employer be liable for the way i file EXEMPT???

    Thank you


    • Hi Jim,
      To qualify for exemption, you must not have had any tax liability the previous year and you cannot expect to have any in the current year.
      If you can be claimed as a dependent on someone elses tax return there may be other restrictions. If you do not meet these qualifications the IRS may send you what is called a “Lock-In Letter”, which tells you how many exemptions you have to claim. If you received this type of letter from the IRS, then this would be the situation where they would have to follow the Lock-In Letter.
      Please see IRS topic 753 for more information
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  75. I have a question, i wanna file exempt with my current employer, but my employer is stating i can not do this because he will be liable for paying my withholding taxes. i know he is wrong, i’ve been doing this for 15 years now, is there some type of info out there showing the employer is not responsible my my withholding and it is all on me not the employer, since when can a employer tell a employee how to file????
    any input would be appreciated

    Thank you


  76. I am married with 2 young children, and am the only wage earner in the family. Last year, because of refund credits, I received a refund that was larger than the tax I paid. I expect to earn the same income this year (within a few dollars). Should I select Exempt to save more money per paycheck? And if I do, will I still be able to get the extra money at refund time?

    • Hi Matthew,
      It is possible to get a refund under earned income tax credit, but without seeing your exact income and deductions, I can’t say definitively. You can go to our W-4 estimator which helps you estimate how many exemptions you should claim
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  77. I earned $366 working last summer and claimed exempt so I didn’t have anything taken out of my check. Do I need to file a federal and state tax return? My sister earned $1060 and also claimed exempt, does she need to file?

    • Hi,
      If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, whether you must file a federal income tax return depends on your gross income, your filing status, your age, and whether you are a dependent. It sounds like either of you may not need to. In general if you are under 65, you do not have to file unless your income is over $9,500. There are also different stipulations if you are claimed as a dependent. Please see IRS pub 501

      In addition, there may be valuable credits available to you both even if you don’t earn the amounts per the IRS.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  78. I have a question, if you claim except for say only about 3 times in one year due to circumstances, but the rest of the year you are taxed federal, do you still get a refund?

    • Hi Jamal,
      Without seeing all of your income and deductions, I cannot say definitively. Some people so still get a refund in this circumstance. It would depend on if you have enough tax deductions and on your income.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  79. boyfriend who works full time at 19$/hr claims me and our daughter on his taxes. He had a job for the first five months of the year with our normal withholding @ 5-6, but when he switched jobs in June he put EXEMPT for some crazy reason, now I’m afraid we are screwed!! what kind of advise can I get because we are poor enough as it is without owing the IRS thousands of dollars too, plus his first boss is still not providing his W2!

    • Hi,
      Without seeing your other deductions and income it’s hard to say, but with credits and deductions available you may be OK. You can try TurboTax, which will guide you through tax deductions and credits.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  80. im a full time student and i claimed exempt all year… is there a possibility that i can get anything back? n how do i go about it?

    • Hi Rosana,
      It’s possible you may be eligible for refundable credits like the earned income tax credit as long as you had earned income and can not be claimed on someone elses tax return. You may also be eligible for one of the education credits or deductions. You can try TurboTax for free and see if you would receive a tax refund.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  81. i have a question if you claim exempt all year because of school can you file taxes and do eic for my newborn baby????

    • Hi Crystola,
      Yes you can still claim EITC as long as you earned income. EITC is a refundable tax credit meaning you may be eligible for a refund even if you did not have federal taxes withheld from your earnings.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Hi Lisa
        I’m thinking of claiming exempt for a new job I’m starting tomorrow on my the W4 until the end of the year. I had no tax liability last year. This is my 3rd job this year. The other 2 I had normal taxes taken out. This new job does’nt pay much I need every penny to pay bills. I’m due a refund right now. I think I should be OK.

      • Hi Kevin,
        Without knowing your exact income and deductions I cannot say for sure, but you can check how many withholding allowances you should take using our W-4 salary calculator. You can also use TaxCaster, our tax refund calculator to estimate your tax refund. Here is the link Please keep in mind the calculators are not updated for the 2012 tax year yet, but they can still give you a good estimate.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

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