W-4: What Does It Mean to Claim Exempt?

by William Adkins ; Updated December 09, 2017

When you are hired, your new employer hands you a W-4 form to fill out, on which you calculate how many withholding allowances to claim so your employer deducts the correct amount of taxes from your paycheck. If you know you won't owe any taxes for the year – if you are a student who only works the summer months, for example – and you meet Internal Revenue Service criteria, you can request exemption from income tax withholding using line 7 on the W-4 form.

How W-4 Exemption Works

When you elect to claim “Exempt” on a W-4, no income taxes are withheld from your paycheck. However, your employer must continue to deduct Social Security and Medicare taxes. To be eligible to claim Exempt status, you must have had no tax liability the previous year. That is, when you filed your taxes, you were due a refund of all income tax withheld from your pay. In addition, you must reasonably expect that you will not have a tax liability for the current year. In general, your tax liability is zero if your total income is less than the sum of the standard deduction plus the personal exemption most taxpayers can claim on their tax returns. For the 2017 tax year, the standard deduction is $6,350 for single tax payers, or $12,700 if you are married and filing jointly. and the personal exemption is $4,050.

Exemption Limitations for Dependents

There is an additional limitation for claiming Exempt on a W-4 if you can be claimed as a dependent. Income limitations vary depending on whether or not you are under 65, if you are blind, or can claim adjustments or tax credits on an itemized tax return. All dependents must meet the requirement of no tax liability the previous year and no anticipated tax liability in the current year.

References

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.

Photo Credits

  • afy85/iStock/Getty Images
bibliography-icon | raiffeisen-cards.ru icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

Related pages


can fha loans be refinanced0ordoes paying off collections help your credit scorerepo laws in floridashoplifting statute of limitationshow to fill out 1099can you file your taxes with your last pay stubcanadian fifty dollar billlawyer hourly ratecpr certification cardswhat if i overdraw my checking accounthow to apply for ebt nycsalary of makeup artistallstate car rentalnj division of taxationtampering with mail lawbmw gap insurance costsally mae contactac payeehow to replace a medicaid cardcan you deduct education expenseshud 1adonating stuffed animalswhat does it mean for a stock to be overweightred cross lost cpr carditemized deductions list allowable itemswhat percentage of bonus is taxedearned income credit income limits1040a tax instructionsgoodwill donations delawarewhat does it mean to postdate a checkscholarships for deaf studentsw2 adjusted gross incomecalculate pv of bondcp575 formamerican express card atmcalculating debt to equity ratio from balance sheetcredit card stealing deviceminimum liability coverage in texasemt grantscrediting a credit cardcarefirst cancellationmy ebt cardluxury auto depreciation limitsfixing a chipped tooth costlodgers rights california1040x efileheavy equipment operator schools in padow futures definitionnarcolepsy scholarshipsgoodwill worcester mafico score 680unamortizedhow are non qualified annuities taxedtax logbookirrevocable trust tax implicationsw2 box 13 retirement planshould married couples file taxes jointly or separatelydissolving a trustbad debt expense gaapmelt value silver dollarhow to evict a tenant in illinoiselectric water heater vs propanesep ira penaltiescalculate peg ratiodividend tracking spreadsheettax deduction for clothing donationefc too highefc numbersstatutory withholdingschild support office fort wayne indianabuying foreclosed homes auctiongovernment grants single fatherscan you buy lobster with food stamps

Related pages


can fha loans be refinanced0ordoes paying off collections help your credit scorerepo laws in floridashoplifting statute of limitationshow to fill out 1099can you file your taxes with your last pay stubcanadian fifty dollar billlawyer hourly ratecpr certification cardswhat if i overdraw my checking accounthow to apply for ebt nycsalary of makeup artistallstate car rentalnj division of taxationtampering with mail lawbmw gap insurance costsally mae contactac payeehow to replace a medicaid cardcan you deduct education expenseshud 1adonating stuffed animalswhat does it mean for a stock to be overweightred cross lost cpr carditemized deductions list allowable itemswhat percentage of bonus is taxedearned income credit income limits1040a tax instructionsgoodwill donations delawarewhat does it mean to postdate a checkscholarships for deaf studentsw2 adjusted gross incomecalculate pv of bondcp575 formamerican express card atmcalculating debt to equity ratio from balance sheetcredit card stealing deviceminimum liability coverage in texasemt grantscrediting a credit cardcarefirst cancellationmy ebt cardluxury auto depreciation limitsfixing a chipped tooth costlodgers rights california1040x efileheavy equipment operator schools in padow futures definitionnarcolepsy scholarshipsgoodwill worcester mafico score 680unamortizedhow are non qualified annuities taxedtax logbookirrevocable trust tax implicationsw2 box 13 retirement planshould married couples file taxes jointly or separatelydissolving a trustbad debt expense gaapmelt value silver dollarhow to evict a tenant in illinoiselectric water heater vs propanesep ira penaltiescalculate peg ratiodividend tracking spreadsheettax deduction for clothing donationefc too highefc numbersstatutory withholdingschild support office fort wayne indianabuying foreclosed homes auctiongovernment grants single fatherscan you buy lobster with food stamps
"].join(""));l.close()}catch(m){b.src=a+'d.write("'+loaderHtml().replace(/"/g,String.fromCharCode(92)+'"')+'");d.close();'}b.contentWindow.config=k;b.contentWindow.SCRIPT_ID=g},0)}}}(); window.usabilla.load("w.usabilla.com", "4a73c8c43a12"); /*]]>{/literal}*/