W-4 Instructions

 

On this page you will find information on the Federal Form W-4 and the MI-W4.  For information on either the Federal Form W-4 or the MI-W4, please click on the appropriate link.

Federal Form W-4
MI-W4
 

Federal Form W-4

The information supplied on the Federal Form W-4 is used to determine the amount of Federal income tax to withhold from your paychecks.  Failure to submit a Form W-4 will result in federal income tax being withheld as though you are single with zero allowances resulting in the highest amount being withheld from your check.

Form W-4 needs to be completed only once unless there is a change in address, tax status, or you claim an exemption from federal withholding. The payroll staff must be notified of all address changes.  Employees who claim an exemption on their Federal W-4 will be asked to complete a new Federal Form W-4 before February 15 of each calendar year.

Basic Instructions – Please also see the instructions at the top of the form along with the worksheets. IRS Publication 505 Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p505.pdf) may provide helpful information for completing the Form W-4.  The chart on page 11 may help you determine if you should continue to claim an exemption from federal income tax withholding.  Employees claiming an exemption from federal income tax withholding must leave lines 5 and 6 blank.

Boxes 1-4 – complete with name, social security number, address, and marital status.  Employees who are married may select “married, but withhold at higher Single rate.”

Line 5 – Enter the total number of allowances you are claiming.  The personal allowance worksheet on the form will help you determine the number of allowances you are eligible to claim.  You may claim fewer (or zero) allowances than determined by the worksheets.  (Student employees are advised to discuss what they should claim for allowances with their parents as their parents may claim them as a dependent.)

Line 6 – This line is optional and allows you to specify a dollar amount to be withheld from each paycheck in addition to what will be withheld based on your marital status in Box 3 and allowances claimed on Line 5. 

Line 7 – Employees may claim an exemption from federal income tax withholding if they meet both of the following conditions by writing “Exempt” on line 7.

1. Last year I had a right to a refund of all federal income tax withheld because I had no tax liability 

AND

2. This year I expect a refund of all federal income tax withheld because I expect to have no tax liability.

The form must be signed and dated as indicated at the bottom.

Lines 8-10 – no need for the employee or the hiring department to complete these lines.

Sample of completed Form W-4 to Claim Exemption from Federal Income Tax Withholding
Sample of completed Form W-4 to Claim Single with One Allowance

 

MI-W4 Employee’s Michigan Withholding Exemption Certificate

The information supplied on the MI-W4 is used to determine the amount of Michigan income tax to withhold from your paychecks.  Failure to submit a MI-W4 will result in Michigan income tax being withheld without allowance for any exemptions resulting in the highest amount being withheld from your check.

The MI-W4 needs to be completed only once unless there is a change in residency status or the number of exemptions you may claim.

Basic Instructions – Please also see the instructions at the bottom of the form

Boxes 1-5 – complete with social security number, birth date, name, address, driver’s license number, and date of hire (if newly hired employee).

Line 6 – Enter the number of personal and dependent exemptions you are claiming.  The total number of exemptions you claim on the MI-W4 may not exceed the number of exemptions you are entitled to claim when you file your Michigan individual income tax return.  (Student employees are advised to discuss what they should claim for exemptions with their parents as their parents may claim them as a dependent.)

Line 7 – This line is optional and allows you to specify a dollar amount to be withheld from each paycheck in addition to what will be withheld based on the exemptions claimed on Line 6. 

Line 8 – There are two situations under which employees may be eligible to claim an exemption from Michigan Income Tax Withholding:

1.     Non-residents of Michigan who are legal residents of a reciprocal state - only Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  If this situation describes you, please also complete the Certificate of Non-Residency and submit to Human Resources.

2.     Employees not meeting the criteria stated above must meet all of the conditions listed in the instructions on line 8:

a.    Employment is less than full-time
b.    Personal and dependent exemption allowance exceeds annual compensation
c.     Also claiming exemption from federal withholding
d.    Did not incur a Michigan income tax liability in previous year

Box 9 – Sign and date as indicated.

Boxes 10 & 11 – no need for the employee or the hiring department to complete these boxes.


Sample of Completed MI W-4 to Claim One Exemption
Sample of Completed MI W-4 to Claim Exemption from Withholding
Sample of Completed MI W-4 to Claim Exemption from Withholding for Residents of Reciprocal States (IL, IN, KY, MN, OH, WI)
Sample of Completed Certificate of Non-Residency