Treasury Unveils New, Final W-4 After Taking Comments Into Account

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Aug 12, 2019

The Treasury Department and the IRS have revealed a new, final Form W-4 for the 2020 tax year, which includes several changes made in response to complaints received about the draft version, according to Accounting Today

The revised Form W-4 was meant to take into account the changes produced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which eliminated most deductions. The previous draft form, however, was generally seen as too complicated; the NYSSCPA, in a recent comment letter about the form, said that it will "present complications for both employees and employers," and that its instructions "may not be very straightforward for someone who does not have an income tax or accounting background." Professionals also expressed concern about the degree of personal information that the previous version asked for, particularly where it concerns other sources of income. The Society's comment letter noted, "One potential risk this can present is the opportunity for employer bias, providing an employer with the ability to adjust future bonuses or salary increases for an individual employee based on factors outside of the individual employee’s job performance."  

The final form is meant to take these concerns into account. It is intended to be easier to follow by using guided questions to take the taxpayer step by step through the process. Meanwhile, although the questions concerning other sources of income have remained, the form recommends what to do if taxpayers are concerned about the privacy of their personal information (basically, use the tax withholding estimator or the attached worksheet). 

The IRS said that it does not expect to make substantive changes to the form, and it has released the form early mainly so that businesses can get used to it and work it into their payroll systems. 

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