How Do You Know How Many to Claim With Georgia Tax Withholding?

The state of Georgia requires all workers to submit a Georgia state tax withholding form to each of their employers. Georgia provides a variety of withholding allowances that reduce your taxable income before employers calculate the deductions they make for state taxes. When filling out Georgia's G-4 form, the total number of allowances that you claim determines how much your employer withholds from your paycheck. Complete the form properly to avoid a possible withholding shortage, which can result in a penalty when you file your Georgia tax return.

How Do You Know How Many to Claim With Georgia Tax Withholding?
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Filing Status Single

The Georgia G-4 form for tax withholding requires you to indicate your individual filing status as single or married. Each choice affects the amount of tax the employer will withhold.

The single filing status is used only by taxpayers who are not legally married. Entering zero on Line 3 A indicates that you are not claiming an allowance as a single person. If you enter 1, you are indicating that you want your employer to apply this allowance to the calculation of your taxable wages.

Married Taxpayer Allowances

The married filing status allowances on the G-4 form allow you to indicate whether you and your spouse are filing a joint tax return or filing separately. Married taxpayers claim allowances using either Lines 3B, 3C or 3D. For joint returns, complete Line 3B or 3C, but not both. Enter 1 on 3B to use the allowance for both working spouses.

On 3C, enter 1 to claim only the allowance for yourself, or enter 2 to claim the allowance for your spouse and yourself. Married taxpayers who file separately must use Line 3D and enter 1 to claim an allowance. You can enter zero in each applicable section if you don't want to use these allowances.

Head of Household Allowance

Line 3E of form G-4 provides an alternative allowance for single taxpayers. Complete this section only if your household includes additional residents who are qualifying dependents. You must enter 1 on 3E to use this allowance. You cannot take the single allowance and the head of household allowance in Georgia.

Dependents Allowance in Georgia

Georgia also provides an allowance for dependents. Enter the total number of your dependents on Line 4. Generally, this is the same number that you use on your federal income tax return. Check to be sure that your qualifying dependents aren't included as dependents on another person's tax withholding forms or tax returns.

Additional Allowances in Georgia

Line 5 allows you to add any additional allowances you want to declare. You can use the Worksheet for Calculating Additional Allowances on the bottom half of the Georgia G-4 form to determine if your family and tax situation will give you additional allowances. You'll then total all allowances from Lines 3 through 5 to get your total allowances to claim.

Tax Exempt Status

If you choose exempt status, your employer will not withhold any Georgia tax from your wages. Choosing exempt also means that you don't need to complete the allowances on Lines 3 through 5. You qualify for exempt status if the previous year's tax liability on Georgia income from all sources was zero.

For example, if you had Georgia taxes withheld and received a full refund from the state, you qualify for exempt status. If the state did not refund all the tax your employer withheld, you do not qualify.

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