How to Complete a Form W-4 If Single & No Dependents

When you start a new job, you must fill out a W-4 form telling your employer how much tax to withhold from your paychecks. The number of exemptions you claim affects the withholding amount, but you might get a refund when you file taxes. If you are single and have no dependents, most of the exemptions offered do not apply to you.


Step 1

Complete the worksheet on the front page of the form if you expect to make more than $950 for the tax year. Enter a "1" for yourself on the first line if you are not someone else's dependent. Enter "1" on the second line if you have only one job; otherwise leave it blank. Skip the rest of the lines except Line H, where you will enter "1" or "2" depending upon whether you entered a value for Line B.

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Step 2

Fill out the bottom part of the form. Give your full legal name, Social Security number and mailing address. Put the number of exemptions on line 5 of the form.


Step 3

Claim exemption from tax liability if you do not expect to make more than $950 for the tax year and cannot be claimed as a dependent on anyone else's tax return. Do not fill out the worksheet at the top of the form. Instead, fill out the bottom part of the form, skip line 5 and write "exempt" on line 7.

Step 4

Sign and date the form. Give it to your employer.