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W-4 Forms: Payroll Compliance Tips

Business Management Daily (05/03/12)

Forms W-4 remain in effect until employees update them at any time of their choosing, but the U.S. Internal Revenue Service requires updates within 10 days if an employee had claimed married status and has divorced, or the employee’s number of withholding allowances decreases. If withholding allowances will be lowered in the coming year based on events in the current year, the Form W-4 must be updated by Dec. 1, and those claiming income tax withholding exemptions must update their forms every year by Feb. 15.

Forms W-4 must be considered invalid if oral or written communications deem information in them to be false, alterations have been made to the form, or the form is not complete, and until a valid form has been submitted, employers can withhold as if the employee is single with zero withholding allowances or withhold based on a previously filed, valid form.