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Hi -

According to the IRS, you can claim exempt on your W4 if you meet the following (and I quote):

- Last year I had a right to a refund of ALL Federal income tax withheld because I had NO tax liability AND
- This year I expect a refund of ALL Federal income tax withheld because I expect to have NO tax liability

I meet both of that criteria, and I do "expect" to have no tax liability (that is to say, my "total tax" on line 56 of the 1040 should, barring winning the lottery or subtle math differences, be "0"). I have done extensive math on this.

My question is, if I end up come April with, say, $40 on line 56 as opposed to "0" (due say to taxed per diem that I might get between now and Dec. 31st), is it likely that the IRS will assess the $500 penalty?!? I'm not looking for an interest-free loan from the IRS here - I have just have done the math many times over and will be right at "0" liability. In fact, we're already going to get a $1,600+ refund because of taxes withheld that we had no control over.

And what does "expect" mean exactly?!?!...


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