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This week I downloaded a W-4 from the IRS website and did a little calculating to see if we could have less taxes taken out of our one-income paycheck.

Very Foolish thinking. My compliments.

Turns out that instead of 6 exemptions my husband had been claiming( 2 adults, 4 kids) we can claim 11. He gave it to the accounting office and she said she would have to report it to the IRS. Now, WHAT does that mean?

It means that they send a copy of the W-4 to the IRS. There are people in the world, yourself not included, who try to scam the system by claiming too many withholding allowances. Thus employers are required to send copies of some W-4's to the IRS.

What is the cutoff number when they require reporting?

Evidently it's 10. I can never remember whether it's 10 or 15. You'll find the number in Publication 15, which you can get from the same place you got the W-4.

Are we in for an audit? For the last three years we've gotten thousands of dollars in refund-sure sign of overpaying all year. We requested nothing special on the W-4-just filled it out as they have it written out.

Then I'd say you'll probably not even hear from the IRS. I don't know what their current procedures for working W-4's are, but if they make any sense at all, the first thing they'll do is look at the numbers from last year's return. If all four of the children qualify for the child tax credit and you have some itemized deductions, you're easily up to 11 allowances.

At most they'll write and ask you to back up the number. You'll send them a copy of the worksheet and be done with it.

In short, don't worry about it.

Phil Marti
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