Skip to main content

How to check and change your tax withholding

Withholding is the amount of income tax your employer pays on your behalf from your paycheck. Learn how to make sure the correct amount is being withheld and how to change it.

Check your federal tax withholding

The amount of tax withheld from your pay depends on what you earn each pay period. It also depends on what information you gave your employer on Form W-4 when you started working. This information, like your filing status, can affect the tax rate used to calculate your withholding.

Since the exact amount that is withheld from your pay can change with each paycheck, the easiest way to figure out your tax withholding is by estimating it.

See the IRS Tax Withholding for Individuals page to:

  • Know when to check your withholding
  • Use the withholding estimator tool to estimate your tax withholding

Decide how much tax to withhold

The more taxes you withhold from your pay, the less you may owe when your tax bill is due. But knowing when to increase or decrease the amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck can depend on:

  • How many jobs you have
  • If you have income from outside your job that is not subject to withholding
  • If you are eligible for income tax credits or deductions

Learn from the IRS about how much to withhold.

Change your tax withholding

For federal tax withholding:

  • Submit a new Form W-4 to your employer if you want to change the withholding from your regular pay.
  • Complete Form W-4P to change the amount withheld from pension, annuity, and IRA payments. Then submit it to the organization paying you.

For state tax withholding, contact your state’s tax agency.

LAST UPDATED: January 11, 2024


Have a question?

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They will get you the answer or let you know where to find it.