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IRS.gov Website

Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Small Business/Self-Employed/Other Business - Form W-4 & Wage Withholding

  1. Can an employer take out taxes if a Form W-4 was never furnished?
  2. If an employee claims more than 10 exemptions on their Form W-4, does the employer have to report this to the IRS?

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

Can an employer take out taxes if a Form W-4 was never furnished?

Yes, the employer is required to withhold income taxes. Chapter 9 of Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, states that if an employee does not give you a completed, valid Form W-4 (PDF), Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, withhold tax as if he or she is single, with no withholding allowances.
The employer is also required to withhold social security and Medicare taxes.

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

If an employee claims more than 10 exemptions on their Form W-4, does the employer have to report this to the IRS?

This requirement has been eliminated: