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IRS.gov Website

Frequently Asked Tax Questions

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

  1. Should an employer withhold taxes if a Form W-4 was never furnished by an employee?
  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: 08/04/2012

Should an employer withhold taxes if a Form W-4 was never furnished by an employee?

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 provide the employer with a completed, valid Form W-4 (PDF), Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, the employer should 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: 08/18/2012

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: