How to Fill Out a W-4 for a Minor

••• Ned Frisk/Blend Images/Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t take age into account in its instructions for completing W-4 forms. Minor children are treated just like adult taxpayers. However, a minor’s parents or guardians normally claim her as a dependent on their tax returns and this makes a big difference. When you help a minor employee or coworker fill out her W-4 form, verify that she is a dependent. If she’s not sure, have her contact her parents to determine her status. Begin by completing the worksheet that accompanies the blank W-4 form.

Leave box A on the worksheet blank. Enter “1” here only for individuals who are not claimed as dependents. Enter “1” in box B if a minor has only one job or when a second job -- or his spouse’s job if he is married -- pays less than $1,500 for the year.

Leave box C blank unless the minor is married, is not claimed as a dependent and whose spouse does not work. In the event a minor isn't a dependent and is married to a non-working spouse, enter "1."

Enter zeros in boxes D through G or just leave them blank. These boxes are used only when taxpayers are not dependents and can claim one or more dependents. Box D is for the number of dependents and Box E is for people who can claim head of household as their filing status. Boxes F and G are used to claim withholding allowances when someone qualifies for the Child Tax Credit or Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Put the total from boxes A through G in box H. This is the number of withholding exemptions to claim on the W-4 form. For minors, this is usually a zero or “1.”

Fill out lines 1 to 4 on the W-4 form. These lines are for a minor’s name, address, Social Security number and filing status. Enter the number of withholding allowances calculated on the worksheet on line 5. Leave line 6 blank unless a minor wants extra tax withheld from each paycheck.

Fill out lines 1 to 4 on the W-4 form. These lines are for a minor’s name, address, Social Security number and filing status. Enter the number of withholding allowances calculated on the worksheet on line 5. Leave line 6 blank unless a minor wants extra tax withheld from each paycheck.

References

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.

Photo Credits

  • Ned Frisk/Blend Images/Getty Images