Q: Can an employee submit a new W-4 at any time?
A: Often, an employee will submit a new form when they know they’ll be changing exemptions, adjustments, deductions, or credits on their return. So in short, yes, an employee may submit a new W-4 anytime they have changes.
For example, an employee may want to increase their withholding by decreasing the number of dependents they claim. Or they might want to add dependents to decrease the amount withheld. Life events such as marriage, divorce, and childbirth are common reasons to update a W-4, but employees can generally change their withholding allowances at any time and for any reason.
According to the IRS, employees who are making changes due to a divorce (if they’ve been claiming married status) or for any event that decreases the number of withholding allowances they can claim should submit a new W-4 within 10 days.
After a W-4 is received, the new withholding amount should be put into effect no later than the start of the first payroll period ending on or after the 30th day from when the employee submitted the replacement Form W-4.
As of September 18, 2017, U.S. employers are required to use the latest version of the Form I-9 — a key federal document used to verify the identity and eligibility of people hired for employment in the United States. Download this free guide for a step-by-step look at how to properly complete, file, and retain your I-9s so you’ll be prepared in the event your organization is audited.