w2 vs. w4 w2 vs. w4

Difference Between w2 vs. w4

Do you want to learn about W2 and W4 forms in the IRS? What are the benefits of using them? You know that paying tax is a compulsion in the United States. There are ways to withhold the tax through w2 and w4 IRS forms. To know more, know the w2 vs. w4 form (Difference).

You will find hundreds of IRS forms. If you are a business executive, there will be employees. IRS stands for Internal Revenue service in America. W2 and W4 are the essential forms of IRS. It helps the employees to follow the tax system. In this article, you will learn purpose and w2 vs. w4 form (Difference). Scroll down for more information.

What is a w2 vs. w4?

There is a difference in IRS forms (w4 tax form vs w2). The difference lies in who completes the document. When the employee starts a new job, he needs to fill W4. It shows how much the employer should withhold from the paycheck. At each year’s end, the employer needs to file a W2 form. It shows the amount which was withheld. The employer can see the w2 vs. w4 salary comparison. The comparison is of an employee.

Purpose of IRS Forms

W2 Form

IRS form W2 is the information return. You must complete and file each year. The person cannot use it to withhold or pay tax. It is the report. It shows, “How much do the employees pay the tax each year?” How much tax was withheld?

You are an employer and have a business in America. It is vital to file a W2 form for each employee working for you. It applies to those people whom you pay. Does not matter how much the employees receive the amount.

Household employers file the form W2. It applies to them if wages exceed payroll tax. You must file a W2 form even if the employee relates to you.

Example: -You hire the child or spouse for your business work. Form W-2 has six parts. You, as an employer, must file the copies. One copy of the state tax agency and another of the social security administration.

You should send three copies of the form to your employees. If an employee files income tax, he should attach a w2 copy. You need to maintain one copy of the w2 form. The date for filling the form is 31st January.

W4 Form

Form W4 refers to the withholding allowance certificate. The certificate is of an employee. You can calculate how much income tax to withhold? The calculation is from the pay of an employee. W4 form does not affect Medicare tax or social security.

Your employees must sign and complete the form before they begin the new job. The new employees can’t use the similar Form 4 with the previous owner. It will be the same as the previous W4 form. You need to maintain the filled W4 form in the file. Do not file it unless the IRS asks for it.

Importance of Form W4: –

Ø  The number of withholding allowances helps the employee for claims. Per allowance reduces the amount which is withheld.

Ø  An employee must make the first salary payment. He should make the form effective.

Ø  It helps to withhold income tax from the payment of the employee. Whether withheld at a lower married rate or single rate?

When we need to submit forms

 W2 Form

The employer must prepare a W2 form for employees each year. It shows the gross salary of an employee. W2 form helps to know the Medicare earnings and Security earnings. The tax amount withheld by the employee.

The form aims to provide information to the employees. The employee must include the information in the income tax form. It helps to give social security administration. You get IRS information for employee confirmation. The confirmation is helpful at the time of income tax return.

Due date of the form W2

Remember the two things with W2 form:

 Send W2 forms for the employees to the Social Security Administration. You should send it on the same date. It is on 31st January after the tax year.

 Send W2 form to employees at January end of the year. You need to follow the tax year. You are reporting the income of an employee for 2021. It is necessary to give it to them by 31st January 2021.

W4 Form

The employees need to complete the W4 form at the time of hiring. He/ she submits it before the first paycheck. The IRS has stated the employers. They need to practice the new W4 right at the start of the payroll period. The practice is effective till the 30th date of the month.


Alan submits the new W4 form on 10th October. You have paid him on the 15th and 30th of per month. It is necessary to note down the record. You need to use the W4 form; it should not be after 15th November. You could have implemented it earlier. It is not essential.

How to Fill W2 Form

There are two ways to file W2 forms:


The SSA guides employers to file the W2 form online. The employer can use the business services online site of SSA. First, you need to register. On online, you file a W2 form. Once you file it online, you need to include the W3 form. The employer can file w2 forms online if they have 250 above.

The online filing needs are changing in the coming years:

Ø  It applies to the 2021 tax year. If the business has 100 or more to file, you must do it online.

Ø  If the business has ten above W2 forms, you need to file them online. It applies to tax years after 2021.


You can send SSA copies of the paper for W2 for the employees. When you file it by Email, include the W3 form. It helps to show the boxes on the W2 form.

How to Fill W4 Form

The IRS restructured the W4 form in 2021. It will help to claim personal allowances. The W4 form was available with a worksheet (Personal allowances).

It helps you calculate allowances for a claim. If you answer the worksheet question, it will show your tax situation. It will help to instruct the employer. You can instruct him to withhold the correct amount from the paycheck.

You claim more allowances on form W4. The employer will withhold the paycheck. If you claim less allowance, the owner will withhold more.

Things to Keep in Check

If You are Outsourcing Payroll

Some businessmen outsource their tax duties and payroll to a third party. They help in deposit needs and filing timelines. They ensure that the employer’s needs are met in business operations. The employers are responsible for income tax withheld payment. Employees and employers are responsible for Medicare taxes.

Employers are part of Certified Professional employer organization. They get relief for their social security and income tax withholding.

If You are Doing it Yourself

You need to file electronic forms W3 and W2 on SAA’s. It is the filing instruction for the employer’s W2. You can access it at www.socialsecuirty.gov/employer. The employer can create W3 and W2 fill-in versions. It is necessary to file with SSA.

You need to type the data found into Form 1040 personal tax return. The employer finds the data on the W2 form. This process is essential when you prepare your income taxes. There is online tax preparation software. The software helps you. You can type information from the W2 form to the payroll provider.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does a W4 take out taxes?

W4 is essential to balance taxes on the tax return. You are an employee. You know the amount when you ask the owner to take it out from a paycheck.

Will I owe taxes if I claim 0?

It is wrong claiming “0” on the W4. It ensures that it withheld more amount from the paycheck.

Do I claim 0 or 1 on my w2?

You claim “0” on line 5; it shows that you want the most amount of tax taken. You claim 1. The government will take less tax out of your paycheck.

What happens if you don’t owe taxes and don’t file?

You do not file the ITR. The department of tax can impose a penalty of 50 percent. They will impose interest on debt to pay tax.

Is claiming 9 on w4 illegal?

It is not illegal. Claiming the same is eye-opening for the IRS. If you have nine dependents, it is valid. The IRS does not care about the number of dependents.

Should I claim Dependents on w4?

You have a more significant number of dependents. You can claim more allowances on the W4 form. W4 forms and dependents do not occur at the same time. They are both related. 

What does exempt mean on w4?

You make a tax withholding exemption with the employer. You do not make any income tax payments during the year.


W2 and W4 forms of IRS are essential for employees in the company. You are an employer. It is your job to give employees a W2 form when you hire. End of the financial year, you need to send the W4 form. I hope you understood the difference between W2 and W4 forms. If questions, let us know in the comments section.