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Per IRS Publication 505 Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, on page 7:

Exemption From Withholding

If you claim exemption from withholding, your employer won’t withhold federal income tax from your wages. The exemption applies only to income tax, not to social security or Medicare tax.

You can claim exemption from withholding for 2020 only if both of the following situations apply.

  • For 2019, you had a right to a refund of all federal income tax withheld because you had no tax liability.
  • For 2020, you expect a refund of all federal income tax withheld because you expect to have no tax liability.

You cannot claim exemption from withholding if (a) your income exceeds $1,100 and includes more than $350 of unearned income (for example, interest and dividends) and (b) another person can claim you as a dependent on their tax return.

Related Links

  • Form W-4 Employee’s Withholding Certificate

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.


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