New Tax Withholding Tables Mean Bigger Paychecks: GOP

Posted January 14, 2018

The new tables are designed not only to best approximate the change in workers' tax liability under the new law, but to do so in a way that "delivers benefits as soon as possible to as many people as possible with as little disruption as possible", a senior Treasury official told reporters.

While employers can begin doing this voluntarily, they will have to comply with the new guidance by February 15.

Lawmakers in blue states have been considering strategies to work around the federal tax overhaul's $10,000 cap for deductions on state and local taxes, or SALT, with some floating concepts that would allow taxpayers to make charitable donations to state funds, offsetting SALT.

The government said that workers will not have to fill out new W-4 forms to take advantage of the changes this year.

Administration officials insisted that the guidelines would withhold the correct amount of tax from wages but acknowledged that they are geared to out-of-date W-4 individual withholding forms.

The new withholding tables take into account a variety of changes brought about by the passage of the GOP's revamped tax code. Meanwhile, tax professionals say there are some other things you need to do now to get ready for tax season next year.

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A backup withholding rate of 24 percent applies to non-employee compensation when individuals fail to provide proper tax identification information, the IRS said. It expects to have the latest and greatest calculator available by the end of February.

The calculator and new Form W-4 can be used by employees who wish to update their withholding in response to the new law or changes in their personal circumstances in 2018, and by workers starting a new job.

The top Democrats on the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance committees have raised concerns about whether the new tables could lead to systematic underwithholding.

They are asking the Government Accountability Office to review the revised withholding tables and determine whether they protect millions of taxpayers from being surprised during the 2019 filing season.

The GAO has said Wyden's request must go through its usual review process before a decision to proceed is made.

"I look forward to GAO's independent review of these tables, which will expose whether the Trump administration is tampering with Americans' paychecks, resulting in a whopping tax bill next year", Wyden said in a January 11 news release.