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cbslee

2019 W - 4 DELAYED

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I sure hope they can come up with something better than the first draft, which was way worse than the 2018 W -4 !

"The planned final release of a revamped 2019 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, could be delayed a year, a source familiar with the revision process the Treasury Department is applying told Bloomberg Tax on Sept. 6.

Members of the payroll and service-provider communities said in comments to the Treasury Department that failing to finalize the 2019 draft by midyear would severely hamper the ability of many employers to effectively adopt the changes of the new form in time for 2019.

A draft 2019 Form W-4 was released in June and a second draft was planned to be released in August, but there is no date for when a second draft would be available, Scott Mezistrano, IRS representative for industry stakeholder engagement and outreach, said Sept. 6 in a monthly payroll industry teleconference.

A release of the W-4 with its significant changes at this time of year likely means constrained time frames for design, programming, analysis, and the significant testing needed to ensure proper implementation, said Pete Isberg, president of the National Payroll Reporting Consortium."

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Does that mean taxpayers won't have to calculate pretty much their entire 2019 tax return in JANUARY 2019?  They won't have to divulge to their employer how much their spouse earns, that they have a second job, what they think (hope) their year-end bonus will be?  There goes an entire source of income for us tax pros--filling out that W4 would take more time than completing a 1040, and maybe we'd even charge for the disclaimer we'd have to have signed that all of the numbers are guesses and the results may vary.  I did have a client come in with a W4 yesterday, but fortunately it was the old kind.  I just told her Single, Zero, and didn't charge her a dime for the 15 seconds I spent.

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It's always the software companies that delay these things, but in this case I'm with them. I'm also betting they're hoping the new W4 gets scrapped.

If it were up to me, there would only be the Single table and we would keep using allowances for withholding calculations. I'm pretty certain that personal exemptions will be back one day for tax purposes. They're actually not gone, they're just set at zero.

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Projecting the calculation algorithms to comply with the proposed changes (as well as allowing the existing form) took no more than a few minutes for me.  What took longer was making space, and making readable, the proposed new parameters on pay stubs.

The real push back (I suspect) is caused by the lazy you know what states and tax agencies, who continue to use federal withholding for any part of their own revenue stream calculations.

Employees, under the proposed changes, can do nothing and continue to use any existing w4 they have in place (2018, 2015, etc.)  Any new W4 would have to be the current year (as always).  Employers will be encouraged to get new forms, but do not have to.  Any media report of complication for software developers is simply untrue.

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