If you claim more than the correct number of exemptions, civil and criminal penalties may be imposed. You may claim a smaller number of exemptions. If you do not file a certificate, your employer must withhold on the basis of no exemptions.
If you expect to owe more income tax than will be withheld, you may either claim a smaller number of exemptions or enter into an agreement with your employer to have additional amounts withheld.
You should claim the total number of exemptions to which you are entitled to prevent excessive overwithholding, unless you have a significant amount of other income.
If you work for more than one employer at the same time, you must not claim any exemptions with employers other than your principal employer.
If you are married and if your spouse is subject to withholding, each may claim a personal exemption.
You may file a new certificate at any time if the number of exemptions increases. You must file a new certificate within 10 days if the number of exemptions previously claimed by you decreases. For example, if during the year your dependent son’s income indicates that you will not provide over half of his support for the year, you must file a new certificate.
If your spouse is not working or if she or he is working but not claiming the personal exemption or the age 65 or over exemption, generally you may claim those exemptions in line 2. However, if you are planning to file separate annual tax returns, you should not claim withholding exemptions for your spouse or for any dependents that will not be claimed on your annual tax return.
If claiming a wife or husband, write “4” in line 2. Using “4” is the withholding system adjustment for the $4,400 exemption for a spouse.
You may claim an exemption in line 3 for each individual who qualifies as a dependent under the Federal Income Tax Law. In addition, if one or more of your dependents will be under age 12 at year end, add “1” to your dependents total for line 3.
You are not allowed to claim “federal withholding deductions and adjustments” under the Massachusetts withholding system.
If you have income not subject to withholding, you are urged to have additional amounts withheld to cover your tax liability on such income. See line 5.