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
If you work for more than one employer at the same time, you must
not claim any exemptions with employers other than your principal
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.