With the IRS filing deadline for 2019 personal income taxes extended to July 15, 2020, in addition to the typical request for copies of lost 2019 W-2 forms, California employers will have additional requirements related to the 2020 Form W-4 and DE-4 .

What you need to know about the 2020 IRS W-4 form…

  1. New form is intended to simplify filling out Form W-4 and improve withholdings accuracy
  2. Form to be completed by newly hired employees who will receive their first paycheck in 2020
  3. Employees who wish to update their withholdings must complete the 2020 version of Form W-4

The new version of the Form W-4 has eliminated the withholding allowances portion and employees can no longer claim withholdings to lower the amount of federal income tax withheld from their earnings.

Key Change

  1. The only two steps required for all employees are Step 1, where you enter personal information like your name and filing status, and Step 5, where you sign the form. Complete Steps 2 – 4 only if they apply to you. Doing so will make your withholding more accurately match your liability.
  2. The IRS recommends employees or new hires use the IRS’s tax withholding estimator (calculator) to determine their tax liabilities prior to completing the 2020 version of the Form W-4. IRS Tax Withholding Estimator

What it means for Employers…

  1. Distribute the 2020 version of the Form W-4 to all new hires starting in 2020
  2. New hires that refuse to complete the Form W-4 cannot be forced. Simply treat the new hire as a single filer with no other adjustments and use the standard withholdings rate.
  3. NOTE: As of this year, CA employers are now required to submit a federal W-4 and the DE-4 CA State Withholdings form for newly hired employees in 2020.