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IRS Unveils New, Simpler W-4 Withholding Form

March 02, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service, responding to protests from taxpayers and lawmakers, today unveiled a proposed new W-4 form on which workers can determine how much federal income tax should be withheld from their paychecks.

Any wage-earner may choose between the new two-page W-4A form and the 3-month-old four-page W-4. The newest version, if approved by the Office of Management and Budget, is expected to be available by mid-April.

Noting complaints about the complex form, IRS Commissioner Lawrence B. Gibbs told a news conference, "A taxpaying public that doesn't understand the law is a taxpaying public that can't comply with the law."

Gibbs said half of all taxpayers should be able to adjust withholding by using only the first page of the new form. IRS tests indicate that should take five to 15 minutes, he said.

He cautioned that the W-4A is weighted toward over-withholding because it is less complex. On the average, Gibbs said, that is likely to reduce refunds to about $475, compared with almost $1,000 last year.

Gibbs promised that the IRS will impose no penalty against any taxpayer who, after making a good-faith effort, has too little tax withheld--if that person files a W-4 or W-4A by June 1.

The new tax overhaul law requires every wage-earner to file a new withholding form by Oct. 1.

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