# Calculating the difference between claiming 4 instead of zero

My husband and I have always claimed zero in order to get a large refund at the end of the year; but, now with two babies and my husband's income being cut in half, we need more money to be able to pay monthly bills. So, I am considering claiming all four of us instead of zero on our W2. I have two questions before I can decide what I should do for 2010: How can I calculate how much my husband's check would be if he claims 4 instead of zero? (he makes \$50k and his net is \$1,400 with nothing other than "must take outs" by government being taken out of his check; so no benefits or retirement plan, etc. as of now. So, he receives about 67% of his gross income biweekly; what would this percentage be if he claimed 4 instead of zero? Also, if only I keep claiming zero; would we still get some taxes back at the end of the year or should I also claim 4? I should probably claim zero also; but I am just so afraid of owing money back ? Thank you very much,in advance, for your help

 AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 20,153, Reputation: 3793 Senior Tax Expert #2 Sep 9, 2009, 11:34 AM

With two children and only one income earner, claim four exemptions on the W-4.

With your current deductions and exemptions, plus \$2,000 in Child Tax Credits, your federal income tax liability will be LESS than \$900. That much has already been from your husband's 2009 pay already.

For 2010, he should claim SIX exemptions to maximize his take-home pay while still having at least \$1,000 withheld for the entire year of 2010.

All this assumes that the \$50K is the ONLY income source. If YOU have a job, that changes the math, and you need to tell me what YOU make annually.
 gburklow Posts: 3, Reputation: 1 New Member #3 Sep 9, 2009, 12:46 PM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by AtlantaTaxExpert With two children and only one income earner, go ahead and claim four exemptions on the W-4. With your current deductions and exemptions, plus \$2,000 in Child Tax Credits, your federal income tax liability will be LESS than \$900. That much has already been from your husband's 2009 pay already. For 2010, he should claim SIX exemptions to maximize his take-home pay while still haveing at least \$1,000 withheld for the entire year of 2010. All this assumes that the \$50K is the ONLY income source. If YOU have a job, that changes the math, and you need to tell me what YOU make annually.
I make \$38 now; it will be \$46k starting November/09. So our income for 2010 will be \$96k and I still would like to get some money back at the end of 20010. So do you think that my husband should claim 4 or 6 and I keep claiming zero? Thank you so much for your help (we live in IN)
 AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 20,153, Reputation: 3793 Senior Tax Expert #4 Sep 10, 2009, 08:33 AM

Okay, that changes the math significantly.

Your anticipated tax liability after exemptions, deductions and the Child Tax Credit will be about \$8,400.

So add up what has been withheld to date from your and your husband's latest paystub. If the combined federal income tax withheld exceeds \$8,400, you can claim four exemptions each for the remainder of the year.

For 2010, you will each need to change to Married claiming ONE allowance to cover your tax liabilities for 2010.

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