How You Can Make Your Paycheck a Little Fatter Next Year

By Tina Orem Pay raises can be hard to come by, especially now. But if you received a big tax refund this year, getting more take-home pay next year could be a matter of filling out a form. That form is the W-4, and it has a big influence on […]

By Tina Orem

Pay raises can be hard to come by, especially now. But if you received a big tax refund this year, getting more take-home pay next year could be a matter of filling out a form.

That form is the W-4, and it has a big influence on how much tax comes out of your paycheck. Routinely having too much tax withheld — that is, overpaying your income taxes throughout the year — is often the cause of big tax refunds, according to the IRS. Changing what’s on your W-4 form can make it possible to skip the monthslong wait for a tax refund and boost your monthly take-home pay instead.

Money Now Versus Later

For families struggling to pay bills, having more cash now rather than later can be a game-changer. “If you have someone that had a huge refund last year, but maybe day-to-day expenses, groceries and stuff like that were a little bit tight, then [they] could adjust the W-4 to have less withheld so they would have more in their check every two weeks,” says Adam Traywick, a certified public accountant in Fort Worth, Texas. “The regular expenses would be a little bit more manageable.”

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