How To Check Your Withholding

The new “Tax Withholding Estimator” was released by the IRS as a replacement for the previous “Withholding Calculator.” Workers, retirees, self-employed individuals, and other taxpayers can use it in order to ensure that they are having the recommended amount of income tax withheld from wages and pension payments.

On their website, the IRS introduces the Tax Withholding Estimator with the following instructions:

The Estimator will ask you to estimate values of your 2019 income, the number of children you will claim for the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, and other items that will affect your 2019 taxes. This process will take a few minutes.

  • Gather your most recent pay stubs.

  • Have your most recent income tax return handy; a copy of your completed Form 1040 will help you estimate your 2019 income and other characteristics and speed the process.

  • Keep in mind that the Estimator’s results will only be as accurate as the information you provide. If your circumstances change during the year, come back to this Estimator to make sure that your withholding is still correct.

  • The Tax Withholding Estimator does not ask you to provide sensitive personally-identifiable information like your name, Social Security number, address or bank account numbers. The IRS does not save or record the information you enter on the Estimator.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This Tax Withholding Estimator works for most taxpayers. People with more complex tax situations should use the instructions in Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax (PDF). This includes taxpayers who owe alternative minimum tax or certain other taxes, and people with long-term capital gains or qualified dividends.