Q & A – When is a W-4 considered to be invalid?

Q: When is a W-4 considered to be invalid?

A: A W-4 is invalid if it has been altered in any way or any unauthorized additions have been made to it.  Alterations can include striking through any of the language on the form (such as the perjury statement) and any other additional writing on the form other than the entries required/requested.

A W-4 is also invalid if you are aware that any of the information contained on the form is false.  The IRS has stated that an employer should know that a W-4 is invalid on its face when it represents a sudden dramatic departure from the employee’s prior withholding.  You are thus put in the somewhat awkward position of having to make judgment calls about the validity of W-4s.  Therefore, you should be wary of unusual W-4 requests, as you could be liable for penalties and interest on the taxes that should have been withheld and reported.