I’m starting a new job. How should I complete Form W-4?

  • If you and your spouse both live abroad, then you check to use the "Exempt" option on your Form W-4. Complete and instead submit Statement for Claiming Exemption From Withholding on Foreign Earned Income Eligible for the Exclusion (Form 673) to your employer. This will prevent your employer from withholding tax on income that will be excluded.
  • If you file jointly and one spouse does not live abroad, then you can take a conservative approach and complete Form W-4 with the regular number of allowances that you would include if you were both in the U.S.
  • Alternatively, if you file jointly we can prepare a Tax Projection to give you a more accurate prediction of what you might owe and what may be excluded. If the tax projection shows little or no tax due, then you can go ahead and use the first option and file as if you and your spouse live abroad.
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