Should I Claim 0 or 1 Dependents on My W-4 Tax Withholding Form?

What should be claimed on a W-4 withholding form depends on the taxpayer’s overall tax situation. Claiming one exemption or dependent results in a little less tax withholding than claiming zero. The IRS provides a W-4 calculator on its official website to assist taxpayers in making this decision.

Factors that have to be considered for tax withholding include marital status, number of jobs held, penalties or credits, and other income that may not have withholding, such as rent or interest. A single taxpayer with no dependents who has only one job could use either zero or one on the W-4 and the withholding would be reasonably close to the annual liability, the IRS calculator shows. Claiming zero is more likely to result in a refund.