Q: My wife's tax withholdings were changed without her consent causing us to owe a tax penalty.
We were both employed by the same company and during our employment we married. Our employer decided to change my wife's withholding to married-0, she had requested to be single-0. The signed W4 on file with the company also said single-0. When she noticed it was changed she asked the company to change it multiple times and they denied her request.
A: Usually the IRS will grant a taxpayer a one-time penalty abatement. This would take care of any penalties. She has to call the IRS and request it. They will usually grant it over the phone. If you are unable to pay the amount due with the filed return, then you should wait and request the penatly abatement after you pay the original liability in full. Remember this is a one-time courtesy so you need to determine if the penalties are high enough to warrant using it.
A: To further comment on what was recommended. You must also have had no previous penalties for 3 years prior to making the abatement request and you must be up to date with your filing requirements. I would recommend in order to avoid this from happening in the future inform the employer in writing that you do not authorize changes to your W-4 without your permission.
I would also suggest double checking your withholding throughout the year.
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