Completing Your W4

Get help completing your federal withholdings and understanding your tax implications

Brittany Conard avatar
Written by Brittany Conard
Updated this week

All tradespeople working at Buildforce are W-2 employees and not 1099 contractors. Form W-4 is a requirement for all employees with Buildforce. Form W-4 tells Buildforce how much tax to withhold from each paycheck.

You will complete a W-4 when first joining Buildforce before your first project. You can update your tax withholdings anytime by submitting a new W-4 through the 'My Pay' section of your Buildforce app. We would recommend that you review your tax withholdings each year.

Summary: Buildforce is your employer, which requires all tradespeople to complete a W-4 form to tell Buildforce how much tax to withhold from your paycheck. Employees can update their withholdings by submitting a new W-4 at any time.


How to Submit Your First Buildforce W-4

Congrats on your first offer with Buildforce! After accepting your offer, you will be prompted to 'Get started' by reviewing our expectations, reviewing your information, adding your bank account, and completing your tax information.

So that you know – the steps below are only after you review Buildforce expectations and confirm your information.

Here are the steps for completing your first W-4:

After confirming your home address, you will be prompted to set up your payroll in minutes.

  1. Click 'Get Started'

  2. Select 'Payment Method' to set up your bank account.

  3. Select 'Personal Information' to put in your SSN and choose electronic W-2 for year-end.

  4. Hit 'Save and Continue'

  5. Click on 'Federal W-4'

  6. Answer the series of questions based on your filing status

    Please see the detailed steps below this section

  7. Hit 'Sign and Submit' once completed

  8. Select 'Continue' which will lead you to 'Your payroll' screen

Note: Make a different selection than the video below. Everyone's tax filing status will have unique tax implications. So that you know, anything you see below is used for testing purposes only.


Detailed Steps to Filling Out Your W-4 with Buildforce

Under Step 6 above for submitting your first W-4, this section will go through a step-by-step process on completing your W-4 with Buildforce based on your filing status.

Everyone's tax filing status will have unique tax implications. So that you know, anything you see below is used for testing purposes only. This is only to help you prepare your W-4 and not legal advice.

Step by Step

Question 1: Do you wish to claim an exemption from withholding?

  • Selecting 'No'

  • Selecting 'Yes' is selecting 'exempt' status

If you claim to be exempt on your W-4 without being eligible, you may receive a large tax bill and possible penalties after filing your tax return.

Question 2: Pick your filing status. This will determine your standard deduction and tax rates used to calculate your withholding.

Options are:

  • Single or Married Filing Separately: This status should be used if you are either single or married but filing separately.

  • Married Filing Jointly: This status should be used if you are married and filing a joint tax return with your spouse. This status will have fewer taxes withheld from each paycheck than the Head of Household.

  • Head of Household: This status should be used if you file your tax return as head of household. Historically this status will have more withholding than Married Filing Jointly.

  • Non-Resident Alien: For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, nonresident aliens cannot claim a personal exemption deduction for themselves, their spouses, or their dependents.

Question 3: Do you have exactly two jobs?

  • Select 'No' if you do not work two jobs

  • Select 'Yes' if you work two jobs or are married filing jointly where your spouse works.

Question 4: Dollar amount to claim for dependents

Multiple the number of qualifying children or dependents. Add these together based on your filing status in the box below.

  • Under the age of 17 - $2000 per child

  • Other dependents - $500 per dependent

Example below: I have one child under the age of 17, so I added $2000 here.

Question 5: Other expected income, not from jobs

Enter any other expected income that won't have taxes withheld. This may include interest, dividends, and retirement income.

If you add a dollar amount to this box, it will INCREASE your tax withholding. When you increase your tax withholding, this means it will take more taxes out of your paycheck.

Question 6: The dollar amount of expected deductions to claim

If you expect to claim deductions other than the standard deduction and want to reduce your withholding, use the Deductions Worksheet and enter the result here.

Amounts added here will DECREASE your withholding. When you decrease your tax withholding, this means it will take less taxes out of your paycheck.

Question 7: Additional dollar amount to withhold each pay period

Enter any additional tax you want to withhold each pay period.

If you add a dollar amount to this box, it will INCREASE your tax withholding. When you increase your tax withholding, this means it will take more taxes out of your paycheck.


How to Update your Buildforce W-4

You can update your tax withholdings anytime by submitting a new W-4 through the 'My Pay' section of your Buildforce app.

Here are the steps after logging into the Buildforce app:

  1. Select 'My Pay'

  2. Select 'Tax Center'

  3. Click 'Withholdings'

  4. Click on 'Federal W-4'

  5. Click 'Regenerate Form and Sign'

  6. Answer the series of questions based on your filing status

Note: The blue reference form link at the top of the screen is an example of the for' but i' NOT where you fill out the information. Please answer the series of questions below the reference form.


Selecting Exempt on Tax Withholding

If you qualify, you can use Form W-4 to tell Buildforce not to deduct federal income tax from your wages. To be eligible for this exempt status, you must have had no tax liability for the previous year and expect no tax liability for the current year. Improperly claiming exemption from federal tax withholding could have significant consequences.

If you claim to be exempt on your W-4 without being eligible, you may receive a large tax bill and possible penalties after filing your tax return.


What Happens if I Select Exempt?

FICA & Medicare will remain on your paycheck, but not Federal Withholding ❌. It is a requirement for all employers to deduct FICA & Medicare on all paychecks 'even if you check ‘Exempt’. Selecting an ‘Exempt’ status only applies to federal taxes taken out.

Pictures below show what your paycheck will look like if you select exempt or not exempt.

Selecting Exempt

Not Exempt Status

Every year to continue to be exempt from withholding, you must complete a new Form W-4 claiming exempt status by February 15 of that year through your Buildforce app.

An email and text notification will be sent by Buildforce as a reminder each year. We recommend that you discuss with your licensed tax professional the best choice for you and your family.


🤷 Unsure What to Choose?

Unfortunately, your Buildforce Support team is not a licensed tax consultant, and we recommend speaking with one for the best options for you and your family. If you need help completing a W-4 Form, please contact us in your Buildforce app by clicking 'Get Help'.

Is it your first time completing one, or are you trying to decide what to choose? Please take a look at the HR Block article 'How to fill out a W-4 Form' and check out their W-4 paycheck tax calculator for additional assistance.


Additional Resources

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