Exemptions from Withholding

Announcement, January 6, 2020

Effective January 1, 2020, the form W-4 Employee’s Withholding Certificate for federal withholdings no longer has the option of allowances.

The 2020 form IT-2104 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate for state and city withholdings still provides for allowances.

Learn more about the W-4 form changes on the IRS website.

Perform a quick Paycheck Checkup using the IRS withholding calculator and the IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax (PDF).


The majority of employees of the City of New York are required to have taxes withheld. However, certain situations exist that entitle an employee to be fully tax exempt. To claim exempt status, you must meet certain conditions and submit a new Form W-4 and a notarized, unaltered Withholding Certificate Affirmation each year.


Exemption from federal withholding

To claim exemption from federal withholding taxes, you must certify on the W-4 Employee's Withholding Certificate form that you meet both of the following conditions:

  • Last year you had a right to a refund of ALL federal income tax withheld because you had no tax liability, and
  • This year you expect a refund of ALL federal income tax withheld because you expect to have no tax liability.

Exemption from New York State and New York City withholding

To claim exemption from New York State and City withholding taxes, you must certify the following conditions in writing:

  • You must be under age 18, or over age 65, or a full-time student under age 25 and
  • You did not have a New York income tax liability for the previous year; and
  • You do not expect to have a New York income tax liability for this year.

If you meet the criteria for state exemption, file an IT-2104-E Certificate of Exemption from Withholding form instead of the IT-2104 Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate form.

Learn more about exemptions criteria on the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance website.


Exemption from social security and Medicare withholding

Under certain circumstances, New York City employees may be exempt from Social Security and/or Medicare taxes. Visit the Social Security & FICA page to learn more.


Submit new W-4 and IT-2104-E forms annually

Forms claiming full exemption from withholding expire each year. To continue to claim full exemption, you need to submit new forms annually before the following deadlines:

  • For federal taxes submit a new W-4 form by February 16
  • For state and city taxes submit a new IT-2104-E form by April 30

You must also submit a notarized unaltered Withholding Certificate Affirmation with your withholding certificate each year.

If you do not submit new forms to your agency to continue to claim full exemption, taxes will be withheld as if you were single with zero allowances until new acceptable forms are submitted.