Filing & Changing Withholdings

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).


You are required to file withholding certificates when you begin employment with the City of New York or transfer to another agency. You may also file new forms whenever your tax situation changes; for instance:

  • When your marital status or number of dependents change
  • When you owe tax or receive a large refund when you file your personal income tax return
  • When you have significantly more or less income from another job
  • When your itemized deductions changes.

We recommend that you review your withholding allowance every year because changes in tax law may affect your tax even if other factors remain constant.

Where Withholding Certificates Are Filed

City agencies keep your withholding certificates and any supporting documentation you provide in your personnel file. In some instances, such as filings for excessive allowances and full exemption, copies of the forms and documentation are sent to OPA, IRS and NYS Department of Taxation & Finance.

Changing Withholding Allowances

There may be valid reasons for changing your withholding allowances. If you submit four or more changes in a calendar year, copies of the forms and documentation will be sent to OPA, the IRS and NYS for review.

If the IRS determines that you do not have enough federal income tax withheld, they may issue a Lock-In Letter, which directs your employer to automatically increease your withholding tax regardless of the amount of withholdings you have requested.