Difference Between W-2 and W-4

Feb 19th, 2024

The comparison between W-2 and W-4 forms sparks a lengthy discussion within the working class regarding tax documentation. If you’re an employer or an employee, the tax forms have significance in terms of your financial documentation. They come in handy while filing tax returns with the IRS.

The practice of filing the tax forms can be a challenging task especially if you lack the understanding of its implications and its importance. Though, it is not necessary to be a tax professional in order to differentiate between the two fo them if they are misplaced by you.

In this blog, we will highlight the differences between W-2 vs W-4 pointing out the main differences between them. Let’s get started.

What is a W-2 Form?

A W-2 form is a document that the IRS issues to an employee’s earnings and tax withholdings. The legal term for this is: Wage and Tax Statement- a document that fulfills only one purpose that is to establish a bridge between your earnings and your tax liability.

The W-2 form presents accurate details about your earnings and deductions for tax purposes, representing the employer-employee relationship. In essence, it shows the income earned by the employee, and the withholding tax amount which is essential when filing state and federal taxes. And surprisingly, if you are looking for a free W2 form generator, then let me tell you our W-2 generator has got you covered. And, if you are looking for a free W2 form generator, then our W2 generator has covered you from all sides.

When it comes to showcasing your income and taxes deduction by your boss, the Wage and Tax Statement – often called the IRS – produces a thorough summary. To accurately manage your taxes, it’s expected that you receive W-4 and W-2 forms from your employer, showing your latest earnings.

However, in addition to regular taxes withheld from the employees paycheck the whole year, including federal income tax, social security, medicare and state taxes; though employers are solely responsible for finishing the form with its details in regard to the employee salary, tips and bonus.

What is a W-4 Form?

Like the W-2, the W-4 form also implements the flow of data between employer and employee. Notably, it primarily performs the opposite function of its counterpart. Rather than an employee receiving financial information, the W-4 is intended to advise an employer on how much income to withhold for tax purposes.

Given the rules and regulations, it’s essential to frequently evaluate and update your W-4 form, which instantly informs your employer about any alterations in your financial status. We reiterate that this approach ensures employers know exactly the amount to retain while keeping your income free of obstruction.

The (IRS) Internal Revenue Service also known as the Employee’s Withohlding Allowance Certificate grants you to inform your employer with standard identification details like social security number, current living address and martial status.

When you’re hired by a firm, you are given a W-4 form. To make sure that the things are on the simpler side, just fill out the form by inserting some of your personal details like marital status, how many dependents you have, tax exemptions you have been provided. These details will specify household typical deductions.

Your W-4 form directly affects how much your employer withholds from every paycheck to cover state and federal taxes. You can either pay more per paycheck or pay less at the conclusion of the year, or you can even pay less per paycheck and pay more.

W-2 VS W-4: What’s The Real Difference?

The W-4 form differs from the W-2 form in that it arms your boss with the requisite information needed to calculate how much they should take out from your wages. Thus, while the W-2 form is the responsibility of the employer, completing the W-4 form is your duty as an employee. Simply put, the two forms have inversely different roles.

When is the best time to file them: W-4 form vs. W-2?

Business proprietors and workers should understand precisely when to file each of the forms to prevent delays and miscommunication. Though the W-4 form provides you with employer information about how much money to withhold for income taxes, you, as an employee,should fill out your W-4 form on the first day of your job.

Generally, you should update your W-4 form according to your finances as they keep changing with new rules and regulations. By adopting this method, you can guarantee that you pay the precise amount of taxes.

But, if your income and taxes are in stable condition, then you may need to be concerned about the yearly W-4 form filing. If the employer is responsible for finishing the W-2 form for their employees, then they should do it before 31st January every year.

The only reason is that every filing provides details of the tax withholding from the previous year. For instance, should a business owner have finalized a W-2 form for an employee by January 31, this signifies that the form encompasses the tax particulars and payroll data from the prior year.


Despite belonging to the category of IRS tax forms, the W-2 and W-4 forms exhibit notable dissimilarities. These disparities extend to their completion process, filing requirements, as well as the individuals responsible for their submission. Gaining a thorough comprehension of the disparities between W-2 and W-4 forms is imperative to avoid unintentional tax debt and maintain consistency in tax matters. In order to create a w2 form you can visit eFormscreator.

What is the Difference Between W9 and W4?

Dec 05th, 2023

There are over 800 different Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax documents in the United States. At the end of the tax year, you must understand which of the forms apply to you and how to fill them out in a correct manner. If you want a free online w9 form generator, eFormscreator can quickly generate it for you.

The two most common tax document forms are Form W-9 and W-4. Due to its similarities, these are the forms that people get confused about the most.

In this blog, we shall outline the difference between w4 and w9 and know more about them.

Recap of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a U.S. government agency responsible for the collection of federal taxes and the enforcement of tax laws.

It was established in 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln and operated under the authority of the U.S. Department of Treasury. The main motive of the IRS is to collect individual income and employment taxes as well as corporate, excise and estate taxes.

What is a W9 Form?

A W9 form is commonly known as the Request for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and Certification.

This is a one-page tax form that employers use to get the TIN from self-employed individuals and independent contractors.

What is NDAs and Why is it Important?

Who is Qualified To Be An Independent Contractor?

An Independent Contractor is defined as the following:

  • Workers who have the bulk of control over when and how they complete the tasks.
  • Those who do not receive health insurance, 401(k) matching and other benefits.
  • Individuals who pay all their taxes on their own.

Some of the common examples of independent contractors include graphic designers, writers and repair persons.

One of the highlighting factors of an independent contractors is that they receive non-employee compensation from the companies for whom they work.

Examples of non-employee compensation include fees, commissions, and awards for service finished.

A W-9 form also provides other personal information to employers, like the independent contractor’s full name and address.

Unlike other tax forms, a W-9 form is not filed with the IRS. It is submitted to the independent contractor’s supervisor.

As the end of the tax year arrives, independent contractors must submit a Form W-9 to the companies they worked for so that they can get a 1099-MISC form in return.

Form W-9 and Tax Implications

The Form W-9 acts as an agreement that independent contractors are responsible for withholding taxes from their income. Full-time employee have their federal income taxes, Medicare and Social Security taxes withheld from their paychecks by their employers.

What Do Independent Contractors Include on a Form W-9?

An Independent Contractor includes the following on a form w-9:

  • The name of the payee.
  • The payee’s federal tax collection. This can be a single-member limited liability company (LLC), S corporation or C corporation.
  • The payee’s current, complete mailing address.
  • The payee’s taxpayer identification number (TIN), which includes either an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

What is a W-4 Form?

W-4 Form, also known as the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, is a federal form that employees must complete when starting a new job.

Employers use a Form W-4 to determine how much income tax to withhold from their employee’s paychecks.

The amount of income tax withheld from the employee will be based on their wages and the number of withholding allowances they qualify for.

Withholding allowances are based on the employee’s filing status, how many dependents they have, and their foreseen tax credits and deductions.

It is of vital importance that employers ensure that the information on each of their employee’s Form W-4 is correct.

If the incorrect amount is withheld from the employee’s paycheck, they can face expensive penalties from the IRS.

Tax Savings with the W4 Form Online

What Do The Employees Include on a W-4 Form?

  • Full name, postal address and zip code.
  • Social Security Number
  • Martial Status
  • How many dependents do they have
  • Any additional money that the employer should withhold.

W9 vs W4

Now you have a good idea about what W-9 and W-4 forms are, let us take a closer look at their differences and what their indications are for the taxpayers.

Difference Between W9 and W4:

Form W-9 Form W-4
Independent contractor fill out a Form W-9 Employees fill out the Form W-4
Self-employed workers use the Form W-9 to provide their taxpayers identification number to companies they have worked for Employee use W-4 form to infrom their employers of how much income tax to withhold from their paycheck
W-9 forms submission deadline is 31st January W-4 forms submission deadline is first month of starting a new job
Businesses send a blank W-9 form before independent contractors start working for them Generally, employers should issue their employers with a W-4 Form on their very first day
Independent Contractors can file a Form W-9 annually Employees need to file a new Form W-4 every time when they start a new job

The main difference between the W9 and W4 Form is that a formal employee fills out a W-4 Form, whereas a self-employed worker fills out a W-9 Form.

It is vital to remember that a W-9 Form is nothing but an Information Return that provides business with an independent contractor’s details and isn’t submitted to the IRS.

In comparison to the W-4 Form, it is to be filled out by the full-time employees.

Employees must fill out a new W-4 form whenever their financial situation changes. In addition to this, when an employee starts a new job, this can include a change in marital status, having a child, or a raise in wages.

All this information is relevant to an employer because it can indicate a change in the employee’s payroll at the end of the year.

Do I Have To Fill Out Both W-9 and W-4 Forms?

Self-employed workers do not always have to fill out a Form W-9. Moreover, many businesses ask independent contractors to finish the one to avoid any costly penalty from the IRS.

If an independent contractor refuses to complete a Form W-9, the firm can withhold a certain percentage from their wages.

This process is known as backup withholding and can mean that the employer withholds 28% of your pay and submits it to the IRS.


Yes, we know that the ultimate process of generating and filing out an IRS Form can be stressful and time-consuming. That’s why our free online w9 form generator and printable w4 form generator by eFormscreator.