I am married. We have 3 young children which are not mine. We do not receive child support or any financial help from the father. Should I put the 3 children as withholdings on my w-4?========>> I GUESS YOU MAY BUT IT DEPEDNS. The number of allowances you claim on your W-4 is dependent on your life circumstances. They must be step children, adopted children , foster children or etc; they did not provide more than half of their own support during the year; for more than half the year, they must live in your home to be your dependents. The W-4 does not claim dependents or exemptions they're called withholding allowances. But you need to remember the more you claim the less taxes they'll take out and the less refund you'll get. Or you can claim up to 9 withholding allowances without providing proof. Then, you may end up owing at the end of the year if you claim too many. Basically, the W-4 form that you file with your employer is what determines the amount of withholding on your paycheck. Each dependent is an allowance on the form. The wrong number of allowances will cause more or less federal withholdings;
Also will I be able to claim them at tax time or will she have to. She works part time but makes very little. About $600 a month. ==========>>>Who is a custodial parent of the children? I guess she(your wife) is not the father of the children. A custodial parent is the parent who has either sole physical custody of the child or the parent with whom the child resides for a majority of the time. Although courts often give two parents who are both fit parents joint custody of the child, the court may refer to the parent with the larger timeshare with the child as a custodial parent at times in court documents and during hearings. Then, you ca clai the children on your joint return aslongas you meet the requirements to claim them as your dependents as mentioned above.