How to Fill Out an IRS W-4 Form Lesson

In this lesson students will learn how to fill out a W-4 form (W4), an important document for your employment paperwork. You’ll learn about the different sections of the form, such as personal information, dependents and other credits, and adjustments to your tax withholding, as well as the importance of updating it when your tax situation changes.


Use this video lesson on the topic of understanding the IRS W-4 form. Learn basic tax and related concepts of:

  • IRS W-4 Form
  • Tax Withholding
  • Personal Information
  • Filing Status
  • Dependents and Credits
  • Paycheck Taxes
  • Tax Return
  • Income Tax
  • Deductions


9-12th grades. High School. Adult Education.


45-60 minutes. It may be necessary to adjust the lesson plan and allocate more or less time to certain topics, depending on the needs and interests of the students.


Hand out the worksheet below (see the GET LESSON button near the bottom of the page).

Show students the video and have and have them complete the worksheet.  Review the questions on the worksheet.  A more comprehensive and detailed lesson plan can be accessed below for further instruction and study.

How to Fill Out an IRS W-4 Form

After watching the video, have students tell what the most important things they learned from the video.

Additional Resources

See our additional resources on taxes:


Lesson Plan: How to Fill Out an IRS W-4 Form


  • Students will be able to understand the purpose and importance of the IRS W-4 form.
  • Students will be able to accurately fill out an IRS W-4 form.
  • Students will be able to identify situations where they need to update their W-4 form.


  • Video: “How to Fill Out an IRS W-4 Form”
  • Sample W-4 form (link below see “Lesson Resources”)
  • Pen or pencil


Introduction (10 minutes):

Ask students if they have ever heard of an IRS W-4 form and what they know about it. Introduce the video, “How to Fill Out an IRS W-4 Form,” and explain that it will cover the purpose and importance of the form, as well as how to fill it out accurately.

Video Viewing (10 minutes):

Play the video, “How to Fill Out an IRS W-4 Form,” for the class. As the video plays, ask students to take notes on the different sections of the form and any instructions or tips provided.

Discussion and Activity (30 minutes):

After the video, lead a discussion on the purpose and importance of the W-4 form, as well as the different sections covered in the video. Distribute a sample W-4 form to each student and have them practice filling it out using the information provided in the video. Walk around the classroom and provide assistance as needed.

Once students have completed their W-4 form, pair them up with a partner and have them review each other’s forms to ensure accuracy. As a class, discuss any areas where students may have had difficulty or questions.

Quiz (10 minutes):

Distribute a quiz based on the video, consisting of multiple choice questions. Review the answers as a class to reinforce the concepts covered in the video.

Conclusion (5 minutes):

Summarize the purpose and importance of the W-4 form. Emphasize the importance of updating the form whenever tax situations change.


  • Accuracy of completed W-4 form
  • Participation in class discussion and activity
  • Quiz results

Discussion Questions:

What is the purpose of the IRS W-4 form?

Why is it important to accurately fill out the W-4 form?

What are the different sections of the W-4 form and what information is required in each section?

When should you update your W-4 form?

What happens if you do not update your W-4 form when your tax situation changes?


  • Have students research and present on a tax-related topic, such as deductions, credits, or tax brackets.
  • Have students compare and contrast the W-4 form with other tax forms, such as the W-2 or 1099 form.
  • Have students analyze and interpret their own pay stub to understand how taxes are withheld from their paycheck.


Lesson Resources

How to Fill Out an IRS W-4 Form

  • Page includes link to IRS W-4 form

Get Lesson


For additional related lessons, explore our main category pages:

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