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APA Supports IRS Form W-4 Translation to Multiple Languages

BY: Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq. | 03/10/21

The APA Government Relations Task Force Subcommittee on Federal Issues responded to an IRS informal request for information on the Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, asking whether providing the form in multiple languages would create a burden for payroll management. Currently, the Form W-4 is available in English and Spanish.

The APA supported translation of Form W-4 into multiple languages with these recommendations:

  1. Employers should have the choice on which translated forms to use based upon the language needs of their employees. For example, if an employer does not have any Russian-speaking employees, that employer should not be required to make that form available to its employees.
  2. Translations should be easily understood. For example, word selection is very important to ensure employees understand the instructions.
  3. Keep the boxes and lines in which employees enter their data and withholding amounts on the form the same as the English version.

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Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq. is Director of Government Relations for the APA.