Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Write 0 or 1?


Dear Mr. Stancil,

In the past, my older brother always advised me to write zero for the tax form given at employment. I think it's for allowances. I've always done that until now. I trust my brother because he's pretty smart and he's success in his life.

Last year, I secured new work and I wrote "one". I was assured the right answer was one because I was single and I was only claiming myself.

What specifically is the benefit that I receive if I write "zero" or "one"? Is there more of a refund at the end of the year?

Thank you for your time during your busy schedule.




The lower the number you place on your W-4, the more will be withheld from your pay check. Putting a zero would mean a larger refund (or less to pay when you file) but you're giving the government an interest free loan because it your money you're getting back

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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