How long must an employer keep an employee's Form W-4?

Author: Melanie J. Perez-Vellios, VP Group LLC

An employers is required to maintain an employee's Form W-4 in order to show that it is properly withholding federal income tax in accordance with each employee's request. Internal Revenue Service rules suggest that an employer maintain the Form W-4 for each employee for a minimum of four years after the date the last tax return was submitted using the information on the Form W-4. However, an employer is cautioned to maintain access to the form for as long as possible, in the event such information ever becomes necessary for audit purposes.