So I just got my first pay stub at my new job. I have always claimed zero to get a big return because I'd rather have a windfall every year than a huge bill (save the "don't give the govt. an interest free loan!" argument for another time, not interested in going there this time). I did get married in the past year, which I know makes a big difference in my favor. So, on my W4 I claimed 0 for number of dependents (Line D: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf ), and filled out the allowances (Lines A-C) as described by each line. But, looking at my check stub, they only withheld a paltry 7.6% for federal taxes?!? And for state, just 3.5%! This is all well and good, but I do not want to have to pay in a large sum at the end of the year. Additionally, next to the state/federal withholding on my check stub, it says "Filing Status: M4" and I'm not sure what that means but I'm sure it has to do with the withholding. FWIW, on the W4, I entered "1" on each of lines A, B, and C, as each line's instructions said to do. However, in the basic instructions above, it says you can claim zero allowances as well...should I have just zeroed out all of the lines? I was under the impression all these years that claiming zero just referred to dependents, but is it dependents and allowances? It's been years since I've had to fill out a W-4.