Mary Hevener, a partner with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, discussed four phases to full implementation of the tax code changes during a Feb. 27 Bloomberg Tax webinar. The first phase occurred Jan. 11 with the release of new withholding tables in Notice 1036. Employers were told to continue accepting the 2017 Form W-4 until further notice, she said.
The second phase, which occurred Jan. 29 with the release of Notice 2018-14, gave employees additional time to claim exempt from withholding in 2018 and to file Form W-4 if their status changed, she said.
The third phase, which now is taking place, involves the release of the 2018 Form W-4 and withholding calculator, Hevener said.
The fourth phase, which could come in the fall, would likely involve the release of the 2019 Form W-4 and withholding tables, she said.
The Form W-4, the online calculator, and accompanying guidance appear to have answered some questions, such as confirming that employees may continue to claim personal allowances through 2018 and that employees generally would not be required to refile the form this year.