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Can my employer take out taxes if a Form W-4 was never filed?

Yes, your employer is required to withhold income taxes. IRS Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, states that if an employee does not provide an employer a completed Form W-4 (PDF), Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, the employer must withhold tax as if he or she is single, with no withholding allowances. The employer is also required to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes. Even if you do not complete a W-4 form, taxes will be withheld.