Students and teenagers often get a job in the summer to earn extra spending money. If it’s your first job it gives you a chance to learn about work and paying tax. The tax you pay supports your home town, your state and our nation. Here are some tips students should know about summer jobs and taxes:
- Withholding and Estimated Tax. Students and teenage employees normally have taxes withheld from their paychecks by the employer. Some workers are considered self-employed and may be responsible for paying taxes directly to the IRS. One way to do that is by making estimated tax payments during the year.
- New Employees. When you get a new job, you will need to fill out a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Employers use it to figure how much federal income tax to withhold from your pay.
- Self-Employment. Money you earn doing work for others is taxable. Some work you do may count as self-employment. These can be jobs like baby-sitting or lawn care. Keep good records of your income and expenses related to your work. IRS rules may allow some, if not all, costs associated with self-employment to be deducted. A tax deduction generally reduces the taxes you pay.
- Tip Income. All tip income is taxable. Keep a daily log to report them. You must report $20 or more in cash tips in any one month to your employer. And you must report all of your yearly tips on your tax return.
- Payroll Taxes. Taxpayers may earn too little from their summer job to owe income tax. Employers usually must withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from their pay. If a taxpayer is self-employed, then Social Security and Medicare taxes may still be due and are generally paid by the taxpayer, in a timely manner.
- Newspaper Carriers. Special rules apply to a newspaper carrier or distributor. If a person meets certain conditions, then they are self-employed. If the taxpayer does not meet those conditions, and are under age 18, they may be exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes.
- ROTC Pay. If a taxpayer is in a ROTC program, active duty pay, such as pay for summer advanced camp, is taxable. Other allowances the taxpayer may receive may not be taxable.
- Use IRS Free File. Taxpayers can prepare and e-file their federal income tax return for free using IRS Free File. Free File is available only on IRS.gov. Some taxpayers may not earn enough money to have to file a federal tax return, by law, but may want to if taxes were withheld. For example, a taxpayer may want to file a tax return because they would be eligible for a tax refund or a refundable credit. IRS Free File can help with these issues.
The professionals in our office can answer the questions you may have about part-time jobs from a tax perspective; call us today.