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Jul 25, 2017

For some teenagers and college-age students, summer means taking on a temporary job. What are some important things for these working young people to know? 

No matter what, if you are considered an employee you will file Form W-4. This form lets employers know how much money to withhold from a paycheck for income tax purposes. Most teenagers or young adults working a short-term job usually claim zero or one withholding allowance. However, if a young person has a total income of more than $1,050 and more than $350 of unearned income and is claimed a dependent on someone else’s Form W-4, he or she can’t claim complete exemption from withholding. 

Most young people working over the summer won’t earn enough money to actually owe any federal income tax at the end of the year - which means they won’t file taxes or receive Form W-2 . In order to file a tax return, a person under 65 must earn an income over $10,350. 

No matter what a young person marks on his or her Form W-4, Social Security and Medicare (combined to be known as FICA or Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes will be withheld from his or her pay. The current Social Security rate is 6.2%. Medicare’s current rate sits at 1.45%. All paycheck earners will also pay state tax, and if applicable, local tax. 

Get better acquainted with Form W-4 by using our W-4 assistant

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