When you get your first pay check, you will notice that some deductions have been made from it. There might be a deduction for federal income tax and depending on what state you live in, there could be state and local taxes taken out as well. Welcome to the world of taxes and something you will be fighting for the rest of your life. 

Jobs for 15 year olds probably pay minimum wage so when you see that these taxes have been taken out too, there might not be as much as you hoped for. Anyone who works or makes money in any way, owes money to at least the federal government. That is how everything gets paid for in our society, by you and me and our taxes. Teenagers need to understand that nothing is free in this world and most things get paid for from our taxes.
Taxes are a very complex issue for both adults and teenagers so the best thing to do is to ask your parents. They might even need to consult and accountant if they have one or go to the federal government’s website That website is very confusing and so it might be a good idea to just give the IRS a call and ask about where to find out about taxes and teens or minors. Here is the telephone number to the IRS:
Telephone Assistance for Individuals:
Toll-Free, 1-800-829-1040
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. your local time (Alaska & Hawaii follow Pacific Time).
When you get your first job you will have to fill out a lot of paperwork. This might include a W-4 form along with all the personal contact information. That W-4 form is for taxes and at the start of the next year you will get an W-2 form from your employer. This will show how much you earned during the year and depending on how much that amount is, you will have to do different things. For instance, if the total amount you earned is under $400, you will owe no taxes.
Even if you don’t have a job with a real company, you will owe taxes if you made over $400. Any 15 year olds having made money on their own by doing such things as babysitting, lawn mowing, gardening, washing cars or anything else will owe taxes. For that a Scedule C Form will need to be filled out at tax time and you need to pay the tax.
Again, this is all very complicated and the best advice for parent or child who is not familiar with the tax laws is to call the IRS at the number I gave above. The one thing you need to take away from this article is that even though you are only 15 years old, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay taxes. If you make over $400, the government requires anybody and everybody to pay taxes.

One Comment

  1. I’ve been involved in taxes for lengthier then I care to acknowledge, both on the personal side (all my working lifetime!!) and from a legal standpoint since passing the bar and pursuing tax law. I’ve furnished a lot of advice and corrected a lot of wrongs, and I must say that what you’ve posted makes perfect sense. Please carry on the good work – the more people know the better they’ll be armed to deal with the tax man, and that’s what it’s all about.