As teenagers are taking part-time and summer jobs to earn some spending cash and help with saving for college, now is a great time to start instilling some money management skills. Here are some details about paystubs that you can teach your teen as he or she enters the working world.
Fundamentals of paychecks
Whenever you start a new job, you will need to give your employer a signed Form W-4. This tells an employer how much IRS and state income tax withholding you want deducted from your paycheck. If your child expects his or her total wages for the year to be under $5,950, have him or her write “EXEMPT” on line 7. If not, enter 1 on line 5.
People often think that children and students are automatically exempt from taxes. Nope. Nor are there special allowances or deductions for working children. They are subject to all the same payroll taxes as adults, although children under age 18 are exempt from withholding for Social Security and Medicare when working for a parent’s business (not a partnership or corporation).
What kind of deductions can your teen expect from a regular paycheck—and where does the money go?
IRS or federal deductions
Deductions you should not see
In general, teach your teens to be curious. When they are hired, have them ask to see what a normal paycheck stub looks like and have the employer explain the items on it. When they start getting paid, be sure they look at their paystub. If there is anything they don’t understand, make sure they ask their employer about it immediately.
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com , where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including the new edition of Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.
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