School is out and students are scurrying around in search of a summer job. Whether you have music festivals to pay for, a resume that you’d like to supplement, or a family you want to support, with new cash flow comes new legal obligations.  Don’t forget to consider other factors in addition to your earnings this season with our list of tax tips for summer jobs!

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  1. Yup, I Got a Summer Job!

  • To begin with, the W-4 Form tells your employer the correct amount of tax to withhold from an employee’s paycheck based on factors such as marital status, exemptions, dependents, and other factors.
  • The above factors may not apply to you. If you file as a dependent with income only from your summer job and part-time employment, you can earn as much as $6,100 without being liable for income tax.


  1. What If I Make Tips?

  • Are you a waiter, a camp counselor, or perhaps a bellhop this summer? You’ll assuredly rack up some tips. Unfortunately, all tips received are taxable income.
  • Employees are required to report tips of $20 or more to their employers in the form of a written report by the tenth day of the month following the receipt of tips.

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  1. I’m Working Some Odd Jobs Here and There

  • Just because you get paid under the table doesn’t mean it’s tax free!
  • The income is indeed taxable and you may be subject to self-employment taxes.


  1. I’m Kind of Running My Own Business

  • If your self-employment has earned your $400 or more, you will have to pay self-employment tax.
  • A perk of self-employment is that you will receive credits toward your benefits under the Social Security system.


  1. None of The Above Apply to Me. I’m a Direct Seller

  • If you’re a newspaper carrier, distributor or something of the like special rules apply.
  • For the purposes of federal taxes, you are treated as self-employed if:
    • You deliver newspapers.
    • You are commission based.
    • A contract holds that you are not to be treated as an employee.
  • Although there are exceptions, generally speaking, you won’t be subject to self-employment tax under the age of 18.

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