As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/

Tax return at 17?

Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
edited February 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I was talking to some people at my work the other day, and they were talking about what they were going to buy with their money from the tax return.
Then they asked what I was getting, and I said I didn't get a tax return since I'm only 17. But they said it doesn't matter, that since I work and money is taken from my paycheck, I should be able to get a tax return.
So, how do I go about obtaining a return? Is it possible at 17? I am in New Hampshire, so I dunno if it varies state to state. It obviously wouldn't be much (But I DID get about $700 total taken from various gov't. services since I started working there in May).
What papers do I need, where would I get them, Etc.
Thanks in advance!

Local H Jay on

Posts

  • Caliban42Caliban42 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    You can get the forms from your local library or post office. Since you're a teenager working a part time job, you should only need the 1040EZ form, which, as the name implies, is pretty simple to fill out.

    Edit: I can't believe I forgot this. You can get your federal forms at www.irs.gov but for your state taxes, you'll have to check with your state's department of revenue if you want the forms online.

    Caliban42 on
  • Locust76Locust76 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    'Tis a federal thing. I think you're allowed to take up employment at 15 or 16, so basically if you earn money you have to pay taxes and therefore you are eligible to get tax returns.

    There's nothing you can do until your employer gives you your W2's for the year. When you get them, you can do them online for free (there's lots of sites that will do this for you). It's relatively painless, just be exact with the information you type in. The IRS doesn't like typos. At all.

    Edit: Oh yeah, and if you want to get the forums you can just google "1040 form" and download it as a .pdf. However, if you do your taxes online you don't need to download the form, just fill it out and submit it.

    Locust76 on
  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    First of all, are you still living with your parents? If so, you really should ask them about this, especially if they have their own taxes done by an accountant or something.

    The IRS has a questionnaire that, assuming you can give a yes or no answer to the questions, should be able to let you know if you have to file a return or not. Also, you should be getting (or have gotten already, really, they're legally supposed to be mailed by 1/31 at the latest) a form called a W2 from your employer that shows exactly how much you made, how much tax you paid, and a few other things.

    As far as getting the tax forms (a regular return is referred to as a 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ for the very simple returns), everything is on irs.gov, including a link to where you can file your return online for free if you fall in the proper income range. You may have to file a state return also....I'm in Virginia so I don't know how NH handles it, but it looks like you should be able to get forms and info here.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    Deathwing on
    steam_sig.png
  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Are you currently a student of some form? If so, you get about 95% of your money back. Ok maybe not 95%, but its most.

    Iceman.USAF on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    If you're living with your folks, it's going to cost them more than you'll get on your return, most likely.

    I'd talk to them first, and see if they can just give you some cash from their return.

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
  • Locust76Locust76 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I used olt.com for my taxes last year. I highly recommend them. They did it for me for free, plus they did my state returns AND kept records for me for when I needed my 2006 tax return information a few weeks ago.

    Locust76 on
  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Also, and this is more important for the future than it is now (since you probably didn't earn enough to really owe much in taxes over the year), you don't "file for a refund," you "file your taxes." And some people get a refund, because over the course of the year they overpaid. Some people owe, because they underpaid their taxes.

    2 years ago, I received $3 back and my wife paid $1. That sounds shitty if you think of it as "free money," but taxes don't work that way -- I had ALL of my money in MY pocket for the previous year, except for $3 of it.

    Last year my wife and I had to pay in $1600. Can't talk about what I'm going to "do with that money," just "what I would've done with it" :(

    EggyToast on
    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Thanks for the help, guys. I have not recieved my W2 yet, or know if I should have.
    So, will I get any money at all back? Or should I just not bother?

    Local H Jay on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Thanks for the help, guys. I have not recieved my W2 yet, or know if I should have.
    So, will I get any money at all back? Or should I just not bother?

    Dude, it really just depends. It's different for every single person in the country, and different depending on the state, city and county you lived in. If you're still being claimed (which you probably are), or you haven't worked at least the majority of the year, then I wouldn't bother. (I.E. If this was just a summer or christmas break kind of job)

    Also, you should have your W2 by the end of the month, I think that's the law, but I don't remember. We usually get ours the second week in January, but I work for a state government, so they get them out a little faster.

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I imagine being claimed is being taken care of by my parents?
    In that case, yes. Otherwise, I guess I'll just get the forms and fill them out when I have some free time.
    (I've had the job for about 9-10 months now).

    Local H Jay on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I imagine being claimed is being taken care of by my parents?
    In that case, yes. Otherwise, I guess I'll just get the forms and fill them out when I have some free time.
    (I've had the job for about 9-10 months now).

    If they're claiming you, and you claim yourself on taxes, it might fuck up their return. I would advise against this, since they take care of you and all. Fill out your forms, get them prepped, and give them to your parents if they haven't filed yet. You probably won't get back more than a hundred or two, so just ask them to give you that, and they can still claim you to make much more than that.

    edit: and yes, taking care of you means they're claiming you.

    I went through the same thing when I started college. I transferred to the local retail chain there, and started working, and was in the tax system, but my folks still claimed me. I let them do that, so they could get a higher return, and got my taxes estimated every year at an H&R block (it's free for them to estimate them, they only charge if they file them), and I would give my folks that total and they would give that amount to me. I did this until I graduated college.

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Basically the above posters are correct.

    Note: U.S. only, and IANA(T)L:

    You get a tax refund if you overpaid your taxes during the year. As you've noticed, your employer takes out amounts for federal and state income tax, various social welfare programs, and so on.

    You also have a tax liability: how much you owe. Figuring out how much you owe is sort of complicated. The primary amount is some percentage of your income. How much of a percentage depends on how much you make; in the U.S. we have a progressive tax system such that people who make more pay a higher percentage of their income in tax.

    However, the amount you also owe is offset by deductions and credits. Deductions effectively reduce your taxable income. So, if you made $20,000 but have $5000 in deductions, you're only effectively paying taxes on $15,000 in income. If you donated $250 to a charity, that's a deduction, for example. Medical expenses are also generally deductible, as are interest payments on a first mortgage. So are things like capital losses: if you sold a stock at a loss, for example, you can write off the loss.

    There's all sorts of rules about this. There are two ways to calculate your deductions: you can take the 'standard deduction' or you can itemize. Depending on your income level and some other factors, the government assigns a "standard deduction" amount. Let's say it's $4000. That means you can just take the $4000 in deductions without having to provide receipts for all your donations and medical bills and house payments and the like. It's a free $4000 in deductions regardless. However, if you think you have more than $4000 in deductions, you can itemize (list out) all your deductions - but you have to provide proof for all of them. As a young person, it's unlikely you have a house payment or substantial medical expenses, so you'll probably just end up taking the standard deduction, since it will (far) exceed what you can itemize.

    Part of the deduction formula is based on how many people you take care of. Each person is worth 1 point. If you take care of yourself, you get 1 point. If you take care of a spouse or kids, you get one point for each. However, each person can only be counted on one tax return. If you claim your one point for yourself on your return, your parents cannot also claim you as their dependent. If both your parents and you claim your point, people get in big trouble.

    Credits are slightly different than deductions because they reduce the amount you have to pay directly. They basically take say $100 or $250 off your total tax bill. Some states have, for example, a renter's credit that gives you $100 back every year if you rent (and don't make over a certain amount).

    Your refund is calculated as follows:

    (How much your employer withheld from your paycheck over the year) - (how much you owe).

    It's really that simple. If the number is positive, you get money back. If the number is negative, you owe. Most people get refunds because their employer withholds more than necessary. It's generally good for your employer to withhold a little too much, because if they withhold too little you can be subject to penalties in addition to the amount you owe. There's a separate formula that is used to determine whether you have to pay a penalty, and, if so, how much.

    If you under-withhold one year, or you have too much income not subject to withholding, you have to do the biggest pain-in-the-ass thing ever: paying estimated taxes. Estimated taxes mean that you have to send the IRS a big check every 3 months to make sure that they have your tax money on time and you don't get penalized. For example, a substantial fraction (like half) of my income for a couple years came from consulting. As a private contractor, clients don't withhold taxes from the checks they give you. Therefore, I had to guess how much tax I should have paid on that and send a check for that amount to the IRS every three months.

    DrFrylock on
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Well shit, that was informative. Sorry about the estimated taxes shenanigans! Sounds really fucking annoying.
    Anyway, looks like my parents are simply going to give me $250 (about what I'd get back a apparently).
    Thanks for all the help!

    Local H Jay on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Aye, Frylock's the resident finance and Capitalism specialist. ;)

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Thanks for the help, guys. I have not recieved my W2 yet, or know if I should have.
    So, will I get any money at all back? Or should I just not bother?

    Dude, it really just depends. It's different for every single person in the country, and different depending on the state, city and county you lived in. If you're still being claimed (which you probably are), or you haven't worked at least the majority of the year, then I wouldn't bother. (I.E. If this was just a summer or christmas break kind of job)

    Also, you should have your W2 by the end of the month, I think that's the law, but I don't remember. We usually get ours the second week in January, but I work for a state government, so they get them out a little faster.


    W2's have to be postmarked by Jan 31. I would ask your boss about it, or maybe your parents just grabbed it and piled it with their tax stuff.

    meeker on
Sign In or Register to comment.