# Can someone help me with taxes?

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1. Jun 17, 2011

So I have a summer job doing research for a professor at my school and I'm paid by the hour. I live and work in New York State.

I got my first check today, and a total of 16.5% of my check was taken by taxes. I paid:

9.12% in Federal Income Tax
1.45% in FICA Medicare Tax
4.61% in FICA SS Tax
1.78% in NYS Tax

I live on my own, I don't get any financial assistance from anyone, I have no health insurance, and I don't expect to earn more than $5000 this summer, which will probably be all I earn for the entire year. Do those rates above seem right?? Do I really have to pay for crap like Medicare and Social Security when I'm 22 years old? I tried using a tax calculator online, and it said: I don't understand what this means... does this mean I'm not eligible for any refund at the end of the year, or that I shouldn't be paying any income tax?? I have tried asking the payroll people at my school but they refused to answer questions citing it is against school policy to give students advice on their taxes and that I have to ask my parents, but unfortunately I have none. Any help? 2. Jun 17, 2011 ### phinds Yes, you have to pay for that "crap". What did you think, you're going to go through life not paying for it and then draw it like everyone else??? You won't owe any state or federal income tax though so you'll get all that back. 3. Jun 17, 2011 ### OnlyMe First you cannot take this as absolute. I live in California and at least the state tax portion may be different. That said... It sounds like the school is using a standard tax table to withhold taxes. The table assumes that the income is annual, meaning that this is not a summer job that will go away. The Internet tax calculator on the other hand treats your total income as an annual income. As annual income it sounds like$5000 is less than your standard deduction and results in no tax due.

If withholding remains as it is, you should be eligible for a refund when filling. If this is all of your income for the year.., you have no other taxable income.., you may wish to consult a tax 'man' to see if changing your dependents is an option, to reduce the withholding.

REMEMBER I AM NOT A TAX PROFESSIONAL. DO NOT TAKE THIS AS DEFINITIVE TAX ADVICE.

Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
4. Jun 17, 2011

I don't understand, if I will get it all back what's the point of withholding it in the first place? Is it just interest-free credit for the government?

5. Jun 17, 2011

### Jimmy Snyder

You will not get a refund for the Medicare and SS taxes. However, you will get one from the feds for the federal income tax and from the state of NY for the NYS state tax. You can avoid the withholding for these by filling out a W-2 form. Ask HR for one. You have to fill out your tax forms next April to get the money back that is coming to you, the govt will not give you the money unless you do.

6. Jun 17, 2011

Staff Emeritus
They don't know you will get it all back. And yes, it is interest-free credit. The government must save about \$50 million a year doing this.

7. Jun 17, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

If you're sure you won't actually have to pay Federal income tax on your income this year, you should be able to declare to the university's payroll or HR department that you are exempt from federal tax withholding. There's an IRS form (I've forgotten the number) for making this and other changes to your federal withholding.

Anything that's already been withheld for Federal tax, you'll have to get back next year by filing a tax return.

8. Jun 17, 2011

### rhody

Did you mean to say a http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&t...c.r_pw.&fp=951dc7972bfd90fb&biw=1366&bih=585" form, to have less taxes withheld ?

Rhody...

Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
9. Jun 17, 2011

### Jimmy Snyder

Yes, of course. The W-2 is the form that the employer will send you and which you then send to the IRS and NY state office to get your refund. You need to fill out a W-4 so that there will be no more withholding. The amount already withheld will not be returned to you until you fill out your tax forms in April next year.

10. Jun 17, 2011

Staff Emeritus
Be careful, though. If you actually owe them money and tell them not to withhold, the IRS will indicate their displeasure by making you file quarterlies in the following years.

11. Jun 17, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
12. Jun 17, 2011

So even if they are withholding too much money, or I messed up on my W-2 and they are taking more than they should, if I file next year I can always get back the correct amount?

i.e. I'm not losing money?

13. Jun 17, 2011

### Proton Soup

correct

14. Jun 18, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

Also, if you are due money back, don't wait until April, that's the deadline to file to PAY additional tax. If you are due a return, file as soon as you receive your W2, which should be by Jan 31st.

Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
15. Jun 18, 2011