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?