Everybody that meets certain income thresholds is required by the federal government to file tax returns. If you don’t make enough to meet the threshold, you don’t have to file a return. Another consideration is whether you are working as an employee of the parents of the children or if you are working as an independent contractor. Independent contractors can be responsible for paying income and self-employment taxes.
You will have to file taxes if you are single and made $10,000 or more in income in 2013. The income threshold rises to $20,000 if you are married and filing jointly. If you have kids of your own and are filing as the head of household, then you have to make $12,850 or more. The threshold is $3,900 if you will be claimed as a dependent on your parents' tax return. Some states, like New York and California, may also require you to file a state tax return.
U.S. citizens and residents who work for themselves are also subject to a self-employment tax if they earn at least $400.00 per year. The tax rate for self-employed people is 15.3 percent of the total wages, tips and other net earnings you made during 2013. This tax is actually a combination of Social Security and Medicare taxes that wage earners are required to pay.
Form 1040 is used if you are filing as a self-employed individual. If you made $5,000 or less, you may use Schedule C-EZ to report any income from self-employment. Schedule C is used for those that made over $5,000. Schedule SE is used to report your Medicare and Social Security taxes. These forms are used in conjunction with form 1040 and are supplied together when filing your taxes. Forms 1040A and 1040 EZ can be used if you are acting as an employee and the parents you work for withheld taxes from your pay during 2013.
You will probably want to file a tax return if money has been taken out of your pay for tax purposes. There are numerous tax credits and deductions available that could reduce your tax liability and provide you with a refund for the overpayment from the federal and state governments. Filing a tax return is required to claim any credits and deductions. If you don't file a return, then you won't be able to get any money back.
- Internal Revenue Service: Publication 501 - Main Content: Table 1.2013 Filing Requirements Chart for Most Taxpayers
- Internal Revenue Service: Self-Employment Tax (Social Security and Medicare Taxes)
- Internal Revenue Service: Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center
- Internal Revenue Service: 2013 Instructions for Schedule C - Profit of Loss from Business
Griffith Pritchard served as a senior branch manager and banking officer for M&T Bank. He specialized in small business and personal financial, credit and banking products. He also has extensive experience in small business sales and non-profit management. Pritchard is a graduate of Hobart College.