Summer Job for students/Teen

Students and teenagers often get summer jobs. This is a great way to earn extra spending money or to save for later. Here is what you need to know for tax purpose.

  1. Withholding and Estimated Tax. Students and teenage employees normally have taxes withheld from their paychecks by the employer.  Some workers are considered self-employed and may be responsible for paying taxes directly to the IRS.
  2. New Employees. When a person gets a new job, they need to fill out a Form W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Employers use this form to calculate how much federal income tax to withhold from the employee’s pay.
  3. Self-Employment. A taxpayer may engage in types of work that may be considered Self-Employment. Money earned from self-employment is taxable. Self-employment work can be jobs like baby-sitting or lawn care. Keep good records on money received and expenses paid related to the work.  IRS rules may allow some, if not all, costs associated with self-employment to be deducted. A tax deduction generally reduces the taxes you pay.
  4. Tip Income. Employees should report tip income. Keep a daily log to accurately report tips. Report tips of $20 or more received in cash in any single month to the employer.
  5. Payroll Taxes. Taxpayers may earn too little from their summer job to owe income tax. Employers usually must withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from their pay. If a taxpayer is self-employed, then Social Security and Medicare taxes may still be due and are generally paid by the taxpayer, in a timely manner.
  6. ROTC Pay. If a taxpayer is in a ROTC program “Reserve Officers’ Training Corps”, active duty pay, such as pay for summer advanced camp, is taxable. Other allowances the taxpayer may receive may not be taxable.

 

Personal Property Damage and Loss

If a taxpayer suffers damage to their home or personal property, they may be able to deduct the loss they incur on their federal income tax return. If their area receives a federal disaster designation, they may be able to claim the loss sooner.

Ordinarily, a deduction is available only if the loss is major and not covered by insurance or other reimbursement. Here are some tips you should know about deducting casualty losses:

1. Casualty loss.  A taxpayer may be able to deduct a loss based on the damage done to their property during a disaster. A casualty is a sudden, unexpected or unusual event. This may include natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. It can also include losses from fires, accidents, thefts or vandalism.

2. Normal wear and tear.  A casualty loss does not include losses from normal wear and tear. It does not include progressive deterioration from age or termite damage.

3. Covered by insurance. If a taxpayer insured their property, they must file a timely claim for reimbursement of their loss. If they don’t, they cannot deduct the loss as a casualty or theft. Reduce the loss by the amount of the reimbursement received or expected to receive.

4. When to deduct.  As a general rule, deduct a casualty loss in the year it occurred. However, if a taxpayer has a loss from a federally declared disaster, they may have a choice of when to deduct the loss. They can choose to deduct it on their return for the year the loss occurred or on an original or amended return for the immediately preceding tax year.This means that if a disaster loss occurs in 2017, the taxpayer doesn’t need to wait until the end of the year to claim the loss. They can instead choose to claim it on their 2016 return. Claiming a disaster loss on the prior year’s return may result in a lower tax for that year, often producing a refund.

5. Amount of loss. Figure the amount of loss using the following steps:

  • Determine the adjusted basis in the property before the casualty. For property a taxpayer buys, the basis is usually its cost to them. For property they acquire in some other way, such as inheriting it or getting it as a gift, the basis is determined differently. For more information,
  • Determine the decrease in fair market value, or FMV, of the property as a result of the casualty. FMV is the price for which a person could sell their property to a willing buyer. The decrease in FMV is the difference between the property’s FMV immediately before and immediately after the casualty.
  • Subtract any insurance or other reimbursement received or expected to receive from the smaller of those two amounts.

6. $100 rule.  After figuring the casualty loss on personal-use property, reduce that loss by $100. This reduction applies to each casualty-loss event during the year. It does not matter how many pieces of property are involved in an event.

7. 10 percent rule. Reduce the total of all casualty or theft losses on personal-use property for the year by 10 percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.

8. Future income.  Do not consider the loss of future profits or income due to the casualty.

9. Form 4684. Complete form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, to report the casualty loss on a federal tax return. Claim the deductible amount on Schedule A Itemized Deductions – Form 1040.

10. Business or income property. Some of the casualty loss rules for business or income property are different from the rules for property held for personal use.