Untaxed Internship

Today TaxMama hears from Karol in the TaxQuips Forum, with an odd question.  “I have a paid internship in the Rhode Island state vocational rehabilitation agency and they pay me $11 an hour (I work the most 35 hrs/wk) without taking out taxes. I am worried about what I will owe when I do my taxes later this year. Any idea what I will have to pay?” 

Dear Karol,

Your question is odd to me because you are working for a state department. You should be on payroll. Are you not?

You’re quite right to be concerned.  If you are paid at that rate for a year, you are apt to owe taxes.  How much, I don’t know.

 That depends on whether you pay a mortgage, are married or not, have children, have education credits, open an IRA, or a Health Savings Arrangement, have  moving expenses – and a whole lot of other things only you know about your life.

 This article provides information on how to estimate your own taxes due – and how to make estimated tax payments, if you will owe taxes.

 However, before rushing off to make estimated tax payments, please go back and talk your employer’s payroll department. If you are working for a state agency, you are most likely on payroll. They should be able to take withholding out of your paycheck. Perhaps the only reason they are not doing that is because of the information you entered on your Form W-4.

 Once you know how much you expect to owe for the year, go back to the payroll  department and have them help you fill out the W-4 so you get the correct amount of withholding. OK?

 If that doesn’t work, then follow the instructions in the Estimated Tax Payments article.

 And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about withholding and estimated tax payments, and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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