Ahh, the summertime. Pool time, relaxation time, and for some, work time! Many teenagers use their summer vacation time to earn some extra cash. If you’re one of them, or a parent who wants to help, how can you prepare your taxes from your summer job? Here are a few tips below. 

ONE – Withholding and Estimated Tax 

Teenagers who are employed typically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks by their employer. If not, they are responsible for making estimated tax payments throughout the year to the IRS. 

TWO – New Employees

When you get a new job, you need to fill out a Form W-4, which is the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Employers use this to determine how much money to withhold from the employee’s pay for federal income tax. 

THREE – Self-Employment

If you are self-employed, you still need to pay taxes. Some types of self-employment work would be baby-sitting or lawn mowing. If you engage in this type of work, you would need to keep good records on money received, as well as any expenses related to work. Some costs associated with self-employment may be deducted. For more detail on what the IRS will allow to be deducted, view our blog post by clicking here

FOUR – Tip Income 

If you are a waiter or waitress, you would need to report tip income. One way to do this is by keeping a log of your tips. For more detail on reporting tips, check out our blog post here

FIVE – Payroll Taxes

If you have a summer job, you may earn too little to owe income tax. Employers typically will need to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from your pay, and if you’re self-employed, theses taxes still may still be due. 

SIX – Newspaper Carriers

If you are a newspaper carrier for your summer position, special rules apply. For example, you may be considered self-employed according to certain conditions, and may be exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes if you are under 18 years old. 


If you are in a ROTC program, active duty pay (for example, pay for summer advanced camp) is taxable. 

Whether you’re working hard or hardly working this summer, be sure to stay on top of your taxes.