Kids and summer jobs: Some tax reminders

July 12, 2010 | Family Law News, Income Calculations, Legal Perspective

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

My friends at Crawford Ellenbogen LLC  know a lot about taxes. One of their principals, Victor Dozzi CPA, recently sent me a great tip about kids who are earning income from summer jobs, and I asked him if I could share it with you. He agreed, so here it is:

Are your children working at summer jobs this year?  If so, here are some tax reminders.

* If a child did not owe any income tax last year and doesn’t expect to owe any this year, the child can claim “exempt” when completing the federal withholding allowance form (Form W-4). This will eliminate having federal income tax withheld from his or her paychecks.

* For 2010, your child can earn as much as $5,700 without owing federal income tax. There will still be withholding from your child’s paycheck for a number of other taxes, including: social security, Medicare, PA, PA UC & perhaps local.

* As long as you provide more than half of your child’s support, you can still claim the child as an exemption on your 2010 tax return.

* Earnings from a summer job will qualify a child to contribute to an IRA – up to $5,000 or the child’s 2010 earnings, whichever is less. If your child would rather spend his earnings than save for retirement, you could gift all the cash, or agree to match what your child saves. As long as the amount put into the IRA doesn’t exceed the child’s wages (or the $5,000 limit), it doesn’t matter where the cash comes from.

The principals of Crawford Ellenbogen (Joan, Victor, and Barb) can provide great advice and personalized service – it’s just a phone call away.

Department of the Treasury Required Disclosure

In accordance with IRS’ Circular 230 we are required to advise you that any written advice we provide to you cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.

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