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4 Tax Tips for Students in Seasonal Jobs

Jun 29, 2017

Working a seasonal job is a great way for students to pick up some additional spending money or to pay down that cell phone bill. Follow the four tax tips below to make sure your next seasonal job is headache-free when tax season rolls around.

Make a Resume

Okay, I know this isn't much of a tax tip, but you won't need any tax tips if you don't get the job, and having all your ducks in a row before you even apply for the job will help make sure you get it in the first place.

Even if you're a student without much of a work history, you're still going to need to gather together all your personal info and references to put down on your job application, so why not have them ready to go in resume form? You'll make a better first impression at your interview and will have a better chance of getting the job, compared to all those other kids who don't have resumes and show up unprepared.

Keep Your Own Records

Always track your own hours and pay. Employers sometimes make mistakes, so you don't want to lose out on any pay that you earned. Just keep a doc on your phone or write it all down in a little notebook every day. Record your start time and end time every day and the total hours worked per day and per pay period. Then go back when you get your paycheck and make sure that everything adds up. If you find a discrepancy, don't be shy—inform your employers so that they can make things right. A money management service might be able to help you do this more easily.

Don't Forget To Declare Your Tips

Tips count as income too, and you're required by law to report them to the IRS if you earn more than $20 in tips in any given month. Since you're keeping track of your hours and pay as recommended above, it's not hard to add in one more number to your notepad.

Hey, you want to be treated like an adult, right? Well, the flip side of that is acting like an adult, so follow the law and declare all your income.

Do Your Taxes For Free Using IRS Free File

Sure, you could go to your Dad's tax accountant and get your income taxes filed for 50 bucks or whatever, but why pay for tax services when you can get them done for free? The IRS offers students a service online called IRS Free File. It's easy to use and totally free.

Even if you don't end up earning enough at this job to owe federal taxes, you still need to declare that income and file a tax return. And if your employer withheld any earnings from your paychecks for taxes, then only way to get that money back is to file your taxes.

Okay, so you've got your resume, and you've got your notepad ready to track your hours, earnings and tips. You even know where to go to file your taxes for free. Looks like you're all set! Now get out there and make that money! And don't forget to toss Mom a few bucks for gas money.

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