If your child is planning to work this summer, make sure you know the tax basics.
Tax returns. Assuming no other sources of income, your child will be able to earn up to $6,300 in 2016 before a federal income tax return has to be filed. However, if income tax is withheld from paychecks, your child will have to file a return to claim a refund.
Federal income tax withholding. When hired, your child will have to fill out Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. This form tells the employer how much federal income tax to withhold. If the job involves tips, remember that tips are taxable income. Have your child maintain records of amounts received.
Financial aid. Summer earnings can affect eligibility for college financial aid. If you’re counting on financial aid, check out the earnings limit ahead of time.
Retirement saving. Consider encouraging your child to open a Roth IRA. Amounts invested in a Roth can grow tremendously due to tax-free compounding over many years. As an incentive, you might match any amounts your child is willing to save.