Whether it is a temporary summer job or full time employment, minors will need to fill out a Form W-4. The question arises: are minors exempt?
The query of a minor being exempt from withholding taxes is often met with uncertainty. This might be because minors, depending on jurisdictions, are generally under 18. Therefore, minors can’t vote, join the military, and are not considered an “adult” among their peers. Whatever the reason may be, the fact remains taxes are based off of salary and income, not age.
Although minors might not make enough money to be required to pay federal income taxes, they will still need to fill out a Form W-4. Generally, if a minor’s income does not exceed the standard deduction he or she will not be required to file a tax return. If the above scenario is true, then the minor can check the box on Form W-4 that classifies he or she as exempt from withholding. However, if a minor has a total income greater than $1,050 and greater than $350 of unearned income, such as interest and dividends, and is claimed a dependent on another individual’s W-4, he or she can’t claim exempt from withholding tax.
So, when it comes to minors and Form W-4, make sure to keep in mind the estimated income and dependent status; they both are important in deciding whether or not a minor is exempt.