Teens Paying Taxes

Teens Paying Taxes

April 15 is the day that individual income tax returns are due to the federal government and it is less than two weeks away.  As children, many students have never had to worry about taxes.  Taxes have always been an “adult thing” to worry about. 

However, now that many senior-high-schoolers are getting jobs and becoming adults themselves, these students have to dread tax day just like everyone else. 

Filing taxes as an 18-year-old can be a daunting task.  There are many options to assist one in filing taxes to make the process go faster and to get as big of a rebate as possible.  These options include hiring an individual financial specialist to help file, using a corporation that specializes in tax preparation, such as H&R Block, or using tax preparation software like TurboTax.

The reason that the government collects taxes in the first place escapes many students who can only see that their money is taken away.  However, for students who work for minimum wages, every penny counts.

Dustin Hall is among the students who are upset about his first experience with taxes.  “I work at Hollister all year and WalMart over the summer,” said the senior, “WalMart did my W2’s for me but Hollister did not.  After my returns from WalMart, I still owe the government almost 200 dollars.”

Andrew McCarty and Jake Leyland who work at Old Navy and Idewild respectively, were also both disappointed with the amount they had to give.  “It just sucks,” said McCarty, “I know it’s for an overall good, it just seems like a lot to take.”

“Yeah I feel the same way” Leyland piggybacked, “it is a shame that about nine of the hours worth of money I worked for is gone.  That’s a lot for a student.”

Considering that high school students that have their days jam-packed with homework, sports, and other after-school activities including work, they have very little time to enjoy themselves.  Working on limited schedules for minimum wage means that money is precious.  For students that have to pay for gas and car insurance, the money is even more precious.

Brianna Ridilla, who works at Justice, is upset that a lot of the money that she needs is being taken.  “I hate taxes,” said Ridilla, “I only earn a little money for myself already, but [taxes] make me feel like I am just working to break even.”

Personally, I had an interesting experience for my first time filing taxes; even though I was not even directly involved with it.  My parents have always hired a family friend to help them with their tax returns.  When they told me that he would just extend the courtesy to me, I thought that it was convenient.  Little did I know that he was charging me $85 for the service.  The bad part was that he could only get me $13 back.  This meant that I actually ended up $72 in the hole.

It definitely is not fun to lose so much of the money that I earned, but I understand that giving the money to the government is like putting down a deposit on my future health and safety.

Hopefully filing taxes will get easier for all of us as we become accustomed to doing so and as we begin to accept the idea that the money that the government takes is put to the greater good.  However, for the time being, it is clear that most students that have to file taxes are upset about the amount that they owe.