Consulant, Education, Confused :(
- From: alanthing@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: 17 Jan 2006 14:12:04 -0800
Hello everyone. I just want to start off by saying how frustrating the
IRS website makes me. Since I got my job in April I've never been sure
on what I'm supposed to do for taxes and I don't know where to look.
This will be better explained by listing all of the variables involved.
I'm young (21) and this is the first year that my taxes have been more
than one or two W-2s.
1. From January to March I worked in retail and I'll get a W-2. I was
taxed normally (by "normal" I mean as I have since my first job as a
14-year old) by having Federal and State Income taxes taken out of my
paychecks along with my share of Social Security and Medicare.
2a. From April to December (present, really), I've been working
part-time while going to school for an IT Contractor. Because of my
flexibility, they brought me on with a sub-contractor and made me a
"consultant." I was alarmed when my first paycheck was wage-only
because I had never heard of such a thing. Back then all I was able to
find out, by using Google, was that I have to take care of my own taxes
and that normal employers pay half of Social Sec. and Medicare so I
would have to cover that now. From using my retail job statements, I
doubled the percentages for SS and MC (FICA) and along with Fed./State
Income tax, I figured that I would have to pay 23% of my paycheck for
2b. I read online today and some random company's FAQ website about
1099 forms (which I discovered today) and that I should have been
paying my taxes quarterly or at some frequency, not once a year, and
that there's probably a penalty involved if you don't. Super.
3. I received a statement in the mail last week from my community
college that showed how much I had paid for tuition and that I might be
able to use that as a deduction in my taxes.
4. I donated to four charitable groups in 2005. I have donated in prior
years but was told by my father that it wasn't enough to made a
difference in my taxes. But with my new complexities on my new job, it
5. Since April, I've been taking a commuter train to Washington DC,
costing me about $15 per day. I've saved all of my receipts since
August, and I have bank statements for the previous months that could
show every payment (since I use my check card) for a train ticket. I
never thought about it, but a friend of mine mentioned to me yesterday
that I might be able to use that as a work-related expense or deduction
of some sort.
Taxes are complicated, and there don't seem to be many free places to
look for help. I'm hoping there are some kind people out there that
might be able to give me some sort of advice on what to do. If not, I'm
probably just going to get my 1099, W-2, tution form, and applicable
receipts and head into an H&R Block.
If at least, can someone tell me about how I should be paying my taxes
quarterly? I have no clue what to do with any of that!
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