By Whitney Black
Teenagers tend to be very confident until you bring up the word “taxes.”
Many employed teens are confused on the concept of taxes.
Taxes are used to fund public services like roads, schools, and more. Many people wonder why we are required to pay taxes. In the United States Constitution, the 16th Amendment allows the federal government to charge an income tax.
Filing taxes can be easy, however, it may be confusing or difficult for some people.
History and economics teacher Casey Moeller described the process of filing taxes.
“The IRS has forms that you complete to file your taxes. You have some options for how to file them. You can print off the forms and mail them in or you can file electronically. There may be some fees attached depending on what software you use or company you have complete your tax returns,” Moeller said.
One of the first steps in filing taxes is getting your W2. You receive your W2 from your current workplace and any other places you have been employed at in the past 12 months.
“W2s are the forms that an employer must give you that summarizes how much they took out and paid the different levels of government on your behalf. What is listed on the W2 should also agree with the year to date totals on your last paystub,” Moeller said.
Junior Halana Coffman has filed taxes before, but was confused.
“I struggled the most with trying to figure out how to fill it out. We should definitely learn how to do them in school,” Coffman said.
Geography and economics teacher Gerry Emerson discussed how filing taxes is taught briefly in Economics but could probably be taught more.
“We go over it a little bit in Economics and probably in some of the business classes but there is probably more we could do; there always seems like there is something we could add to it,” Emerson said.
After someone files their taxes, they receive a tax return in a few weeks. However, not everyone receives one and some people may owe money if not enough tax was withheld.
According to turbotax.inuit.com, a tax return is the amount of money you over-pay in taxes throughout the year. This means that you will receive money back based on how much you made and how much was taken out and that determines if you have “overpaid” any taxes.
Taxes this year are due by April 17. Having your taxes done is very important; if you do not do them, consequences like being jailed and some large penalties are possible. Anyone with a job or has had a job in the past year will receive their W2 and need their taxes filed.