Financial Literacy for Everyone

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Starting a new job is exciting, but it also comes with a lot of important paperwork. It’s crucial not only to know what forms you will need to fill out, but exactly what those forms mean and what they are used for. Employment comes with its own set of tax forms that you’ll need to complete before you can start a job. Take each form one at a time to fully understand the information.

Filling Our Forms

Below are the most common employment forms:

W-4
The W-4 is used to evaluate an employee’s personal tax situation and calculate the correct amount of federal income tax that should be withheld from your pay. Your family size, home ownership, saving contributions and employment status factor into determining your contribution amount. You complete this form whenever you start a new job or experience a significant change in your personal or financial situation. W-4s are required for all employees, except for those who earn less than $800 per year. Recently, the IRS created an online withholding calculator to help you determine how much you owe.

W-2
The W-2 includes wages earned, federal and state taxes withheld and Social Security tax information that you submit to the IRS with your Form 1040 Individual Income Tax Return. Employers are required to provide their employees with W-2 information and the W-2 form by January 31st of each year and to submit a copy to the Social Security Administration by February 29th.

I-9
The I-9 is proof that you are legally eligible to work in the United States, required by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. As a U.S. citizen, you need to show proof with a passport or two other forms of ID. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you will need to prove that you are authorized to work in this country.

1099
Tax filers who are self-employed, a freelancer or an independent contractor still have to make contributions to federal funds, including Social Security and Medicare. A 1099 reports income that isn’t included in regular wages, salaries or tips. On top of freelance income, the 1099 must be filled out for interest, dividends, real estate proceeds, debt cancellation and more. There are nearly 20 types of 1099s, each for a unique kind of income. The 1099-MISC is used for independent contractors with an annual income greater than $600.

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