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Saving you from the IRS: Taxes broken down

By Samantha Quinones

It’s Tax Day and everyone’s freaking out. Ok, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but taxes can be scary, especially if you’ve never filed them before. So, if you’re a teen or young adult making over $13,850 a year, we got you covered.

What exactly are taxes?

Taxes are mandatory payments that your government collects and uses to cover government services, activities, and goods. They use this money to fund lots of things for the country, such as infrastructure.

How do you file your taxes?

There are lots of forms you can file your taxes in, and many different ways to do it. We’ll break down a few:

  1. If you E-file, you can receive your tax refund faster. There are multiple ways to do this, but the easiest is to use IRS fillable forms, which are online tax forms that you fill out like you would fill out a physical form.

  2. You can receive help from a tax professional. This one is a little harder and time-consuming, considering you have to find someone affordable but good. Having someone who files your taxes for you is quite helpful once you’ve found the right person.

  3. W-2s. W-2s are the IRS’s way of finding out how much money you make and the taxes held within that income. While they seem to be straightforward, they can be a little confusing, so having a parent or guardian on hand can be helpful. W-2s are meant to help employees when filing their tax returns, so this is exactly what you will use yours for. 


Seeing as this is a quick-read article, providing every piece of information on something like taxes can be quite difficult, so we have lots of recommended readings to help you along:

Investopedia is a personal favorite. They break down everything in simple terms and provide lots of helpful information. The IRS also provides helpful information, although it might be more difficult to understand.

How to maximize your tax return

W4 withholdings

How to file your taxes

When to file your taxes

Where to file your taxes


For Dummies has simplified but small breakdowns on tax cheat codes (and no we do not mean ways to commit tax evasion). The article we recommend you read from them is this:

If you’re making less than $13,850 as a teen, there will still be money taken out.

You’ve successfully learned how to pay your taxes. Now you can breathe without worrying about the IRS banging down your door!


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