"Federal Taxes Not Being Withheld from Some of My Paychecks"

Updated on November 24, 2010
R.B. asks from Aliquippa, PA
15 answers

Hello mommies!!! I started a part time job at the end of March and just recently noticed that I have a total of 6 paychecks that do not have federal taxes withheld. Now, someone told me that if you do not make a lot of money, they do not take federal taxes out - which doesn't make any sense because the other checks have federal coming out. Why is this happening? Is this normal? What should I do to correct this and make sure I don't owe at the end of the year? Thanks in advance for your advice!!

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I think you should talk to payroll/HR regarding this. It sounds like you should have federal taxes witheld and you will need to pay it at tax time if not enough was taken out.

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answers from Louisville on

You are probably fine - just didn't make enough on those weeks to have any federal taxes withheld due to the number of exemptions you have claimed. Does your stub show you as Single or Married and the number of exemptions claimed? Mine does - and there have been times that no federal has been withheld on mine due to the number of exemptions and the amount of pay - and it did kinda make me take a second look! I went and looked up the tables and made sure it was all ok!

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answers from New York on

Are they taking out Social Security?

If yes then depending on your income level they might not take out federal witholding.

If they are not taking out either, make sure they are not treating you like an independant contractor, then you would be resposnible for paying the SS and any fed owed as well.

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answers from New York on

To clarify, you're reffering to federal withholding taxes (not FICA or Medicare).

Your employer is legally obligated to make deductions according to what you specified on your W4 form. So if your basically making the same amount each week, then your correct it would not make sense that some checks have withholding and others don't. However, if your gross pay changes from week to week, it makes perfect sense.

Depending on the type of computer system that is being used to issue the payroll checks, it may indicate your federal filing status on the stub - ie. M (married) 2 (allowances). Make sure that it agrees to what you indicated on your W4 form.

If you are claiming Married with 0 allowances you must earn at least $270 per week before your employer will begin withholding for federal income taxes. The more allowances you claim the higher the amount of pay before withholding begins.

Do you have a tax advisor or someone who prepares your income taxes? It might be a good idea to contact them to avoid any surprises at the end of the year.

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answers from Allentown on

Hi, R.:
Ask your employer these questions?
Good luck.

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answers from New York on

To get the maximum amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck, fill out your W4 as single with 0 dependent exemptions. It may be that you don't make enough money per check for federal taxes to be withheld but all those little checks will add up.

Simple fill out another W4, Single or Married but withholding at the higher single rate, and 0 for the dependant exemptions.

Ask your payroll when the cut off time is for this hitting your paycheck. All the best to you from an accountant.



answers from Philadelphia on

If you have a legit part time job then they should (is there anything else being with held? I remember when I was a kid with part time jobs, my taxes were always taken out. Talk to your boss, and if he doesn't know, talk to the people who issue the checks or higher mgmt. You don't want to be stuck at tax time forking money out of your pocket that you thought you didn't owe. You should have Federal, State and Social Security and usually Medicare too (I know I had that held). So if one is missing, it would be a red flag to me. Until you get this resolved, put aside 25-30% of your check for taxes.


answers from Oklahoma City on

just check with hr but dont' worry too much about it, there is a possibility you've paid too much and there fore making up for it by not paying it now. (why you get refund's at the end of the year-if you do)



answers from Lancaster on

I forget the exact amount, but you have to make about $250.00 before any taxes come out. If you are worried you can always change your W4, or request a flat amount taken out (like %5 a paycheck)


answers from Minneapolis on

I wouldn't be too alarmed though check in with HR just to be sure.

The IRS describes fed tax as a "pay-as- you-go tax". They help you pay for your annual federal tax liability by withholding an "approximate" amount each pay period. This is so much easier for most Americans to stomach than getting a huge fed tax bill at the end of the year would be.

The IRS further says that "If your income is low enough that you will not have to pay income tax for the year, you may be exempt from withholding." So they may look at your paycheck and guess that if this is how much you will regularly make every payroll, you PROBABLY won't surpass minimum income requirements this year. I have no idea what 2010's min income level is.



answers from Green Bay on

Hi R.,

I would definitely check with your HR person to make sure they have you set up correctly in their payroll system - with the correct number of deductions that you chose when you filled out paperwork. However, I have processed paychecks for employees that, depending on the amount, also did not have any federal taxes withheld. I found it puzzling at first, but it is correct, just the way the system works. I would not be surprised, since you are part time, that some of your paychecks don't have any federal taxes. If you are not receiving a fixed amount each pay period, the payroll system is evening out the taxes here and there so at the end of the year it should be about right.



answers from Harrisburg on

There are always fed taxes taken out, even if it's a matter of cents. You must go to your boss and let them know immediately. It's up to them to take it out, unless it's a unique situation. I don't know what kind of job you have but generally your employer takes taxes out for you as per your W-4 request for exemptions. I don't know how many people are in your family but a general rule of thumb is whatever your total amount in your family is request one more less on your W-4 to get the most in each check but still not have to owe. For example, we have a family of 6 but my husband claims 5 at work. We get less taken out each pay but not so much that we'll owe. (but with 4 kids we don't ever owe, lol)

In order to fix this error, you can either wait until tax time and the amount will be adjusted in your refund, which is fine if you usually get a hefty refund back each year. Otherwise, you'll need to have your boss adjust this error by calculating what should have been taken out and take it out of your check now, but you will be shorted to make this up.

Talk to your boss and see how this can be taken care of to make up what was missed, but immediately make sure they start taking out taxes NOW.

K. B
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answers from Wichita on

check with your HR person ASAP, and in the mean time, save some of your paychecks for tax season. You may not end up owing, but I'd rather have that extra just in case.



answers from Tulsa on

I would RUN to the office and make sure they have all your withholdings including 1 for self, 1 for each child. Then I would show them the paystubs.
My boss ended up costing me $900 in penalties and interest for not paying on time!



answers from Houston on

They might have you as a 'statutory' employee. If they do, you are a contractor employee. Its hard to explain. You're not a contractor, but not an 'employee'- somewhere in the middle. The way the taxes are pulled is different for statutory employees. You can look it up on www.irs.gov

Just want to add- we own a couple of business, and I've written checks as small as $10 and it always pulls something for FW. The only time it did not was for a statutory employee we had. Her checks had to reach a certain amount before it would pull FW.

When I set up our payroll system each year, it goes by percentages for FW, with no minimum or maximum amount.

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