What is the tax rate for a 16-year-old who works for $10 per hour? How much would be taken off of their paycheck?

  • 2
    It's mainly the total amount you make per year. Making $10 per hour full time for 52 weeks you'll pay more than making $10 per hour, 20 hours per week, for 12 weeks over the summer.
    – The Photon
    Sep 8, 2019 at 3:13
  • 4
    Your age has very little to do with it. It only matters if you're being claimed as a dependent on your parents' tax return.
    – jamesqf
    Sep 8, 2019 at 4:48

2 Answers 2


There are two actual questions here:

  1. what will be withheld?
  2. what will happen in April 2020 when they file their taxes?

Age is not important unless they are over age 65, or if you are trying to determine if the 16 year old is a dependent.

This only addresses federal taxes, some states and even cities have income taxes.

The tax tables that are used have no memory. They treat all employees as if they will make exactly that amount of money each pay period, and they will work all the pay periods during the year.

For a person who doesn't work consistent hours, or one who will only work a large number of hours in the summer and hardly any in the school year, they can have weeks where too little tax is withheld, and others where too much.

There are online tools that will let you know how much will be taken for Federal, State and local income taxes, Social security and Medicare. Some can even factor items such as 401K, health insurance...

Part of determining the first question is knowing what is entered onto the W-4. For young people a important feature of the W-4 is the option to claim that your are exempt for withholding.

I claim exemption from withholding for 2019, and I certify that I meet both of the following conditions for exemption.
• Last year I had a right to a refund of all federal income tax withheld because I had no tax liability, and
• This year I expect a refund of all federal income tax withheld because I expect to have no tax liability

If this option is used then zero will be withheld for federal taxes. The state version of the W-4 may have a similar wording.

If the total income would be below the threshold to file, then use the exempt option. This avoids the issue of having to file a tax return in the spring, just to get withholding returned when there was zero chance of actually having to pay income taxes. In the spring of 2019 for 2018 income the threshold to file was $12,000 of earned income for a single person. If they were below this number they wouldn't be required to file.

Most tax software packages will allow you to do a what-if analysis to estimate what your taxes will be.


It depends on how many hours per week you work.

The ADP Hourly Payroll Calculator will give a good estimate of what a paycheck will look like. Disclaimer: I don't work for or represent ADP in any way, shape or manner.

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