A High School Graduate & A W-4

With recent high school graduates getting ready for the next stage in their lives, I’ve been asked the following question by a few parents: “My child always had a part-time job and we had him claim exempt because he wouldn’t earn more than $6,300.  But he is graduating this year and will be making more money now.  What should he claim for his exemption on his W-4?

Well, this all depends on if he is going to be able to claim himself, or if he will still qualify to be your dependent on the parent’s tax return.  Because he went to high school in the spring, and would still qualify as your dependent.  This means when he files for his taxes, he will not get the $4,050 exemption on his tax return.  I would suggest if the parents will claim him as a dependent, that he would file single and zero.  If he would be able to claim himself, because he’s living outside of your house, and is paying his own expenses, that the most he would want to claim is single and one.  Now keep in mind, this is a rough guess because I don’t have all the facts.  For more of an exact answer, give our office a call at 507-333-3973.  We’d be happy to help!