Working more than one job can help maximize income, but also potentially create a tax surprise. Here are several to be aware of:
- Social Security Surprise: As a full-time employee, the most you’ll have to pay in Social Security taxes in 2023 is $9,932. The problem is each employer you work for will withhold Social Security taxes up to this threshold.
Example: Jane Smith works two jobs. Employer #1 has withheld $6,000 in Social Security taxes so far in 2023, while Employer #2 has withheld $4,000. Jane has already paid more than the annual limit of $9,932 in Social Security taxes for 2023. Jane will get back the excess Social Security taxes, but she’ll need to wait until she files her 2023 tax return in 2024.
What you can do: Work as a contractor for your second job. You’ll be responsible for paying your own income, Social Security and Medicare taxes, but you’ll be able to manage Social Security taxes to avoid overpayment.
- Phaseout Surprise: As your income increases, the number of deductions and tax credits available to you will get smaller as benefit phaseout limits are reached.
Example: The Child Tax Credit provides a $2,000 tax credit for each qualifying child. You don’t qualify for this credit, however, if you file a joint tax return with taxable income above $440,000, or are single and file a return with taxable income above $240,000.
What you can do: Certain deductions and adjustments can help decrease taxable income below a phaseout’s limit. This will potentially allow you to still take advantage of a tax break, such as the Child Tax Credit.
- Benefits Surprise: Every retirement and medical account limits how much you can contribute annually. If you exceed these limits, you may have to pay taxes twice on the same income.
Example: The 401(k) contribution limit in 2023 is $22,500. You inadvertently contribute $27,500. The first $22,500 of contributions won’t be taxed until you start making withdrawals after you retire. The excess $5,000 contribution could be taxed twice – you must include the $5,000 as taxable income on your 2023 tax return; you’ll also pay taxes on that $5,000 when you withdraw it from your 401(k) after you retire.
What you can do: Correct any over-contribution before filing that year’s tax return. Up-to-date record keeping throughout the year can alert you to when you’re close to the annual contribution limit.
- Estimated Tax Surprise: If your extra job is a contract position, you’ll receive a Form 1099 summarizing how much you billed a particular client in all of 2023. If this is the first time receiving a 1099, you may be surprised to learn that you’re responsible for making all tax payments to the IRS. If you are making a net profit, tax payments for 2023 will need to be made in September and January 2024.
What you can do: Estimated tax payments can sometimes be rather large, especially if you’re making a decent amount of money, so keep good bookkeeping records so you can budget for these payments.
Please call if you have questions about these or any other job-related tax topics.