I'm in my final semester at school and I've been working in a restaurant this past for a little extra cash so I can actually afford fresh food and maybe get to go out on weekends. I've been making probably around $50 cash a week (except during the summers, where I didn't work at the restaurant and volunteered elsewhere).
Tax season is right here and I've realized that it was a stupid decision to take an under the table job. I want to stay squeaky clean for my future job search, and even though I know I don't make anywhere near enough to be taxed federally, I probably owe the state and municipality. I certainly don't want any trouble with the IRS.
What steps should I take to file some form of taxes? I really don't have any records (hindsight says I should have), shift work in the restaurant business means I get called in and cut so my hours are anything but consistent week to week. Do I need to communicate with my employer about the matter? After tax day, I'll only work for the man another two weeks.
If anyone could point me in the right direction as to what to do, I would very much appreciate it.
Here's the thing: Paying under the table is illegal. Your employer should be paying federal, state, and local taxes on your wages (payroll taxes and some others), while you should be paying federal PAYROLL taxes, but likely not federal INCOME taxes. And I don't think there's a place for back payroll taxes on 1040s.
A quick google search for "payroll taxes not withheld" shows that, yes, you should talk to your employer to get above the table. Your employer will have to pay interest and penalties on the payroll taxes he should have been withholding, and you may owe something, too. But presumably there's a reason beyond convenience you're under the table, and asking could get you fired. That doesn't sound like a huge deal, but it's not ideal.
If I were you, I'd file for an extension, round off my time with this job, report the employer to every tax and workers' rights organization you can think of, and file my 1040 based on estimated income. Well, 1040EZ.
Universities often have ombudsmen - basically a lawyer on staff to help with students' legal problems. Talk to the office of the dean of student affairs.
Be aware, that if you made too little to pay income taxes, and even if you made enough, but less than $100k, it's very unlikely the IRS would ever find out anything about this tiny job, unless someone reports the situation, or $10k changed hands in 1 transaction.
If it's under the table, the IRS doesn't know anything about it. You'd have quite literally nothing to gain by alerting them.
You're also not the first kid to do this. I'm surprised the thought even crossed your mind.
Some people are just honest that way. Some people like to always claim the moral high ground. My parents had me declare income from a cash-paying baby-sitting job when I was 18 or 19, so I could tell all my own future baby-sitters, when I was in their position, I paid my taxes. [It was full-time for about 3 weeks, so bigger money than $40 for an evening, but nothing the IRS would actually have found out about, unless the family claimed the expense on their returns...
I'm at a loss for words. That's downright absurd.
Can't you call yourself a contractor, report the income as such, and thereby have whatever taxes apply levied? irs.gov would likely know.
He's not a waiter. He's a food service analyst.
The IRS does not have the best website. I put "payroll" into its search feature for individuals and got 0.
The problem with that route is that it's not the income taxes at issue. He doesn't make enough to owe income taxes, which is what your idea deals with. It's the payroll taxes. If he files as self-employed, he both overpays and continues the lie. Tax returns are submitted under penalty of perjury.
He wouldn't meet the requirements to call himself a contractor.
1099-misc? (edit - nevermind, the payee would have to send that in, and provide you with a copy)
TBH in your position I wouldn't worry about it (I know not the right legal answer). I'd watch out for it in the future.