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Why didn't my employer take any federal withholding taxes out of my paycheck?

The best way to find out is to ask your employer.

Here are some possible reasons:

  • You might be considered an independent contractor and won’t have taxes withheld for you. If this is the case, you probably received a Form 1099-MISC instead of a W-2 to report your wages. No Medicare or Social Security would have been withheld either. You’ll then need to file a Schedule SE to report and pay your Medicare and Social Security tax.
  • You might have claimed on your W-4 form to be exempt from withholding. You must meet certain requirements to be exempt from withholding. You should check with your human resources department to make sure you have the correct amount withheld.
  • Your employer might have withheld taxes but gave you an incorrect W-2. If this is true, your employer must issue you a corrected W-2.
  • Your employer might have just made a mistake. If your employer didn't withhold the correct amount of federal tax, contact your employer to have the correct amount withheld for the future. When you file your return, you'll owe the amounts your employer should have withheld during the year as unpaid taxes.

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