I had no taxes withheld from my pay. What do I need to file? Should I just pay independent contractor taxes?

If you had no taxes withheld, there are several difference scenarios to figure out what taxes you owe. However you will need to determine which applies to you:

  • You would not pay independent contractor taxes unless you are an independent contractor. In which case your employer wouldn't withhold taxes for you. Instead, you'll file Schedule C and Schedule SE. Enter the amounts you received for work as an independent contractor. Independent contractors usually need to make estimated tax payments throughout the year.
  • If you're an employee, your employer should withhold federal taxes. This depends on the allowances you claimed on your W-4. They should also withhold Medicare and Social Security (FICA) taxes:
    • If your employer didn't withhold the correct amount of federal tax, contact your employer and correct it. When you file your return, you'll owe the amounts your employer should have withheld during the year as unpaid taxes.
    • If your employer didn't withhold your FICA taxes correctly, ask that those amounts be withheld. Both you and your employer are responsible for the unpaid amounts.
  • If you were an employee but your employer is treating you as an independent contractor, you can file these:
    • Form SS-8: Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding
    • Form 8919: Uncollected Social Security and Medicare Tax on Wages

Ready to file?

You've got your forms. And we've got your back. There's only one thing left to do. Let's do this.


So how much will you get (or owe) this year? That’s the million-dollar question. We happen to have three very useful calculators to help you estimate your refund or balance due.

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