Question

I had no federal tax withheld from my pay. Why would my employer not take federal withholding taxes out of my paycheck?

Answer

It is hard to say why you had no federal tax withheld from your pay. The best way to find out is to ask your employer.

Here are some possible reasons:

  • If you are considered an independent contractor there would be no federal tax withheld from your pay. In fact, your employer would not withhold any tax at all. 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 need to file a Schedule C to report the income and any expenses related to that income.
    • You’ll also need to file a Schedule SE to report and pay your Medicare and Social Security tax.
  • You might have claimed on your W-4 to be exempt from withholding. You must meet certain requirements to be exempt from withholding. You should check with your HR 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.

Related Topics

Related Resources

Filing Taxes After Moving to Another State

If you moved in the last tax year, you’ll have additional considerations when filing your taxes. Let H&R Block help you file after moving to another state.

File Taxes From Previous Years

Learn more about filing taxes from previous years with advice from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Claiming Child And Dependent Care Credits

Can you claim expenses for a disabled adult dependent? Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Mortgage Interest Deduction & Unmarried Couples

Learn more about deducting mortgage interest if you are unmarried with advice from the tax experts at H&R Block.