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Understanding pay and benefits
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At the end of the year, how much of your unused healthcare FSA is refunded?


They won’t refund any of your unused FSA, so make sure to calculate your contribution carefully and not leave anything on the table.

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Which of these are mandatory deductions?


In addition to federal income tax, state income tax (if applicable) and Social Security tax.

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Key Takeaways

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  • Remember that there’s more to what you make than just your salary—benefits like health insurance, retirement contributions and  tuition reimbursement can be a big part of what an employer is offering
  • Estimate your itemized and standard deductions, and use the larger of the two
  • If you qualify as self-employed, you may need to pay your taxes quarterly. Check out Form 1040-ES to help you estimate what you owe
  • As a part-time or independent contractor, your employer likely won’t withhold taxes from your paycheck. Also, you’re responsible for both the employer and employee portions of Social Security and Medicare tax
  • Be sure to include transportation costs like parking and your subway pass as part of your pre-tax deductions if your employer offers that benefit. It will be automatically deducted from your paycheck
  • Research how the marriage penalty may affect you and plan ahead for any extra cost
  • Life events can greatly change your tax bill. For example, having a child means your taxable income may be reduced by dependent exemptions and child care credits. Receiving alimony means taxable income will likely increase