How can my employer charge me taxes when I didn't fill out any form (like W2, W4, or W9)?
**UPDATE** After my answer was viewed over 4,100 times without a single upvote, I revisited it to see where I might have gone wrong with it. Honestly, it seems like a reasonable answer: I explained what each of the forms asked about is for and even suggested getting further information from a licensed tax preparer. BUT, I’m thinking I missed the underlying concern of the querent with my answer. Now I’m reading that they don’t care so much about the forms as they do about the right or, more accurately, the obligation of their employer to withhold taxes at all.So let me revise my answer a bit…Your employer doesn’t charge you taxes - the government does. The government forces employers to withhold (or charge, as you put it) taxes from the earnings of their employees by threatening fines and even jail time for failing to do so (or for reclassifying them as independent contractors in order to avoid the withholding and matching requirements). Whether you fill out any forms or not, employers will withhold taxes because they don’t want to be fined or go to jail.Now the meta-question in the question is how can the government tax its citizen’s income? Well, that’s a big debate in America. Tax is the only way governments make money and they use that money to provide services for their constituency. Without funding, no federal or state or county program, or employee, would exist. But still, some people believe taxation is illegal, unjustified, and flat out wrong. They believe that free market forces should fund the military, the Coast Guard, Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Border Patrol, the FBI, CIA, DEA, FDA, USDA, USPS, the Federal Prison Complex, the National Park Service, the Interstate Highway System, air traffic control, and the Judiciary (just to name a few things). They even believe paying politicians for the work they do, like the President and Congress, is wrong.Others (luckily, most of us) appreciate paying taxes, even if they seem a bit steep at times. We’re happy to benefit from all the things our tax dollars buy us and we feel what we pay gives us back returns far greater than our investment. If you’re on the fence about this issue, consider how expensive health care is and how much you’re getting out of paying for it privately (out of your own paycheck). Same with your education or that of your children. Do you pay for private schools? Private colleges? Do you pay for private child care too? All expensive, right?Well what if we had to pay for private fire fighting? Or all mail had to be shipped via FedEx or UPS? Or if the cost of a plane ticket to anywhere doubled because we had to pay out-of-pocket for air traffic control? What about the military, border control and veterans? How much are you willing to pay out of every paycheck DIRECTLY to the department of defense AND veterans affairs? If we privatized the military, would we still be able to afford $30 billion dollar fighter jets? Who would pay to defend us?I bet people living paycheck to paycheck would be hard pressed to find extra money to pay for the military, when they’re already spending so much for teachers, schools, health care, local emergency response, food safety inspections, social workers, the criminal justice system, road repairs and construction, bridge inspection and maintenance, and natural disaster remediation (just to name a few things).Think about if all the national and local parks were privatized. Visiting one would cost as much or more than it does to go to Disneyland. Think about how much more food would cost if farmers weren’t subsidized and food wasn’t inspected for safety. Imagine how devastating a pandemic would be without the Center for Disease Control to monitor and mitigate illness outbreaks.We all take for granted the myriad of benefits we get from paying taxes. We may like to gripe and moan but taxes aren’t just for the public good, they’re for our own. (That rhymes!)**END OF UPDATE**W-9 forms are what you fill out to verify your identification, or citizenship status, for your employers. They have nothing to do with payroll taxes other than being the primary tool to from which to glean the correct spelling of your name and your Social Security number.W-2 forms are issued by employers to employees for whom they paid the required payroll taxes to the government on their behalf. The W-2 also details the amount of a person’s pay was sent to the government to fund their Social Security and Medicare accounts. W-2 forms are necessary for people when filing their personal income taxes so they can calculate if they under or overpaid.W-4 forms are filled out by employees to assure that the appropriate amount of pay is being withheld (and transferred on their behalf) by their employers to the government. If you don’t fill out a W-4 then your employer withholds the standard default amount for a single individual. You can update your W-4 at any time with your employer and you may want to when the size of your household changes.Even if you aren’t an employee (like you get paid without taxes being withheld for you) and are issued a 1099-MISC form instead of a W-2, you’re STILL responsible for paying your taxes as you earn that money - in no greater than quarterly installments. If you go over three months without paying taxes when you’re making money - whether your employer is withholding it and paying it on your behalf or you just made the money and no one took any taxes out for you - you’ll be fined and charged interest on your late tax payments.Talk with a licensed tax preparer and they can help you better understand what it all means. Good luck and happy tax season!