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Unfortunately, if no taxes were withheld from her pay she cannot get a refund. She will not owe any income taxes to the federal government as her standard deduction will leave her with no taxable income, however, as an independent contractor, she would be responsible for the self-employment tax which is the Social Security and Medicare tax for non-employees. At a minimum she would need to file Form 1040 and Schedule SE with it and she should report her earnings on line 21 as other income. If she expenses for her work to report, she can file Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ and report the $2500 as gross proceeds. As her income is below $16,256, she does not need to file a California tax return or pay any California income tax.
You can find Form 1040 here https://www.irs.gov/uac/about-form-1040, Schedule SE here: https://www.irs.gov/uac/about-schedule-se-form-1040, and Schedule C-EZ here: https://www.irs.gov/uac/schedule-c-ez-form-1040-net-profit-from-business.
I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if I can clarify anything or answers any additional questions.
Since her work was done in 2016 she would not have to report it until she files her 2016 tax return which will not be due until April 15, 2017. She can pay the entire balance with the return and she would not owe any estimated tax penalty as long as her prior year income tax was zero or if her total tax is less than $1000. The self-employment tax rate is 15.3% so she will fall under that exception if the $2500 is her only income.