Many parents come into our office asking if their working teenager is required to file taxes. This can be especially confusing since the child is typically their dependent. It also begs a few questions: When does my child have to file their own taxes? If they do, can I still claim them as a dependent?
There are a few guidelines you can use to determine if your teenager has to file their own taxes AND if they can still be claimed as a dependent on your tax return. In most typical scenarios, your child needs to file if they:
- Paid any federal taxes (box 2 of W-2 Form)
- Have earned income more than $6350
- Have unearned income more than $1050
- Meet other IRS filing requirements
Your child can be claimed as your dependent even if they file their own return in typical scenarios if: