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I'm trying to understand child tax filing requirements. If my child made $5,000 last year, does he have to file -- Do children have to pay taxes?

To answer your question: do children have to pay taxes, the answer is no if your child's only income for the tax year is $5,000 in wages. However, your child might want to file to get a refund of taxes withheld from wages.

Child tax filing requirements dictate that your child is required to file if your child meets one of these requirements:

  • Unearned income more than $1,000
  • Earned income more than $6,300
  • Gross income more than the larger of:
    • $1,000
    • Earned income up to $5,950 plus $350
  • A married dependent with a spouse who itemizes deductions on a separate return is required to file with $5 of income.

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So how much will you get (or owe) this year? That’s the million-dollar question. We happen to have three very useful calculators to help you estimate your refund or balance due.

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