Question

Does my child need to file taxes if he or she earns income — Is filing a separate child income tax return necessary?

Answer

Regarding tax returns for a child, how much the child earned from what activities will determine if your child needs to file taxes. Don’t worry — we’ll help you figure out what you and your child need to do.

If your child or dependent is under age 65, a tax return for your child is necessary if one of these applies to their income:

  • Unearned income more than $1,100
  • Earned income more than $12,200
  • Gross income more than the larger of these:
    • $1,100
    • Earned income (up to $11,850) plus $350

You might ask: “Does my child need to file taxes if they’re blind?” Well, if your child or dependent is age 65 or older or blind, the filing requirement will be the above amounts plus these amounts:

  • $1,650 if filing single
  • $1,300 if one of these:
  • Married filing jointly
  • Married filing separately
  • Qualifying widow(er)

Even if your dependent doesn’t have to file a return, they could still file to get a refund of wage withholding.

What’s Earned Income for a Child Filing Taxes?

Earned income is usually:

  • Wages
  • Salaries
  • Professional fees
  • Other compensation for personal services

If you still need help, an H&R Block tax pro can go into more detail how and when your child has to file a tax return.

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