Question

I need to know how much can a child earn before paying taxes. How much interest income can my dependent child earn before being required to file a return and pay investment income taxes?

Answer

Either your child must file his/her own investment income taxes or you must report your child’s income on your own return if your child’s income totals more than $2,100 from these:

  • Interest
  • Dividends — including Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
  • Capital-gain distributions
  • Other investment income

Use Form 8615 to figure the tax on your child’s investment income.

How much can a child earn before paying taxes — your child’s investment income might be more than $2,100 and less than $10,500. If so, you can choose to include the income on your return. You’ll use Form 8814, and your child won’t need to file a return.

If your child has other types of income, you must file a return for the child. You can’t report the income on your return. Other income includes earned income or capital gains / losses from stock sales.

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