Question

I have a question about tax returns for children. If my child earned income and received a W-2, do we need to file a dependent tax return?

Answer

Regarding tax returns for children, your dependent child’s earned income doesn’t go on your return and you can still claim your child as a dependent if the other dependency rules apply. Your child must file his or her own dependent tax return as a dependent to claim his or her own W-2 income if:

  • Your child meets the filing requirements.
  • Your child had income tax withholding and is due a refund.

Your dependent child is required to file a dependent tax return if his or her income is more than the standard deduction allowed for dependents:

  • The dependent’s earned income is more than $12,000 — standard deduction for a single filer.
  • The dependent’s unearned income (e.g. investment) is more than $1,050.
  • The dependent’s gross income is more than the greater of:
    • $1,050
    • His or her earned income (up to $5,950) plus $350

 

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