Teens work a variety of jobs for extra money, they may be employed in the family business, or have unearned income from interest or dividends. In 2022, any child that earned $1,150 or more in unearned income is required to file a return. Tax laws surrounding teens, their income, and the type of income are complex. If in doubt, it’s best to hire a tax professional.
Anyone earning $12,550 or more is required to file a federal tax return and that includes teens. A minor that earns $400 or more in wages or tips working full- or part-time must file a tax return. Even if the teen isn’t required to file a return, it’s a good idea to do so if the employer withheld federal income tax from earnings.
However, there are some important elements attached to the question of teen tax returns. It will depend on if the teen is 19 or younger, age 24 and a student, or permanently disabled. Another consideration is if the parent provided 50 percent or more of their support and how many months of the year the teen lived with their parent. If any of those situations apply, the teen may still qualify as a dependent.
A teen that qualifies as a dependent and has unearned income of more than $1,100 must file a return. However, if the teen only had unearned income, parents may be able to include that income on their own tax return. The disadvantage is that it might propel parents into a higher tax bracket.
Earned & Unearned
Teens that have both earned and unearned income, will need to file their own return if they have more than $1,100 of unearned income, over $12,550 in earned income, or if the combined total is the larger of $1,100 or earned income of up to $12,200 plus $350.
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