2011 Income Requirements for Teenagers:
- Earned income is greater than $5,800. This includes the money your teen earns at a part time job.
- Unearned income is greater than $950. This includes the dividends and interest on savings accounts or investments.
- Self employment net earnings are greater than $400.
- Earned and unearned total income is greater than the larger of $950 or earned income plus $300.
How to File a Tax Return for a Teenager:
- Attach to parent's return if teen doesn't have a job. If your teenager is under age 19 (or a full time student under 24), and the teen's income is less than $9,500 and only from interest and dividends, it can be attached to the parent's return using Form 8814. If there is any income from a part time job, you cannot attach your teen's tax return to your tax return. While this method is an easy way to file the tax return, it can however, result in higher taxes on qualified dividends or capital gains.
- Complete individual teen tax return. If the requirements are not met to attach it to the parent's return, or you want to ensure lower taxes, the teen should file her own return. Your teen can file a simple return for free at CompleteTax.
Kiddie Tax for Teens:
Teaching Teens About Taxes:
Other Filing Requirements for Teens:
Optional Teen Tax Filing:
Even if your teen is not required to file a tax return, she can choose to file one. She may want to do this if she had withholding from a part-time job and wants to get a refund.
Once you determine that your teenagers will need to file a tax return, you can use CompleteTax to file a free teen tax return.