If your child only has earned income reported on a W-2 and the total isn't more than $5,350, then a return does not need to be filed. However, you'll want to file a return for a refund if there was any federal withholding, see Form W-2, box 2. If the total of earned income is over $5,350 a return must be filed.
Earned income includes wages and salaries on Forms W-2. If the child is self-employed, the Schedule C net income is included as earnings.
If the child received any 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, or 1099-B tax documents in addition to those W-2s, then unearned income was received and the rules does not apply.
- Written by Charles Sims Jr.