Does Your Kid Owe Taxes?

Does Your Kid Owe Taxes?

by LegalZoom Staff, December 2009

How early should kids learn about paying taxes? Chances are, it's sooner than you think.

Even if your child is a "dependent" (under the age of 19 or a full-time student under the age of 24, receiving more than half of his or her support from a parent), he or she any be required to file a tax return if:

  • Your child's income is in excess of the basic standard deduction ($4,400 in 2000)

  • OR

  • Your child's "unearned" income (i.e., from trusts or family partnerships) in excess of $700.

If your child is under 14, you can save the trouble of a second tax return by including his or her income on your tax return, if:

  • Your child's income is less than $7,000,

  • OR

  • Your child's income is more than $7,000, but all of it is from interest and dividends,

  • AND

  • Your child had no taxes withheld or made no estimated payments during the year and did not received a refund on a previous year's return.

Want to teach your kids about taxes? Direct them to the Internal Revenue Service's new online magazine for kids, TAXi (Tax Interactive) at: