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Does my child have to file a tax return? Here’s what you need to know

FILE – This Feb. 13, 2019, file photo shows several forms printed from the Internal Revenue Service webpage that are used for 2018 U.S. federal income tax returns in Zelienople, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

(NEXSTAR) – With tax season approaching, there’s been a lot of talk about the Child Tax Credit and the impact it will have on your tax return. Although your dependent children can help you with your tax refund, you can also help them get a refund.

If you have a child who is under 19 for the entire tax year (or 24 if a full-time student), you can claim them as a dependent if they have lived with you for more half of 2021 and you provide more than half of their financial support. (Those who cannot be claimed as a dependent will have the same tax reporting obligations as any other adult.)

Dependent children who were employed in 2021 may still have to file their own taxes, even if you can claim them. If he earned $12,550 in income, your child will have to file a tax return, according to Marc Stebertax information manager for Jackson Hewitt Tax Services.

“If they had a job – big job, small job, new job, whatever – if there were tax deductions, they can’t get that money back unless they file a tax return,” Steber told Nextstar. “And so if your kid worked over the summer and made $1,000 or $5,000 or whatever the number, chances are they had a tax deduction and that that deduction tax authorities, federal and state, can’t get that money back unless they file a tax return.”

The same goes for all of your dependents who are in college, says Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA and tax expert at TurboTax.

“Every year, [the IRS] brings in over $1 billion in unclaimed refunds and much of it belongs to students who don’t think they should file,” she explains.

If your child receives income from sources other than employment, such as interest, dividends, and other unearned income, the filing rules change. When the total of this income that your child received in 2021 exceeds $2,200, he may be subject to a specific tax, depending on the IRS.

If the only income your child had in 2021 is interest and dividend income, and the total is less than $11,000, you may be able to include that income on your return rather than filing a separate return. .

Ultimately, if you’re unsure whether your child should file their own return, Steber and Greene-Lewis suggest talking to a tax professional.