Does a Dependent Child Who Works & Made Over $3000 File Taxes?

by Richard Morgan, studioD

Tax laws are often confusing, especially when it comes to children and children who earned money. By examining the Internal Revenue Service guidelines, it is relatively easy to determine whether your child has to file a tax return. In some cases, even when a child makes enough money to file a tax return, there are conditions under which the child can be included on the parents' tax return.

Earned Income

A number of factors can cause a dependent child to have to file a tax return. If the child earned more than $5,700 in income, he has to fill out a tax return. Earned income comes from wages, as opposed to income from investments and properties.


If a child's unearned income exceeds $950 from dividends or interest payouts, he has to file a tax return. If a child has a fairly large savings account, he might have to file a tax return even if he didn’t actually work a single day of the tax period.


Your child has to file a tax return if he earned more than $400 being self-employed. For instance, he would owe taxes if he earned $500 over the summer mowing lawns. Money earned from babysitting should also be reported.

Parental Returns

If a child only earned money from interest and dividends and is under 19 years of age or is a full-time student under 25, he can be included on his parents' tax return.

About the Author

Richard Morgan is an experienced screenwriter, eBook author and screenwriting instructor. He started writing professionally in 1990 when his script for "Miss Mafiosa" was purchased by producer Michael Z. Gordon. His writings have appeared in "Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine," "Writer's Digest," "Creative Screenwriting," "Dog Fancy" and "Business Week." Morgan studied journalism at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.

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