Should a 17-Year-Old File Taxes?

The world of taxes can be daunting, especially for young individuals. As a 17-year-old, you may wonder if you need to file taxes. The answer depends on several factors, including your income, filing status, and whether you meet certain criteria set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of tax filing for minors, providing you with a clear understanding of your obligations and entitlements.

When Do Minors Need to File Taxes?

Earned Income

Minors are required to file a tax return if their earned income exceeds a certain threshold. For 2023, the threshold for filing is $13,850. Earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, and self-employment income.

Unearned Income

Minors must also file a tax return if their unearned income exceeds $1,250. Unearned income includes dividends, interest, and capital gains.

Other Situations

In addition to earned and unearned income, minors may need to file a tax return if they:

  • Owe self-employment taxes
  • Have a net investment income of more than $2,200
  • Received a scholarship or fellowship grant that is not tax-free
  • Have a balance due on their tax return

Filing Status for Minors

Minors are typically considered dependents of their parents or guardians. As such, they cannot file as head of household or married filing jointly. However, minors who meet certain criteria may qualify to file as independent filers.

Tax Forms for Minors

The most common tax form for minors is the Form 1040. Minors who are self-employed may need to file additional forms, such as the Schedule SE (Form 1040) for self-employment tax.

Tax Deductions and Credits for Minors

Minors are eligible for the same tax deductions and credits as adults. Common deductions for minors include the standard deduction and the child tax credit.

Consequences of Not Filing Taxes

Failing to file taxes can result in penalties and interest charges from the IRS. Additionally, unfiled taxes can affect a minor’s ability to obtain a driver’s license or passport.

Determining whether a 17-year-old needs to file taxes can be complex. By understanding the income thresholds, filing status, and other factors discussed in this guide, you can make an informed decision about your tax obligations. If you have any questions or concerns, it is advisable to consult with a tax professional for personalized advice.

Does my 17 year old need to file taxes?


Does a 17 year old have to file taxes?

A minor who may be claimed as a dependent has to file a return once their income exceeds their standard deduction. For tax year 2023 this is the greater of $1,250 or the amount of earned income plus $400 up to the full standard deduction of $13,850.

Can I claim my 17 year old on my taxes if he works?

As long as your child still relies on you for financial support, their employment status won’t affect your ability to claim them as dependent.

Do I have to file taxes if my parents claim me as a dependent?

In general, a dependent should file if their earned income exceeds the standard deduction for singles or if their investment income exceeds $1,250 for 2023 or $1,300 for 2024. You should file a return if you had taxes withheld from your pay in any amount; determine if you should file here.

Do you get earned income credit for a 17 year old?

Qualifying children can include your son, daughter, stepchild, adopted child or a descendant, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendant of one of these, provided they are age 18 or younger as of the end of the year (or 23 or young if the child is a full-time student).

Leave a Comment