Do your kids need to file taxes? Usually filing taxes for the kids is an afterthought. Only after people scramble to finish filing in time for the tax deadline  do they realize they didn’t even think about the kids.
Will you remember to file taxes for your kids?
If your kids earn interest and dividends, or have a job, check out the requirements for filing taxes.
2016 Kids Tax Filing Requirements
If you claim your child as a dependent  on your return, the kids need to file taxes if ANY of the following are true for tax year 2016 (due in 2017):
- Earned income, from a job for example, is more than $6,300.
- Unearned income, including dividends or interest, is more than $1050.
- Self employment  net earnings are more than $400.
- Earned and unearned total income is more than the larger of $1050 or earned income plus $350.
Also, if interest, dividends and other investment income are more than $2,100 in 2016, you’re going to get hit with the kiddie tax  (which means you’ll pay your tax rate  on part of your child’s income).
Filing a Child’s Tax Return
You can file your child’s taxes for free at TurboTax .
If you want, you can also attach it to your return if the income is less than $10,500 and only from interest or dividends. This option is available to children under age 19 (or a full time student under 24) who are not filing a joint return  using Form 8814.
A word of caution though, qualified dividends or capital gains may be taxed at a higher rate if you attach it to your return instead of filing the child’s return separately.
Before you file, use our tax calculator  to estimate your child’s tax refund.
More Filing Requirements
There are other circumstances when children must file a tax return. For more information see Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents .
For more information when others must file, see minimum income to file taxes .
More Tax Topics
- Taxes for Divorced Parents: Who Gets to Claim Dependents? 
- Claiming Dependents on Your Tax Return 
- What is the Child and Dependent Care Credit? 
- How Much is the Penalty for No Health Insurance? 
- When Do Dependents Have to File Taxes? 
- What is the Marriage Tax Penalty? 
- 10 Ways to Lower Your Taxes with Kids 
- What is the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit?