Teens & Taxes: What Can My Teen Deduct on Their Taxes If They Have a Gig Job?

Teens in domestic kitchen.
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Teenagers — and adults, for that matter — who take on gig work, side jobs, or consider themselves self-employed will receive a 1099-NEC form for any earnings of $600 or more. If a self-employed person shows a net income of more than $400 for “non-employee compensation” they are responsible for reporting this income to the IRS and paying self-employment taxes on it. If your teen receives any 1099-NEC forms for gig work, they must report that income, even if their net earnings do not exceed $400.

See: Teens & Taxes: My Teenager Took a Gig Job — Do They Need to File Taxes?
Find: Teens & Taxes: My Teenager Received a 1099 for Gig Work — Now What?

Is your teen showing a profit for their gig work? If they received a 1099-NEC form, they need to report the income. But, depending on their deductible expenses from their gig, they may not have to pay self-employment taxes.

Allowable deductions do not depend on the taxpayer’s age. But teens may find they have fewer deductions, as they typically can’t write off part of a mortgage for a home office or utilities expenses, which are usually paid by a parent or guardian.

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However, some allowable tax deductions for teens, depending on the gig they worked, might include:

  • Vehicle expenses, at a rate of 58.5 cents per mile.
  • Contributions to an IRA account.
  • Self-employment taxes.
  • Office supplies.
  • Postage and mailing supplies.
  • Computer purchases.
  • Smartphone purchases and plan (if the teen pays the bill and it is in their name).
  • Business travel and meals, including up to 100% of the cost of restaurant meals.
  • Marketing and advertising expenses (such as advertising, business cards, or flyers).

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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