Teens & Taxes: What Can My Teenager Deduct on Their Taxes if They Have a Part-Time or Full-Time Job?

A mixed race African-American and Hispanic teenage boy working in a supermarket at the checkout counter.
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If your teen worked a full-time or part-time job in 2021 for the first time, they might be facing another milestone in their life this April: filing tax returns. Your teenager must file federal and state taxes if they received a W-2 form showing earned income exceeding the standard deduction of $12,550.

See: Teens & Taxes: My Teenager Received a 1099 for Gig Work — Now What?
Find: Teens & Taxes: What Can My Teen Deduct on Their Taxes If They Have a Gig Job?

However, many adults find they can reduce their tax burden by itemizing deductions. Working adults often have many deductions, including:

  • Mortgage interest (up to specific limits).
  • Health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs (if they exceed 7.5% of your adjustable gross income).
  • Childcare expenses.
  • Business expenses.

However, most teens who aren’t in college don’t have significant deductible expenses. It’s highly unlikely their itemized expenses would exceed the standard deduction. If your teen earned more than $12,550 in 2021, a tax preparer or accountant would probably advise them to take the standard deduction.

Learn: Teens & Taxes: I Received a Child Tax Credit for My College Student – Do They Need to File Taxes?
Explore: Teens & Taxes: My Teenager Took a Gig Job — Do They Need to File Taxes?

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Hopefully, taxes withheld from your teen’s paychecks will cover their entire tax liability for the year and they won’t have a tax bill in April. If your teen owes money after filing this year, you might talk to them about changing the amount withheld from their paycheck for 2022 to avoid a tax bill in the future.

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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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