Teens & Taxes: I Received a Child Tax Credit for My College Student – Do They Need to File Taxes?

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Are you facing tax season with a teenager in college for the first time?

See: Are Working Minors Entitled to a Tax Refund?
Find: How Much Can Your Teen Make Before Needing to File Taxes?

In some cases, parents received the advance Child Tax Credit for their college student. If your teen was under the age of 17 in 2021 — for instance, maybe they just started school — you could have received advance CTC payments throughout the second half of 2021. On the other hand, if you have a teenage college student over the age of 17, you may have qualified for the $500 dependent tax credit instead.

In either case, the money was deposited into your bank account by the IRS, and your college student has no responsibility to file taxes because of the money. You, however, will want to reconcile the amount on IRS Letter 6419, which you should have received in January, with the amount of advance CTC you received when you file your own taxes this year.

Discover: My Teenager Had a Summer Job — Do They Need to File Taxes?
Learn: Does Your State Require Your Child to Pay Income Tax?

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Your college student may have to file taxes for other reasons, such as if they had earned income over $12,500, or net income exceeding $400 as a 1099 independent contractor. If your college student worked as a W-2 employee in 2021, they might want to file taxes even if the income did not exceed $12,500, in case they are owed a refund.

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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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