Teens & Taxes: What Documents Does Your Child Need to File Taxes?

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It’s tax season once again! If you have a teen who started working for the first time in 2021, you could be facing new challenges and questions when it comes to filing taxes. Just as you want to make sure you have all your tax paperwork ready and waiting when you start to file, you’ll want to help your teen gather theirs.

See: Teens & Taxes: Quick Tips for First-Time Filers (and Their Parents)
Find: Truck Driving Teens Could Be the Answer to Supply Chain Issues

What paperwork will a teenager or young adult need to correctly file their tax returns?

  • Social Security Number or Tax ID Number (Note: They don’t need the actual card but it’s good to verify the number against the card for accuracy)
  • Home address
  • Bank account information (for payment or direct deposit)
  • 1099-NEC forms (if they worked as an independent contractor)
  • W-2 forms (if they worked as an employee)
  • Any receipts or bank statements showing deductible work-related expenses
  • 1099 forms showing income from investments or dividends
  • 1098-T form showing income from college grants or scholarships
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If you aren’t sure how your working child or teen is classified, it’s easy to find out. Check your teen’s pay stub; if withholding taxes were taken out for their job, they were a W-2 employee. They should have filled out a W-4 form when they began working.

You will find withholding taxes listed under three categories:

  • Federal income taxes
  • State taxes
  • FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act, which includes Social Security and Medicare taxes)

 On the other hand, if your teen worked a gig or was an independent contractor, they will receive a 1099-NEC by January 31, 2022. The 1099 should indicate that no taxes were withheld from their pay.

See: IRS: Free File Now Open, Do Your Taxes For Free
Find: Tax Surprise! If You Received COVID Benefits, You Could See No Refund — or Even a Bill

Once you’ve gathered this information, you’ll want to help your teen file Form 1040 or 1040-EZ.

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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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