Teens & Taxes: Are Working Minors Entitled to a Tax Refund?

A young woman customer placing her order at a fast food convenience restaurant.
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If your teen held a job or worked a side gig as a 1099 contractor last year, they may have to file federal and state income tax returns by April 18, 2022. As a parent, you might be wondering if your teen is entitled to one of the perks that often comes with being an adult: receiving a tax refund.

See: Teens & Taxes: How Much Can Your Teen Make Before Needing to File Taxes?
Find: Teens & Taxes: Does Your State Require Your Child to Pay Income Tax?

As with adults, if your teen paid more in withholding taxes throughout the year than they were supposed to, they will get money back from the IRS after filing their tax returns. The IRS does not report to the public on taxes paid or owed by children or teenagers, unfortunately. So there are no public records of whether most teens receive a tax refund or how much that amount might be, on average.

Teens typically miss out on many of the tax credits and deduction many adults might often enjoy, such as the child tax credit, deductions for state and local taxes, mortgage interest deductions and credits or deductions related to energy efficient home improvements. For this reason, it might not be as common for a teen to receive a tax refund.

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Teenagers don’t usually claim dependents on their W-4 forms, either, when they set up their withholding taxes for a job. That means they probably aren’t having as much money taken out of their paychecks as their parents are, which also reduces the likelihood of a tax refund for teens.

Learn: Teens & Taxes: Quick Tips for First-Time Filers (and Their Parents)
Explore: Teens & Taxes: What Documents Does Your Child Need to File Taxes?

However, the only way to know for sure if your teen will receive a tax refund in 2022 — or if they owe additional tax money to the IRS — is to file their tax returns. If your teen is receiving a refund, you will want to make sure they have a bank account established in their name to receive direct deposit of their refund. The IRS is urging taxpayers to use direct deposit as the fastest, easiest, most secure way to receive their tax 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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