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Welcome to Part 1 of the Filing as A Series!

This series will go through the ta season and will cover tax preparation for different life stages and occupations.

I will cover types of income, tax deductions, tax credits, filing requirements, new tax law impacts, tax tips, tax forms, how to file and preparation costs for life stages and occupations. Check out the whole series.

Life Stage

Child or Teenager

Never too early to learn about taxes, right! This is a great learning lesson for your kids 🙂

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Income Types

Income from a job as a waiter, camp counselor, sales associate, cashier, lifeguard, paid internship and so on. This type of income is typically reported on a W-2.  Sometimes it can be on a Form 1099 but it is not as common. They may also have investment income like interest or dividends that would be reported on a separate Form 1099 with their SSN.

Form W-2:  This is your wage statement.  It states your wages and withholdings for the year. You will receive this from your employer in January. Keep this sucker! Don’t lose it. Your employer will send a copy of this to the IRS. Soo it is very important that you report this on your Form 1040

Form 1099: This will report your self-employment income, interest, dividends and more. 

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Tax Deductions

A typical teenager/child will not be able to itemize deductions and will use the standard deduction. Learn more here.

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Tax Credits

None come to mind for this Lifestage.

Filing Requirement

A child must file a tax return if any one of the following tests are meet. 

  1. Unearned income above $1,050. This is income from investments like dividends or interest.
  2. Earned income about $6,350. Meaning you worked for this income. 
  3. Gross income is greater than the larger of $1,050 or earned income (up to $6,000) plus $350
  4. Income from self-employment is more than $400. This is income from a 1099. 

Even if you do not have a filing requirement, you may want to file to get a refund of your federal and state withholdings. In most typical circumstances, teenagers normally get most of their withholdings back as a refund.

TurboTax for Students: When you file with TurboTax this year we do the hard work for you by giving you a FAFSA friendly view of your taxes that you’ll be able to print. Learn More.

New Tax Law Impact

For the 2018 tax year, you can no longer use personal exemptions for yourself or any dependents.  

In the past, a child/teenager was able to either take a personal exemption on their tax return.  Or their parents could take the exemption if they claimed the child on their return. Normally the parent would benefit more from the personal exemption.  

But you don’t have to worry about this for tax year 2018 because there are no personal exemptions.

There are many other tax law changes like lower tax brackets and higher standard deductions that apply to everyone. Check them out below:

Check out 6 Ways the New Tax Law could Impact You.


  • Make sure any investment income that has a child’s SSN on the Form 1099 gets reported on their tax return not the parent’s.  Sometimes you can file this income on the parents return if the child does not have a filing requirement. You would need to do some research on your specific situation.  
  • Tip money should be reported! 
  • Make sure you check your state income tax laws and file if necessary. 

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Tax Form

Form 1040

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Tax Preparation

Pretty safe to say a tax return for a child/teenager taxpayer can be self-prepared. It’s a great learning opportunity for your teenager to prepare their tax return with you!

Most tax prep software will walk you through all the right steps and guide you the whole process!  You just have to make sure you keep your tax documents organized. I would suggest preparing your return once you have your W-2 and any other tax documents you expect to get. 

Your employer is required to provide your W-2 by Jan 31. The IRS starts accepting tax returns around this time as well. So it’s the perfect time to file your return! 

In most cases, you can receive a refund within 2-3 weeks from the IRS then about a week after that your state refund. You can always check the status of your federal refund here:

If for whatever reason you are thinking about extending your tax return. Check out my article on filing extension.

Preparation Cost


On most tax prep softwares you can file a super basic federal and state return for free. In this situation, you are probably just dealing with a W-2 and that would be considered basic.   

With Turbo Tax you would sign up for their free edition.  Check it out here ->

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With you can also file for free ->

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Bonus Tip

You are able to start now for free and go back later to actually e-file your return!  If you have your tax documents handy you can go ahead and check out your refund. 

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my Filing as a Series. I sincerely hope you learned something new! Let me know what you think 🙂

Coming Soon…filing as a ->

  • College Student 
  • Single Adult
  • Couple
  • Parent
  • Divorcee
  • Blogger
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Multilevel Marketing Consultant
  • Homesteader

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This blog is for informational purposes only. This is not intended to be personalized tax, legal or accounting advice.  You should always receive tax advice from someone who is familiar with your unique situation

Want more tax tips – check out my free tax cheat sheets!