After all those years of mooching off of you, your teenager can finally earn some money this summer!
Of course, now you may have tax issues, but the upshot is she now has money in her pocket and is becoming a little more responsible.
Yet Another Return
If your dependent kid has a real job and gets a W-2, she probably will have to to file a tax return.
Remember, dependent means she resides with you for more than half the year, you provide more than half of her financial support and she is under the age of 19 or 24 if she's a full-time student.
But you can't just throw the income she made on your personal 1040 return. "The only things you can report on your own return are your kid's interest and dividends," reminds says Jackie Perlman, principal tax research analyst at H&R Block.
So if your kid takes that lifeguard job, she'll probably need to file her own return.
Quick Refresher: Earned vs. Unearned Income
Because nothing is simple with Uncle Sam, there are different rules for earned income vs. unearned income.
Earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, other forms of employee compensation and self-employment income.
Unearned income is income from everything else -- dividends, interest, investment income, survivor annuities and unemployment compensation.
So the IRS imposes different rules on your kid depending on whether she earned her income or not.
Basically, hard work (a.k.a. earned income) pays off. So your dependent child has to earn more than $6,350 in 2017 before there is a personal income tax return filing requirement (and maybe a tax bill). On the flipside, unearned income of $1,050 or more requires a return.