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Dependent Rules & Kiddie Tax for Unemployment

Nick G
Level 1

Hello all,

My situation is somewhat complicated, so bear with me. I am preparing this return using ProSeries Professional 2020.

My client is a full-time college student aged 23 who lived at home with his mom throughout all of 2020. He received approximately $17,000 in unemployment comp while also having a W2 for approximately $3,800. Throughout the year he used nearly all of the money, including both "earned" and "unearned" income sources, to support himself. His mom's AGI is approximately $30,000 and she is able to file as HOH due to his younger brother and sister still being in the house. Due to his mom's low AGI she qualifies for "affordable living" in the complex where they reside thus making the overhead for house expenses significantly decreased.

My question has a few parts: 

1. Does unemployment income count when performing the support test of a qualifying child?

Being that my client is under 24 and a full-time student, while also living at home, he meets all other dependent tests beside the support test (if unemployment income is factored in as useable for support).

2. Would Form 8615 be required if he supports himself using UNEARNED income?

The way the question is phrased on the 8615 leads me to believe that only earned income is used in determining support on this form. This would mean that the $3,800 of W2 wages would be the only income considered in determining support, making him fill out the form as he reasonably could not support himself on only $3,800 worth of income.

3. Can my client be both independent and required to fill out form 8615?

In a normal year a student in this case would not qualify for unemployment comp based on the scenario thus eliminating the need for the kiddie tax form entirely. By not qualifying as a dependent, my client would also be entitled to receive the recovery rebate credit (stimulus) and any future stimulus payments that get passed.

I appreciate any information on this subject as my research has led me to a dead end. Thank you.

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TaxGuyBill
Level 15

@Nick G wrote:

1. Does unemployment income count when performing the support test of a qualifying child?

Being that my client is under 24 and a full-time student, while also living at home, he meets all other dependent tests beside the support test (if unemployment income is factored in as useable for support).

2. Would Form 8615 be required if he supports himself using UNEARNED income?

The way the question is phrased on the 8615 leads me to believe that only earned income is used in determining support on this form. This would mean that the $3,800 of W2 wages would be the only income considered in determining support, making him fill out the form as he reasonably could not support himself on only $3,800 worth of income.

3. Can my client be both independent and required to fill out form 8615?

In a normal year a student in this case would not qualify for unemployment comp based on the scenario thus eliminating the need for the kiddie tax form entirely. By not qualifying as a dependent, my client would also be entitled to receive the recovery rebate credit (stimulus) and any future stimulus payments that get passed.


1) "Income" does not count for the Support Test.  Money SPENT counts for the support test.  That could be from anywhere, including earned income, unearned income, gifts or savings.

2) Yes.  The Kiddie Tax applies unless the child provides over 1/2 of their support with EARNED income.  As you said, that did not happen with $3800 of income, so the Kiddie Tax applies.

3)  Yes.  A non-dependent may still be required to pay Kiddie Tax.  The Kiddie Tax is not based on being a dependent, but on the rules that you have pointed out.

 

 

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22 Replies 22
qbteachmt
Level 15

I would start here:

"Who Must File

Form 8615 must be filed for any child who meets all of the following conditions.

  1. The child had more than $2,200 of unearned income.

  2. The child is required to file a tax return.

  3. The child either:

    1. Was under age 18 at the end of 2020,

    2. Was age 18 at the end of 2020 and didn’t have earned income that was more than half of the child's support, or

    3. Was a full-time student at least age 19 and under age 24 at the end of 2020 and didn’t have earned income that was more than half of the child's support.

    (Earned income is defined later. Support is defined below.)"

https://www.irs.gov/instructions/i8615

 

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Nick G
Level 1

Thank you for the response. I have read the publication thoroughly, and I understand WHY the form is being triggered. My question is: Is the support calculation used for the dependency rules different than the support test used for Form 8615? Based on what I have read it seems like they are different in that the dependent support test factors in the unemployment while the 8615 does not. If this is true then my client would be a non-dependent eligible for the stimulus, but still required to file form 8615. I cannot seem to find a place in the IRS publication that makes a CLEAR distinction between the two support tests outside of the phrasing used on the 8615.

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TaxGuyBill
Level 15

@Nick G wrote:

1. Does unemployment income count when performing the support test of a qualifying child?

Being that my client is under 24 and a full-time student, while also living at home, he meets all other dependent tests beside the support test (if unemployment income is factored in as useable for support).

2. Would Form 8615 be required if he supports himself using UNEARNED income?

The way the question is phrased on the 8615 leads me to believe that only earned income is used in determining support on this form. This would mean that the $3,800 of W2 wages would be the only income considered in determining support, making him fill out the form as he reasonably could not support himself on only $3,800 worth of income.

3. Can my client be both independent and required to fill out form 8615?

In a normal year a student in this case would not qualify for unemployment comp based on the scenario thus eliminating the need for the kiddie tax form entirely. By not qualifying as a dependent, my client would also be entitled to receive the recovery rebate credit (stimulus) and any future stimulus payments that get passed.


1) "Income" does not count for the Support Test.  Money SPENT counts for the support test.  That could be from anywhere, including earned income, unearned income, gifts or savings.

2) Yes.  The Kiddie Tax applies unless the child provides over 1/2 of their support with EARNED income.  As you said, that did not happen with $3800 of income, so the Kiddie Tax applies.

3)  Yes.  A non-dependent may still be required to pay Kiddie Tax.  The Kiddie Tax is not based on being a dependent, but on the rules that you have pointed out.

 

 

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Nick G
Level 1

Thank you! I had a feeling that that is the way the rules worked, but I wanted to get some other opinions on the topic before proceeding.

I hope you all are doing well and staying safe! Good luck with the rest of tax season!

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JOHNNYCPA
Level 3

The whole purpose of kiddie tax was to tax at parents' rate for  investments that were earning interest (unearned income)  in kids bank accounts  ( mostly parents deposits).  Now with Covid 19, these college kids are getting unemployment.  It seems unfair to pay kiddie tax unemployment income recieved.

John

qbteachmt
Level 15

Unemployment income is treated the same as unearned income from investments.

Working young adults are special Kiddies. You might evaluate if they should file their own return.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/family/tax-filing-requirements-for-children/L8ice6z0K

 

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Tuco
Level 2

Beware of the calculations on form 8615 part 3 line 15. It says calculate tax based on amount in line 14. It is not calculating based on amount in line 14. It is calculating based on taxable income form 1040 line 15. 

sjrcpa
Level 15

There's a glitch in ProSeries. Something about having to open a Sch D worksheet even if it is not applicable.  @TaxGuyBill  @Just-Lisa-Now-  ?


ex-AllStar
TaxGuyBill
Level 15

Yep, there is some 8615/Kiddie Tax Schedule D worksheet or something that you need to open up, and people say it magically fixes the calculation.

Tuco
Level 2

True. That fixed it. Scary though.

jennp898
Level 1

What worksheet did you have to open up?

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Tuco
Level 2

Quickzoom to "Schedule D Tax Calculation" in Part lll of the worksheet so it can recalculate.

IntuitBettyJo
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi All, 

The unexpected behavior you have experienced on the 8615 has been reported. We will update as we learn more information.

-Betty Jo 

JOHNNYCPA
Level 3

the Kiddle Tax may not come into play for those that experienced unemployment up to $10,200.  2020 unemployment is now exempt up $10,200  ( law pending).

ss72
Level 1

 

Does this rule apply to dependent children unearned/unemployment income? Is parent income not taken into account when applying this rule? What if parent income is more than the limit of $150K to exclude $10,200 amount?

I noticed that while filing return for my kid who has unearned income greater than $2,200, the schedule 1 line # 8 entry is UCE (unemployment compensation exclusion)  with a negative amount that offsets unemployment compensation from line #7.

Form 8615, line 6 is showing parent income correctly and the children is claimed as dependent.

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qbteachmt
Level 15

@ss72 

"My kid"?

Are you using ProSeries to prepare your Clients' tax return?

Otherwise...

You seem to be lost on the internet.

You’ve come to a Peer User community for Intuit Tax Preparation products supporting tax preparation professionals using ProSeries, Proconnect and Lacerte , and you may be looking for support as an individual taxpayer. Please visit the TurboTax Help site for support.

Thanks.

 

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Raj3
Level 1

In this case you need to see multiple test for multiple tax treatment:

1st test: whether they are required to file.

{in your case your client is required to file tax return}

Single dependents—Were up to age 65 or NO blind:
You must file a return if any of the following apply.
1. Your unearned income was more than $1,100.
2. Your earned income was more than $12,400.
3. Your gross income was more than the larger of—
a. $1,100, or
b. Your earned income (up to $12,050) plus $350.

2nd test: Unearned Income and Form 8615 [UI is unearned income by definition]:

{in your case your client is required to file this 8615 form and use the parent's tax rate for tax computation}

Form 8615 must be filed for any child who meets all of the following
conditions.
1. The child had more than $2,200 of unearned income.
2. The child is required to file a tax return.

3. The child either:
a. Was under age 18 at the end of 2020,
b. Was age 18 at the end of 2020 and didn’t have earned
income that was more than half of the child's support, or
c. Was a full-time student at least age 19 and under age 24 at
the end of 2020 and didn’t have earned income that was more than
half of the child's support.
(Earned income is defined later. Support is defined below.)
4. At least one of the child's parents was alive at the end of
2020.
5. The child doesn’t file a joint return for 2020.
[For these rules, the term “child” includes a legally adopted child
and a stepchild. These rules apply whether or not the child is a
dependent. These rules don’t apply if neither of the child’s parents
were living at the end of the year.]

3rd Test: To determine whether one is dependent?

{in your case the client is NON DEPENDENT due to #i.4 or #ii.3 support test as listed below}. They loose American Opportunity Tax Credit see 4th Test below.

Who is Dependent?
i) Tests To Be a Qualifying Child

1. The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother,
sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of
any of them.
2. The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger
than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the
year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or
(c) any age if permanently and totally disabled.
3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year.2
4. The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support
for the year.
5. The child must not be filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is file

ii) Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative
1. The person can't be your qualifying child or the qualifying
child of any other taxpayer.
2. The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the
ways listed under Relatives who don't have to live with you, or
(b) must live with you all year as a member of your
household
(and your relationship must not violate local law).
3. The person's gross income for the year must be less than
$4,300.
4. You must provide more than half of the person's total support
for the year.

4th Test: American Opportunity Tax Credit Form 8863

If one becomes non dependent then they may not get American opportunity tax credits (form 8863) unless they have EARNED income exceeding one-half of the support and few other test as listed below.

1. Were you a full-time student during any part of five months during 2020?

2. Did your earned income exceed on-half of your support?

3. Was at least one of your parents alive on December 31, 2020?

thank you

 

 

MrsBurgle
Level 1

This is an incredible breakdown. Thank you! 

I had one question.

So the example is: 

  1. TP required to file tax return
  2. Required to file 8615
  3. TP non-dependent 
  4. UC was what pushed them over so earned income is not more than 1/2

To summarize: 

  • They are not a dependent
  • They must file their own tax return
  • They must file a Kiddie Tax return
  • They can not claim AOTC (if not, Lifetime Learning?)

Is this correct?

 

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mchensel
Level 1

I have a question regarding the qualifying relative portion:

ii) Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative
1. The person can't be your qualifying child or the qualifying
child of any other taxpayer.
2. The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the
ways listed under Relatives who don't have to live with you, or
(b) must live with you all year as a member of your
household
(and your relationship must not violate local law).
3. The person's gross income for the year must be less than
$4,300.
4. You must provide more than half of the person's total support
for the year.

 

On #3 specifically on my return for determining if they are a qualifying relative -   if they have income from working of $3900 and Unemployment of $3000 but that unemployment is exempt from the $10,200 federal waiver is that $3000 considered part of their gross income or not? In other words is their gross income $3900 or $6900? They qualify in every other way.

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qbteachmt
Level 15

"On #3 specifically on my return for determining if they are a qualifying relative"

 

So, you are not using the program of this community, which is ProSeries, to do your client's tax return? This is a Personal tax question?

Because this is a User Forum for how to use ProSeries. Not to give tax advice.

I recommend using the IRS resources. They have, for example, Interactive Wizards where you put in your personal answers to your own questions.

 

Link:

https://www.irs.gov/help/ita

 

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mchensel
Level 1

All I did was go to Help on my version this popped up under related questions and I read through it and posted a query. If I'm not supposed to be here maybe Intuit should not direct me here.

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qbteachmt
Level 15

"on my version"

Of which program? I asked the question, if you are using ProSeries?

And I gave the Reference link to the Source = the IRS interactive wizard.

"In other words is their gross income $3900 or $6900? They qualify in every other way."

TaxGuyBill addressed this part:

"1) "Income" does not count for the Support Test. Money SPENT counts for the support test. That could be from anywhere, including earned income, unearned income, gifts or savings."

Unemployment is income, but it is considered Unearned and is treated the same as investment income. The question you asked is a bit of a mix of Gross and Dependency, which don't really relate to answer your question.

There already is a lot of this type of detail in this topic. I would reread it to see which parts apply to what you are asking, because the title has to do with Kiddie tax, and you specifically don't want the "child" parts, apparently. That's another reason I linked to the IRS for you to use their resources.

You should now have everything you need to answer your own question. If you cannot make the software give you the result you determine, that would be why you ask this community of peer ProSeries users.

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