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Using Form 8814 or Form 8615 to report a child's income

SOLVEDby IntuitProConnect Tax10Updated October 01, 2021

This article will help determine if your client is eligible to use Form 8814 or Form 8615 to report a child's income.

  • For additional information on how to generate these forms in ProConnect Tax, see the related topics at the end of the article.

Form 8814 - Parents' Election to Report Child's Interest and Dividends

Use this form if the parent elects to report their child’s income. If income is reported on a parent's return, the child doesn't have to file a return. To report a child's income, the child must meet all of the following conditions:

  • The child was under age 19 (or under age 24 if a full-time student) at the end of the tax year.
  • The child’s only income was from interest and dividends, including capital gain distributions and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.
  • The child’s gross income for the year was less than $12,400.
  • The child is required to file a current year return.
  • The child doesn't file a joint return for the current year.
  • There were no estimated tax payments for the child for the current year (including any overpayment of tax from his or her prior-year return applied to the current year's estimated tax).
  • There was no federal income tax withheld from the child’s income.

The parent must also qualify to make the election. See the Form 8814 Instructions for additional details.

Form 8615 - Tax for Certain Children Who Have Unearned Income

If the child doesn't qualify for a Form 8814 election, file Form 8615 with a child's separate return. The form will help you calculate the correct tax rate based on the parent's income and tax liability.

Form 8615 must be filed if the child meets all of the following conditions:

  1. The child had more than $1,100 in unearned income.
  2. The child is required to file a tax return.
  3. The child was either:
    • Under age 18 at the end of the tax year,
    • Age 18 at the end of the tax year and didn't have earned income that was more than half the child's support, or
    • A full-time student at least age 19 and under age 24 at the end of the tax year and didn't have earned income that was more than half of the child's support.
  4. At least one parent was alive at the end of the tax year.
  5. The child doesn't file a joint return for the tax year.

These rules apply to a child legally adopted or a stepchild. These rules also apply whether or not the child is a dependent. See Form 8615 Instructions for additional details.

Related Topics

Tax Reform - Tax for Certain Children Who Have Unearned Income (8615)

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