Do you claim your teenager as dependent if he/she makes 11K in part time jobs?

If your teenager child makes 11K in part time jobs can you claim them as your dependent on tax filing ? Which is better them filing single or parent filing them as their dependant? I know to be claimed as dependant parent needs to provide more than 50% but not sure of their income limit for them to claim as single.

we have claimed our older kids until they were really on their own.

The last year has been odd with it all with stimulus money; we know several new college grads who claimed on their own to get that money for 2020. For federal financial aid, i don’t think you have a choice; i do think the parent info has to be included on the FAFSA for undergrad education even if the student has claimed dependent. I’m sure people will have many different, better and precise thoughts here though.

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Yes, this year there was a big incentive for higher income families to have kids not be dependent. We have twins and one is and one isn’t dependent. But that’s nothing to do with the amount of money they earn (or percentage of support provided), simply that one became a resident in the state where they are attending college (to take advantage of the lower state taxes there) with changed drivers license and voter registration, so does not count as living with us and “temporarily” away at college.

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Students will be considered as dependent until age 24 as far as FAFSA and financial aid are concerned. We still claim our D as a dependent because we take the American Opportunity Tax Credit, since we pay for the bulk of her tuition and expenses.


You can claim your child who is a student until they are 24 or graduate from college and it doesn’t matter how much they make. It used to be more of a benefit, but now only $500 credit to have a dependent who is over 17 (no child credit). You do have to claim them for YOU to take the AOTC.

Your student would file his own tax return for the $11k income, and it should all be under the limit for the standard deduction ($12.4K this year? maybe $12.6?). That would depend if there was other income like taxable scholarships some other non-earned income.

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@twoinanddone - if kids claim themselves, can they take the AOTC credit?

and - not necessarily related but just started thinking of this - know if any of the education credits can be used for grad school expenses?

Taxes have changed so much in the last 3 years that I’m not sure about students taking the AOTC. I think so, but one of the questions used to be if someone else COULD take you as a dependent, not if they DID take you.

Read the definition of qualifying child.