A federal income tax return usually must be filed for a child whose income included
investment income, such as interest and dividends, and totals more than $650. This
discussion will explain two special rules affecting the tax on certain investment income
of a child under age 14.
Under the first special rule, you may be able to avoid having to file a tax return for
your child by including the child's income on your tax return. You can choose to do this
if all of the following conditions are met:
- Your child was under age 14 on January 1, 1998,
- Your child had income only from interest and dividends, including Alaska Permanent Fund
- The interest and dividend income was less than $6,500,
- No estimated tax payments were made for 1997 and no 1996 tax overpayment was applied to
1997 under your child's name and social security number,
- No federal income tax was withheld from your child's income under backup withholding;
- Your child is required to file a return for 1997 unless you make this election.
If you do not file a joint return with the child's other parent, get Publication
929 to find out which parent's return may include the child's income.
To make this choice, attach Form 8814, Parent's
Election to Report Child's Interest and Dividends, to your Form
The second special rule may apply if an income tax return is filed for the child. Under
this rule, part of the child's investment income may be taxed at the parent's rate for
- The child was under age 14 on January 1, 1998,
- The child's investment income for 1996 was more than $1,300; and
- The child is required to file a tax return for 1997.
The child's tax is figured on Form 8615.
This form must be attached to the child's tax return.
For more information on this topic, order Publication 929, Tax
Rules for Children and Dependents, by calling 1-800-829-3676.
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