IRS Tax Returns – When Should Students File For Taxes?

Ana Pohlmann, Staff Writer

One of the most painful times of the year has finally arrived: tax returns. The IRS started accepting tax returns today, February 12th, till April 15th. A good two months gives you enough time to get a jump on your returns, but you may want to start as soon as possible. For most people, this seems like a job left for the parents. But when should students start filing for taxes?

Majority of high school students are not educated enough about the world of taxes until they reach college. However, now is the age to start educating yourself considering you may have to file your own taxes soon. Growing up, you have been under what is called a “dependent” status. This generally means that the dependent is someone whose care and income is largely provided by the taxpayer. According to the IRS, there are certain rules you must follow to be eligible for being a dependent: 

  • Not file a joint return
  • Have a Social Security Number
  • Be a son, daughter, adopted child, stepchild, offspring etc. of that that taxpayer
  • Be under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year, or under 24 if a full-time student, or any age if permanently disabled. 
  • Live with the taxpayer for more than half a year in the U.S.

However, none of these factors guarantee you dependency. The following rules can override the previous factors, dismiss you of your dependency status, and cause you to file for taxes.

  • If they have an earned income that is more than the standard deduction amount for that year
  • If they have unearned income greater than $1,100.