Sign Up

Why sign in to the Community?

  • Submit a question
  • Check your notifications
or and start working on your taxes
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
diana8164
New Member

Can a 17 year old file his own taxes?

My 17 year old brother has been living on his own for the last year. My mother is claiming that she has to claim him or she'll go to jail, but im just assuming shes just saying this to get his tax return from his job. Is this true or can he file on his own? 

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
TomYoung
Level 13

Can a 17 year old file his own taxes?

Assuming your brother has earnings either as an employee or independent contractor then he MUST file his own income tax return. 

The only way your mother can "claim him" is to declare him as a "dependent", though her legal ability to do that seems to be in doubt, given what you've written.   To claim his as a dependent he has to live with your mother for more than half of the tax year and she would have to provided him at least half his financial support both of which seem unlikely if he's really been living on his own for the last year.

Even if your mother can legally claim him as a dependent he still has to file his own income tax return and would receive his own refund.  Your mother can't include his income and any taxes he's paid on her income tax return.

Tom Young



View solution in original post

6 Replies
SweetieJean
Level 15

Can a 17 year old file his own taxes?

Is he an Emancipated Minor under the laws of his State?  Or, is he away at school?
SweetieJean
Level 15

Can a 17 year old file his own taxes?

"My mother is claiming that she has to claim him or she'll go to jail"
Is she receiving any type of government benefits (cash, housing, food stamps, etc.) for (or because) of him?  Is she concerned about being charged with parental neglect?  And where is Dad?  Of course, none of these are income tax issues, but may shed light on what is really going on.
Hal_Al
Level 15

Can a 17 year old file his own taxes?

If your brother lives with you (or some other relative, other than his parent); that relative may be able to claim him. A person under 19 (under 24 if a full time student) can still be considered a "qualifying child" of the close relative he lives with, for tax purposes.

A cousin is not a "close" relative for taxes
Hal_Al
Level 15

Can a 17 year old file his own taxes?

She can NOT "get his tax return from his job"*. What she can get is the Earned Income Credit (EIC), a generous government hand out  for being able to claim a child, 17 is too old for the other tax hand out, the Child Tax Credit. He cannot claim the EIC on his own tax return (he's too young and has no dependents)

*Even if somebody claims him, on their return, he still has to file his own tax return for his job income (assuming he makes more than $6350 for the year). He just doesn't claim his own exemption ($4050 deduction). At worst, he will receive $400 less if somebody else claims him. But that somebody else will get thousands (most likely)
TomYoung
Level 13

Can a 17 year old file his own taxes?

Assuming your brother has earnings either as an employee or independent contractor then he MUST file his own income tax return. 

The only way your mother can "claim him" is to declare him as a "dependent", though her legal ability to do that seems to be in doubt, given what you've written.   To claim his as a dependent he has to live with your mother for more than half of the tax year and she would have to provided him at least half his financial support both of which seem unlikely if he's really been living on his own for the last year.

Even if your mother can legally claim him as a dependent he still has to file his own income tax return and would receive his own refund.  Your mother can't include his income and any taxes he's paid on her income tax return.

Tom Young



SweetieJean
Level 15

Can a 17 year old file his own taxes?

So Brother pays all of his own rent, utilities, food, transportation, etc. from his own income?  But we still need to know if his reason for being away is because he is attending school. Or is he in the military?
Dynamic AdsDynamic Ads
Privacy Settings
v