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farhan_ahmad
Level 3

Should my child file tax for prior year if W2 was received but do not owe any taxes?

My daughter got a W2 in 2019 but I found about it after October 2020. She also got a W2 in 2020 and she will be filing a 2020 return (or I prepare it for her) and for both W2s there are no tax due to IRS. Filing is only to get the refund of tax withheld (federal and CA). The amount she made was well under the limit for which tax filing becomes required (she got 3.5k and 2k approx).  She did not have any unearned income.

 

Question is, should she ignore 2019 taxes because; a) it was not "required" and b) filing a year late may cause some issues even if she don't owe taxes?

 

OR

 

is it a good idea to file for 2019 and get some refund because she don't owe taxes?

 

 

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Should my child file tax for prior year if W2 was received but do not owe any taxes?

If her earnings were below the amount required to file for the tax year and are reported on a W-2 (for 2019  $12,200; for 2020 $12,400 )  then she does not "have" to file.   But most kids like their own money, so if there is an amount in box 2 of those W-2's ---and an amount in box 17 for state tax withheld--- then why would you discourage her from filing to seek a tax refund?  

 

She has to say on her own return that she can be claimed as someone else's dependent.

 

She could likely use the Free Edition to file a 2020 return online.   For 2019, you could print the tax form and complete it by hand to mail in.

 

2019

 

2019 Instructions

 https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/i1040gi--2019.pdf

 

1040  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040--2019.pdf

 

 

2019 Schedules 1-3

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040s1--2019.pdf

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040s2--2019.pdf

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040s3--2019.pdf

 

When you mail a tax return, you need to attach any documents showing tax withheld, such as your W-2’s or any 1099’s.  Use a mailing service that will track it, such as UPS or certified mail so you will know the IRS/state received the return.

Federal and state returns must be in separate envelopes and they are mailed to different addresses.  Read the mailing instructions that print with your tax return carefully so you mail them to the right addresses.

 

And filing late is not a problem if she does not owe.   You have three years to file a tax return if you are getting a refund.

 

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

View solution in original post

4 Replies
GeorgeDenseff
Level 3

Should my child file tax for prior year if W2 was received but do not owe any taxes?

She can file and get any refund that she is due.  If she is still your dependent, she needs to check that someone else can claim her.

Mike9241
Level 15

Should my child file tax for prior year if W2 was received but do not owe any taxes?

The only reason to file 2019 or 2020, if otherwise not required because of income threshold, is if she had Federal Income Taxes Withheld (she won't get back Medicare or Social Security Taxes). however, for 2019 you would need the desktop software https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/past-years-products  cost is $80 and extra for state. returns can't be e-file.  note if you have a state income tax the filing requirements are different.

 

xmasbaby0
Level 15

Should my child file tax for prior year if W2 was received but do not owe any taxes?

If her earnings were below the amount required to file for the tax year and are reported on a W-2 (for 2019  $12,200; for 2020 $12,400 )  then she does not "have" to file.   But most kids like their own money, so if there is an amount in box 2 of those W-2's ---and an amount in box 17 for state tax withheld--- then why would you discourage her from filing to seek a tax refund?  

 

She has to say on her own return that she can be claimed as someone else's dependent.

 

She could likely use the Free Edition to file a 2020 return online.   For 2019, you could print the tax form and complete it by hand to mail in.

 

2019

 

2019 Instructions

 https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/i1040gi--2019.pdf

 

1040  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040--2019.pdf

 

 

2019 Schedules 1-3

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040s1--2019.pdf

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040s2--2019.pdf

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040s3--2019.pdf

 

When you mail a tax return, you need to attach any documents showing tax withheld, such as your W-2’s or any 1099’s.  Use a mailing service that will track it, such as UPS or certified mail so you will know the IRS/state received the return.

Federal and state returns must be in separate envelopes and they are mailed to different addresses.  Read the mailing instructions that print with your tax return carefully so you mail them to the right addresses.

 

And filing late is not a problem if she does not owe.   You have three years to file a tax return if you are getting a refund.

 

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

View solution in original post

GeorgeDenseff
Level 3

Should my child file tax for prior year if W2 was received but do not owe any taxes?

You can buy a copy of 2019 TurboTax on eBay for around $5 - $10.  

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