My dependent has a W-4. Should he file seperately from me or should I claim on my return?

My son is 16, a junior in high school and worked the last quarter of this year.  He does live with me and I supported him more than half the year. I worked a tax return with his W-4, filing single for him and he qualifies to receive a refund of $85.00.  Normally I would claim him on my tax return as a dependent.  What should I do? He only made $1,656.24 for the year of 2012.
  • Another question...is there a certain "AGE" that a dependent is required to file a federal return?  I also have a 19 y/o son who is a full-time student, who lives with me, works part-time, made $4300.00, did NOT support himself for half of 2012. Upon entering "his" own federal (indicating he can be claimed on another return), he would only qualify to receive $8.00 back.. So is there an age (if any) that federal tax filing is not required if a dependent remains a full time student?  Also, Thank You for all your help!!  :0)
  • No, age is not a consideration at all.  It is all according to the filing status and dependent or not a dependent that determines a filing requirement when compared to income.  Age and/or full-time student status is part of the consideration for status as a dependent, but if the dependent earns enough income to have a filing requirement (no matter what their age), then they must file a tax return of their own.  If that is your 19 year old's only income, then he also won't have a filing requirement based on his income because it is less than his allowed standard deduction.  Keep in mind, however, that filing the tax return will help create a record in income, even in years when the person (dependent or not) doesn't have a filing requirement.  Go ahead and have him file the return for the $8 refund.  Your desktop program allows you to e-file up to 5 different federal tax returns.  (remember the word of caution about using a different file name when saving the tax return).
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