Publication 929: Tax Rules For Children And Dependents (Superseded)

While Publication 929 was a valuable resource for tax information related to children and dependents, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) discontinued its publication for tax years after 2022. This guide provides an overview of the information previously found in Publication 929 and explains how to find current tax rules for dependents using alternative resources.

What was Publication 929?

Publication 929 served as a resource for understanding tax filing requirements and tax implications for dependents. It offered guidance on:

  • Who can be claimed as a dependent on a tax return.
  • How to report income for a dependent, including earned income (wages) and unearned income (interest, dividends).
  • The tax on unearned income of certain children.
  • Whether a dependent needs to file their own tax return.

Why was Publication 929 discontinued?

The IRS determined the information in Publication 929 could be effectively integrated into existing tax forms and their instructions. This simplifies the process for taxpayers by eliminating the need to refer to a separate publication.

What resources replace Publication 929?

For tax years 2022 and beyond, taxpayers with dependents should refer to the following resources:

A. Form 8814: Parent's Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends. This form allows parents or guardians to report a child's unearned income (under certain limits) on their own tax return.

B. Form 8615: Dependent's Exemption for Filing a Return. This form explains who qualifies as a dependent and the filing requirements for dependents.

C. Tax return instructions: The instructions for the specific tax return form you are filing will also contain relevant information about dependents.

Who is a Dependent?

For tax purposes, a dependent is someone you can claim on your tax return. To qualify as a dependent, the individual must meet several relationship and support tests outlined by the IRS.

How do I report my child's unearned income?

If your child has unearned income (interest, dividends) below a certain limit, you may be able to report it on your own tax return using Form 8814. This can be beneficial if your tax rate is lower than your child's tax rate. See the instructions for Form 8814 for specific limits and eligibility.

What if my dependent has income from self-employment?

Income from self-employment (babysitting, lawn mowing, etc.) counts as earned income and may affect your dependent's filing requirement. They may need to file a tax return and pay self-employment taxes if their net earnings from self-employment are $400 or more.

What tax credits can I claim for my dependent?

Depending on your dependent's situation, you may be eligible for tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit or the Dependent Credit. These credits can reduce your tax liability. Use Form 8615 to claim these credits.

Does my child need to file a tax return?

Use the following chart as a general guideline.

Income Type Filing Status (Single) Age/Blindness Must File?
Earned Income Only Under 65 and Not Blind Over $1,100 Maybe
Unearned Income Only Under 65 and Not Blind Over $1,100 Maybe
Any Income Married Filing Separately Any Age Always