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I agree that baby sitting and mowing lawns certainly constitute a source of earned income. And like you I am not sure about the W4 requirement. My hesitation for sources like that however would be based on having the necessary documentation to prove it as earned income, as you stated, in an audit. Also, possible problems with social security etc, especially in the light of the storm in recent years over SS withholding for domestic workers. Not paying SS taxes on those earnings might not qualify them as "earned income" to make a qualified contribution to an IRA. (My gut feeling).

Since the source of a minor's support is his parents
I have my children bank their earnings and then I give
them their "discretionary income" allowances, spending money, etc. (Believe me they make out even better that way).

Thanks for responding,

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