Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 0
Hello -

Last year, we had to file a tax return for my son, as his income exceeded the threshold for claiming him as a dependent. (This was due to Social Security finally paying him multiple years of past-due benefits from his dad's account.) Now that his payments have normalized (he only received his 2012 benefits in calendar year 2012), can I resume filing the parental return, with him returning to a dependent status? He's just now turning 13, so there isn't much chance he'll have additional income over the SS benefits for the next few years.

Thanks in advance!

Tina
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
Last year, we had to file a tax return for my son, as his income exceeded the threshold for claiming him as a dependent. ... He's just now turning 13,

Hang on there.

For a child under 18, there is no income test. He is almost always going to be your dependent. The only way I can think of that he wouldn't qualify as your dependent is if he provided more than 1/2 of his own support. That might be possible if the lump sum from social security was large enough and used for that purpose. Any part of it that was saved was not used for support.

Otherwise, while he would need to file a return if he has sufficient income, he'd still be your dependent assuming you provide more than 1/2 of his support. You would claim him as a dependent on your return, and he would not claim himself on his own return.

For years going forward, normal social security benefits are not large enough to require a return to be filed. It would take some other source of income to trigger a filing requirement. And assuming you continue to provide more than 1/2 of his support, you would claim him as a dependent, even if he needs to file a return.

--Peter
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
OK, so much for posting from memory without last year's return in front of me. My apologies for misstating the situation.

Given the multiple unusual items for 2011, we had a CPA prepare them. We did claim him as a deduction on the parent return. We had to have a separate return filed for him, as he received more than 10 years of SS benefits in 2011. (His dad became disabled when he was an infant.) I did not prepare our taxes last year, due to large lump-sum payments for both husband and child, along with repayment of disability insurance payments from the SS proceeds. (The repayment then triggered reduction credits for taxes paid previous tax years, as his disability income was taxable.)

Now that things have somewhat normalized, I plan to return to preparing our returns myself.

So, with that stated, can I include him (and his income) on my return this year, or does the IRS require that once his own return is filed, it must remain that way? Until TY2011, his minimal interest and dividends were low enough for inclusion on our return.

Thanks again-

Tina
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
So, with that stated, can I include him (and his income) on my return this year,

As I said before, Yes. Each year stands on it's own.

Why you would make the election to include his income on your return is beyond me. While it is a valid option, the only benefit I've ever found is filing one return instead of two, and it can potentially increase increase the family's overall taxes.

--Peter
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
So, with that stated, can I include him (and his income) on my return this year

My apologies if you're already aware of this, but I'm surprised to find that many parents aren't. Although your son's SS benefits are paid to a parent as trustee, the 1099-SSA shows your son's SSN, and these benefits are not included on the parents' return.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Hi Phil-

I had reviewed publication 915 in determining that he had taxable income last year, given the amount of 10+ years benefits. (This was then complicated by having to reimburse the insurance company for disability benefits in excess of what SS paid to my husband's SSN.)

I do not expect that my son will owe anything this year, given the so-called "normalcy" of the income sources this year, and the fact that they are all for "only" a 12-month period. His savings accounts, given the low balance and rates, do not give him any significant income to worry about.

I did not want to encounter any "failure to file" penalties on behalf of my son, if the IRS is anticipating receipt of a return under his name going forward. It sounds like the SSA-1099 alone should not trigger the IRS to expect his return.

Thanks,

Tina
Print the post Back To Top