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follow up to my own question...

From the IRS site, it states that 1040EZ may be used as long as taxable income is less than $100,000.

But there is also a line that tips must be included in boxes 5 and 7 of Form W-2.

Looking over their W-2's I see nothing indicating if Tips are or are not included. There is however a Box 8 for "Allocated tips", but that is blank in all cases.

One of their jobs is working in a restaurant, but as I understand it Tips are shared among the staff and they don't personally pocket them.

So, still thinking that 1040EZ is appropriate for children in most situations and that an employer that fills in line 8 would be doing a dis-service to their workers.
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