How much does an unmarried dependent student have to make before he or she has to file an income tax return?

Answer: If you are an unmarried dependent, you must file a tax return if your earned and/or unearned income exceeds certain limits.

  • To find these limits refer to Filing Requirements for Dependents in Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information.
  • Even if you do not have to file, you should file a federal income tax return to get money back if any of the following apply:
  1. You had income tax withheld from your pay.
  2. You qualify for the earned income credit.
  3. You qualify for the additional child tax credit.

Refer to Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information for an explanation of the five exemption tests and filing requirement rules.

Additional Information: