Dear Tax Talk,
My son is considered a qualifying dependent. He is 19 and goes to college. He earned about $1,800 this summer, and he receives scholarship money. Does he need to fill out his own tax return because of the money he earned this year, or can we do what we did last year and claim him as a dependent without reporting any income from him?
— Sue

Dear Sue,
Yes, you can claim your son as a dependent on your tax return. Your son does not need to file a tax return, as his income was not more than $5,950. However, if your son’s Form W-2 reflects federal income taxes withheld, he would need to file a tax return to receive a refund of those taxes. If that is the case, then be sure that he does not claim himself as a dependent on his income tax return, since you are going to be claiming him as a dependent on your income tax return.

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