Tax Resources
State And Federal

Federal Form 8814 Instructions

General Instructions

Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Form 8814 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to www.irs.gov/form8814.

Purpose of Form

Use this form if you elect to report your child's income on your return. If you do, your child will not have to file a return. You can make this election if your child meets all of the following conditions.

  • The child was under age 19 (or under age 24 if a full-time student) at the end of 2014. "Student" is defined below.
  • The child's only income was from interest and dividends, including capital gain distributions and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.
  • The child's gross income for 2014 was less than $10,000.
  • The child is required to file a 2014 return.
  • The child does not file a joint return for 2014.
  • There were no estimated tax payments for the child for 2014 (including any overpayment of tax from his or her 2013 return applied to 2014 estimated tax).
  • There was no federal income tax withheld from the child's income.

You must also qualify. See Parents who qualify to make the election below.

Student. A student is a child who for some part of each of 5 calendar months during the year was enrolled as a full-time student at a school, or took a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school or a state, county, or local government agency. A school includes a technical, trade, or mechanical school. It does not include an on-the-job training course, correspondence school, or school offering courses only through the Internet.

Certain January 1 birthdays. A child born on January 1, 1996, is considered to be age 19 at the end of 2014. You cannot make this election for such a child unless the child was a full-time student.

A child born on January 1, 1991, is considered to be age 24 at the end of 2014. You cannot make this election for such a child.

How to make the election. To make the election, complete and attach Form(s) 8814 to your tax return and file your return by the due date (including extensions). A separate Form 8814 must be filed for each child whose income you choose to report.

Parents who qualify to make the election. You qualify to make this election if you file Form 1040 or Form 1040NR and any of the following apply.

  • You are filing a joint return for 2014 with the child's other parent.
  • You and the child's other parent were married to each other but file separate returns for 2014 and you had the higher taxable income.
  • You were unmarried, treated as unmarried for federal income tax purposes, or separated from the child's other parent by a divorce or separate maintenance decree. The child must have lived with you for most of the year (you were the custodial parent). If you were the custodial parent and you remarried, you can make the election on a joint return with your new spouse. But if you and your new spouse do not file a joint return, you qualify to make the election only if you had higher taxable income than your new spouse.

Note. If you and the child's other parent were not married but lived together during the year with the child, you qualify to make the election only if you are the parent with the higher taxable income.

Tax benefits you cannot take. If you elect to report your child's income on your return, you cannot take certain deductions that your child could take on his or her own return such as:

  • Additional standard deduction of $1,550 if the child is blind,
  • Penalty on early withdrawal of child's savings, and
  • Itemized deductions such as the child's investment expenses or charitable contributions.

If your child received qualified dividends or capital gain distributions, you may pay up to $100 more tax if you make this election instead of filing a separate tax return for the child. This is because the tax rate on the child's income between $1,000 and $2,000 is 10% if you make this election. However, if you file a separate return for the child, the tax rate may be as low as 0% (zero percent) because of the preferential tax rates for qualified dividends and capital gain distributions.

If any of the above apply to your child, first figure the tax on your child's income as if he or she is filing a return. Next, figure the tax as if you are electing to report your child's income on your return. Then, compare the methods to determine which results in the lower tax.

Alternative minimum tax. If your child received tax-exempt interest (or exempt-interest dividends paid by a regulated investment company) from certain private activity bonds, you must take this into account in determining if you owe the alternative minimum tax. This type of interest should be shown in box 9 of Form 1099-INT. See Form 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax - Individuals, and its instructions for details.

Net Investment Income Tax. For purposes of figuring any Net Investment Income Tax liability of the parents on Form 8960, the following rules apply.

  1. All income reported on line 12 is included in the parents' modified adjusted gross income, and
  2. All net investment income included on line 12 (except for Alaska Permanent Fund dividends) is included in the parents' net investment income.

For more information on Net Investment Income Tax, go to www.irs.gov and enter "Net Investment Income Tax" in the search box.

Investment interest expense. Your child's income (other than qualified dividends, Alaska Permanent Fund dividends, and capital gain distributions) that you report on your return is considered to be your investment income for purposes of figuring your investment interest expense deduction. If your child received qualified dividends, Alaska Permanent Fund dividends, or capital gain distributions, see Pub. 550, Investment Income and Expenses, to figure the amount you can treat as your investment income.

Foreign accounts and trusts. You must complete Schedule B (Form 1040), Part III, and file it with your tax return if your child:

  1. Had a foreign financial account, or
  2. Received a distribution from, or was the grantor of, or transferor to, a foreign trust.

Enter "Form 8814" on the dotted line next to line 7a or line 8, whichever applies. Complete line 7b if applicable.

Note. If you file Form 8814 with your income tax return to report your child's foreign financial account, you have an interest in the assets from that account and may be required to file Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets. Check www.irs.gov/form8938 for details.

Change of address. If your child filed a return for a previous year and the address shown on the last return filed is not your child's current address, be sure to notify the IRS, in writing, of the new address. To do this, use Form 8822, Change of Address.

Additional information. See Pub. 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents, for more details.

Line Instructions

Name and social security number. If you are filing a joint return, enter both names but enter the social security number of the person whose name is shown first on the return.

Line 1a. Enter all taxable interest income your child received in 2014. Do not include tax-exempt interest in the total for line 1a, but be sure to include it on line 1b.

If your child received, as a nominee, interest that actually belongs to another person, enter the amount and "ND" (nominee distribution) on the dotted line next to line 1a. Do not include amounts received as a nominee in the total for line 1a.

If your child had accrued interest that was paid to the seller of a bond, amortizable bond premium (ABP) allowed as a reduction to interest income, or if any original issue discount (OID) is less than the amount shown on your child's Form 1099-OID, enter the nontaxable amount on the dotted line next to line 1a and "Accrued interest," "ABP adjustment," or "OID adjustment," whichever applies. Do not include any nontaxable amounts in the total for line 1a.

Line 1b. If your child received any tax-exempt interest income, such as from certain state and municipal bonds, report it on line 1b. Tax-exempt interest, including any exempt-interest dividends your child received as a shareholder in a mutual fund or other regulated investment company, should be shown in box 8 of Form 1099-INT.

Note. If line 1b includes tax-exempt interest or exempt-interest dividends paid by a regulated investment company from private activity bonds, see Alternative minimum tax, earlier.

Line 2a. Enter the ordinary dividends your child received in 2014. Ordinary dividends should be shown in box 1a of Form 1099-DIV. Also include ordinary dividends your child received through a partnership, an S corporation, or an estate or trust.

If your child received, as a nominee, ordinary dividends that actually belong to another person, enter the amount and "ND" on the dotted line next to line 2a. Do not include amounts received as a nominee in the total for line 2a.

Line 2b. Enter all qualified dividends your child received in 2014. Qualified dividends are the ordinary dividends that are eligible for the same lower tax rate as a net capital gain. Qualified dividends should be shown in box 1b of Form 1099-DIV.

Line 3. Enter the capital gain distributions your child received in 2014. Capital gain distributions should be shown in box 2a of Form 1099-DIV.

If your child received, as a nominee, capital gain distributions that actually belong to another person, enter the amount and "ND" on the dotted line next to line 3. Do not include amounts received as a nominee in the total for line 3.

Line 9. Include this amount on Form 1040, lines 9a and 9b, or Form 1040NR, lines 10a and 10b. Enter "Form 8814" and this amount on the dotted line next to those lines unless you file Schedule B (Form 1040).

If you file Schedule B, include this amount on line 5, and identify it as from "Form 8814." Complete Schedule B as instructed. Also include this amount on Form 1040, line 9b, or Form 1040NR, line 10b.

You must file Schedule B if this amount plus the parents' dividends is more than $1,500.

Line 10. Include this amount on Schedule D (Form 1040), line 13; Form 1040, line 13; or Form 1040NR, line 14. Enter "Form 8814" and this amount on the dotted line next to line 13 of Schedule D or in the space to the left of line 13 of Form 1040 or line 14 of Form 1040NR.

If any of the child's capital gain distributions were reported on Form 1099-DIV as unrecaptured section 1250 gain, section 1202 gain, or collectibles (28%) gain, see Pub. 929 for details on the amount to report on Schedule D.

Line 12. If you checked the box on line C, add the amounts from line 12 of all your Forms 8814. Include the result on Form 1040, line 21, or Form 1040NR, line 21, whichever applies. Enter "Form 8814" and the total of the line 12 amounts on the dotted line next to line 21.

Line 15. If you checked the box on line C, add the amounts from line 15 of all your Forms 8814. Include the total on Form 1040, line 44, or Form 1040NR, line 42. Be sure to check box a on that line.