Are You 19 and Filing Taxes? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Paying taxes can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to the process. Yet filing taxes is an essential part of being a responsible citizen, and starting early can help make things easier in the long run. If you’re 19 years old and filing your taxes for the first time or have some questions about the process, here are some key points to keep in mind:

Are You 19 and Filing Taxes? Here's What You Need to KnowAre You 19 and Filing Taxes? Here's What You Need to Know

Determine Your Tax Status

Before you start filing your taxes, it is important to determine your tax status. As a 19-year-old, you are most likely considered a dependent by your parents or guardians unless you meet certain criteria that allow you to file as an independent.

  • Dependent: Being claimed as a dependent means that someone else provides more than half of your financial support throughout the year. In this case, consult with whoever claims you on their tax return for guidance.
  • Independent: You may qualify as an independent if no one claims you on their tax returns and if your income meets certain requirements set by IRS.

Gather Required Documents

Once you know whether you are eligible to file independently or not, gather all required documents and information needed while preparing your paperwork. These items include:

  • Social Security number (SSN)
  • W2s from any jobs held during last financial year
  • Bank statements showing interests earned
  • Any other relevant form like Form 1099 used for contract work

It’s also important to note that scholarships over tuition fees also need reporting.

Decide Whether To Use A Professional Or File Yourself

Few people enjoy doing their own taxes; there is always confusion regarding allowable deductions etc. Consider hiring expert assistance such as certified public accountants(CPAs) or licensed enrolled agents (EAs). They will prepare accurate returns for individual filers at affordable rates.Their professional services could save money but it depends on individual needs.


In summary, filing taxes for the first time may seem overwhelming, but it’s a necessary part of being a responsible citizen. As you prepare to file your taxes at 19 years old, determine your tax status and gather all required documents. And finally, decide whether to hire an expert or do it yourself with online tools like TurboTax or H&R Block. By following these steps carefully,you will have peace of mind that you’re doing everything correctly while staying compliant with government regulations.
Remember to consult your attorney or financial advisor if you need more specific advice tailored to your unique situation.


Do I need to file taxes if I’m 19 years old?
Yes, whether or not you are required to file your taxes depends on various factors such as your income level, sources of income, and filing status. If you earned more than a certain amount from wages, self-employment income, interest and dividends in the tax year (2020), then you are required to file a federal tax return.

How do I know if I am claimed as a dependent on my parent’s tax return?
If your parents provided more than half of your financial support during the year (including housing cost, food expense, tuition fees), and you did not provide for more than half of yourself during that same year (as determined by the IRS), they can claim you as their dependent on their tax return.

What forms should I use if filing my own taxes for the first time as a 19-year-old?
If this is your first time filing taxes and you earned an income greater than $12,400 for 2020 (standard deduction) – You will need to use Form 1040 or 1040-SR along with any other necessary schedules like W2s or Schedule C depending upon nature of work. It may be helpful to consult with a professional tax preparer or use online tools such as TurboTax that can guide even novice filers through the process step-by-step at zero cost upto some threashold limit which varies platform by platform