If all of your child's income was in the form of interest, dividends, and capital gain distributions (e.g., from mutual funds), and the amount is more than $1,000 but less than $10,000 for 2013, you can elect to report the income on your own return rather than filing a separate return for the child.
The IRS allows you to treat your child's income as your own, ostensibly to save you time. For a child under 18, all unearned income above $2,000 (for 2013) must be taxed at the parent's rate, and including the income on your return forces you to calculate this amount.
However, the time you could actually save is minimal at best. If you decide to go this route, you must also complete a Form 8814 for each child and attach it to your tax return.
Form 8814, Parents' Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends
The file is in Adobe portable document format (PDF), which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is available, without charge, at the Adobe website.
For more information, see our discussion of reporting a child's income on your tax return.
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