Form 8814

Parents' Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends

Navigating through the intricacies of tax forms can be daunting. Among them, the 8814 form serves a very specific purpose. This guide aims to unravel the complexities surrounding the form, making the tax filing process a bit easier for those who are eligible to use it.

What is a 8814 Form?

The 8814 form, also known as "Parents' Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends," is a tax form used in the United States for reporting a child's income on a parent's tax return. The primary purpose is to simplify the tax filing process for families by allowing parents to include their child’s investment income on their tax returns instead of filing a separate return for the child.

  • Purpose and Significance: This option exists to avoid the hassle and potential expense of filing a separate tax return for a child who has received income from interest and dividends. It can be particularly advantageous when the child's income is small and does not necessitate the full filing process.
  • Components of the Form: It announces the election to report the child's income on the parent's return, details about the child's income, and calculations to add it accurately to the parent's taxation figures.

Who Needs a 8814 Form?

Not every parent or guardian is eligible or obligated to use the 8814 form. The criteria include but are not limited to:

  • The child's age: The child must be under 19, or under 24 if a full-time student.
  • The type of income: It is specifically for investment income, such as interest and dividends, not wages or earned income.
  • Income limits: There are restrictions on the amount of the child's income that can be reported on the parent's return.

How to Read and Understand 8814 Form

This section of the guide aims to demystify the 8814 form through a detailed breakdown:

  • Understanding Different Sections: Going through each part of the form, explaining the purpose, and how to correctly fill it.
  • Common Terms and Figures: Definition of common terms found on the form such as "unearned income," "taxable interest," etc., and how these apply to the filing process.

How to Get Your 8814 Form

Obtaining the form is straightforward:

  • Procedures: The form can be downloaded or ordered for mail delivery.
  • Direct link to download 8814 forms: IRS page for 8814 Form.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Mistakes can lead to delayed returns or audits. Some common errors include:

  • Misreporting Income: Ensure all income types are accurately reported.
  • Incorrectly Calculating the Child's Income: It's vital to follow the IRS guidelines closely to avoid this mistake.

8814 Form and Tax Filing

The 8814 form significantly impacts how parents report income and file taxes:

  • It can simplify the process but requires careful attention to ensure all guidelines are met.
  • It affects the overall taxable income and could potentially alter tax liability and refunds.

FAQ Section

1. Can I use Form 8814 for my child’s earned income? No, Form 8814 is exclusively for unearned income such as interest and dividends.

2. What if my child’s income exceeds the limit for Form 8814? You'll need to file a separate tax return for your child.

3. Can both parents file separate 8814 forms for the same child? No, only one parent can elect to report the child's income on their return.

4. How does filing Form 8814 affect my tax return? It increases your taxable income, which might affect your tax bracket and tax liability.

5. Is Form 8814 required every year? It depends on whether the child's financial situation and your eligibility meet the criteria each year.


The 8814 form exemplifies a mechanism designed to alleviate the tax filing burden on parents with eligible children. This guide aimed to elucidate its nuances, making it accessible for those who can benefit from it. Should you find yourself in a complex situation, consulting a tax professional is advisable.

For those looking to dive deeper or download the form directly, the following official resources are invaluable:

Remember, staying informed and seeking professional advice when necessary ensures a smoother and more accurate tax filing process.

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Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.