Can a teenager get a tax refund?

Last Updated at: Apr 06, 2020
Can a teenager get a tax refund_

This post is written by Amrit Sharma


We all file Income Tax Returns (ITR) every year but there are quite a few things about claiming Income Tax Refunds that we are yet to be fully aware of. As per the Income Tax Act, the following entities are required to file ITRs compulsorily –

  1. All individuals below the age of 59 and earning more than Rs 2.5 lakh in a Financial Year.
  2. Every senior citizens in the age group of 60 to 79 and earning more than Rs 3 lakh in a Financial Year.
  3. All super senior citizens aged 80 or above and earning more than Rs 5 lakh in a Financial Year.
  4. All registered companies generating income
  5. Those wishing to claim a refund against the excess tax paid/deducted
  6. Individuals having assets located outside India
  7. If you have any income from a property, under a charitable trust.
  8. If you have made any transaction under the Annual Information Return.

Teenagers and taxes

Whenever the annual tax season rolls around, we receive a lot of queries regarding whether the teenagers need to pay taxes, whether they are required to file Income tax returns, whether they are allowed to claim tax refunds and so on.

As per Section 64 (1A) of the Income Tax Act, any income paid or accrued to a minor gets added to the income of the parent. The taxes will be imposed on the parent, assuming this income to be ‘his own’.

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Any individual below the age of 18 years is considered a minor. More precisely, a person in the age group of 12 to 18 years is considered a teenager. As a teenager can also earn his/her fair share of income- from deposits, investments or savings (in bank accounts) made by the parents in his or her name, he/she is liable to pay taxes. However-

  • If the income of the teenager is less than Rs 1500, it is not added to the income of his/her parent
  • The parent is allowed to claim an exemption of Rs 1500, against income added for each teenaged child.
  • If both the parents are earning and are liable to pay taxes, the income of the teenaged child gets added to the income of the parent having the greater income.
  • In case the parents are divorced, the income of the teenager gets added to the parent that owns the lawful custody of the child
  • In case both the parents have expired and the teenager is with a guardian, the income of the teenaged child is not attached to the income of the guardian. Rather, a separate income tax return is required to be filed.

There are some exceptions to the above-mentioned rules-

  • If the teenager earns his/her income from an activity or by means of any work, for which he/she employs a special knowledge or talent, he/she needs to file an Income Tax Return. For example, the teenaged winner of a reality show (Indian Idol Junior and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs, for example), will need to pay his/her own taxes. He/she will have to file IT Return duly and should claim for Tax Refunds against excess tax paid/deducted if any.
  • If the teenager is suffering from any disability/ailment specified under Section 80 U of the Income Tax Act, his/her income will not be attached to the income of the parent. The same will be applied for a differently-abled teenager( if he is suffering by more than 40%, from poor vision, blindness, locomotor disability, hearing impairment and mental illness).

Teenagers and Income tax refund

Any individual is eligible to claim Income Tax refund if he/she has paid more tax than the actual tax liability. Such a scenario arises when the self-assessment tax and advance tax paid by or TDS deducted from the taxpayer is more than his actual tax liability.

Any taxpayer can claim the refund of the excess tax deducted/paid during a particular financial year if he/she files the Income Tax Returns for that year. The Income Tax Act says that the taxpayer is required to file his/her return before July 31st, in the relevant Assessment Year, to be able to claim Income tax Refund. Therefore, if an IT return is filed in the name of a teenager, and all the above-mentioned criteria are fulfilled, he/she can get a tax refund in due course, like any other Indian taxpayer.