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Kids, Stocks and Taxes

Kimberly Lankford

Your children's investment income may be subject to kiddie-tax rules.



I want to buy 50 shares of stock for each of my two children through Sharebuilder.com. What are the tax implications of minor children owning stock in a custodial account?

Children younger than 19 or full-time students younger than 24 (assuming they do not provide more than half of their own support) may be subject to kiddie-tax rules. The first $950 of each child’s investment income in both 2010 and 2011 is tax-free, and the next $950 is taxed at the child’s own rate. Any investment income above $1,900 is taxed at the parents’ higher rate. However, the higher rate applies only to a child’s investment income, not to wages or self-employment income.

For some ideas of stocks that are likely to get kids interested in investing, see 5 Stocks Kids Would Love for the Holidays.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.



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