I'm a 19 yr old, and my parents file me as a dependent under their married-filing-jointly tax return. Lately, I've done a couple small mystery shopper task from 3 different companies. The total adds up to $58 that I've earned. With that amount, do I have to file taxes separately? I'm not given a 1099 form from the companies because I don't earn more than $600.

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    Be very cautious about "mystery shopper" jobs: google "mystery shopper scam" and "mystery shopper money laundering" for some warnings about how you could get scammed or be helping organized crime (especially if the tasks involve transferring money or buying gift cards).
    – timday
    Oct 12, 2018 at 10:21

1 Answer 1


The rules for whether you have to file a federal tax return are in the beginning of the relevant tax year's Form 1040 instructions, in a section near the beginning called "Do You Have To File?".

You can be claimed by someone as a dependent, so you would use Chart B. You are single, and not not 65 or older, so (for year 2017) you must file if any of the following are true:

  • your unearned income was over $1050
  • your earned income was over $6350
  • your gross income was over MAX($1050, your earned income + $350)

It doesn't seem like any of these are true in your case, so you are not required to file. It might still be beneficial for you to file if you have had any tax withheld, or if you can claim any refundable tax credits.

The rules for whether you have to file a state tax return might be different and would depend on your specific state.

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